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 Degree Discipline: Materials Science and Engineering
 Degree Level: Doctoral
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
Barrier and long term creep properties of polymer nanocomposites.
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The barrier properties and long term strength retention of polymers are of significant importance in a number of applications. Enhanced lifetime food packaging, substrates for OLED based flexible displays and long duration scientific balloons are among them. Higher material requirements in these applications drive the need for an accurate measurement system. Therefore, a new system was engineered with enhanced sensitivity and accuracy. Permeability of polymers is affected by permeant solubility and diffusion. One effort to decrease diffusion rates is via increasing the transport path length. We explore this through dispersion of layered silicates into polymers. Layered silicates with effective aspect ratio of 1000:1 have shown promise in improving the barrier and mechanical properties of polymers. The surface of these inorganic silicates was modified with surfactants to improve the interaction with organic polymers. The micro and nanoscale dispersion of the layered silicates was probed using optical and transmission microscopy as well as x-ray diffraction. Thermal transitions were analyzed using differential scanning calorimetry. Mechanical and permeability measurements were correlated to the dispersion and increased density. The essential structure-property relationships were established by comparing semicrystalline and amorphous polymers. Semicrystalline polymers selected were nylon-6 and polyethylene terephthalate. The amorphous polymer was polyethylene terphthalate-glycol. Densification due to the layered silicate in both semicrystalline and amorphous polymers was associated with significant impact on barrier and long term creep behavior. The inferences were confirmed by investigating a semi-crystalline polymer - polyethylene - above and below the glass transition. The results show that the layered silicate influences the amorphous segments in polymers and barrier properties are affected by synergistic influences of densification and uniform dispersion of the layered silicates. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5563/
Biocompatible Hybrid Nanomaterials Involving Polymers and Hydrogels Interfaced with Phosphorescent Complexes and Toxin-Free Metallic Nanoparticles for Biomedical Applications
The major topics discussed are all relevant to interfacing brightly phosphorescent and non-luminescent coinage metal complexes of [Ag(I) and Au(I)] with biopolymers and thermoresponsive gels for making hybrid nanomaterials with an explanation on syntheses, characterization and their significance in biomedical fields. Experimental results and ongoing work on determining outreaching consequences of these hybrid nanomaterials for various biomedical applications like cancer therapy, bio-imaging and antibacterial abilities are described. In vitro and in vivo studies have been performed on majority of the discussed hybrid nanomaterials and determined that the cytotoxicity or antibacterial activity are comparatively superior when compared to analogues in literature. Consequential differences are noticed in photoluminescence enhancement from hybrid phosphorescent hydrogels, phosphorescent complex ability to physically crosslink, Au(I) sulfides tendency to form NIR (near-infrared) absorbing AuNPs compared to any similar work in literature. Syntheses of these hybrid nanomaterials has been thoroughly investigated and it is determined that either metallic nanoparticles syntheses or syntheses of phosphorescent hydrogels can be carried in single step without involving any hazardous reducing agents or crosslinkers or stabilizers that are commonly employed during multiple step syntheses protocols for syntheses of similar materials in literature. These astounding results that have been discovered within studies of hybrid nanomaterials are an asset to applications ranging from materials development to health science and will have striking effect on environmental and green chemistry approaches. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84243/
Biodegradable Poly(hydroxy Butyrate-co-valerate) Nanocomposites And Blends With Poly(butylene Adipate-co-terephthalate) For Sensor Applications
The utilization of biodegradable polymers is critical for developing “cradle to cradle” mindset with ecological, social and economic consequences. Poly(hydroxy butyrate-co-valerate) (PHBV) shows significant potential for many applications with a polypropylene equivalent mechanical performance. However, it has limitations including high crystallinity, brittleness, small processing window, etc. which need to be overcome before converting them into useful products. Further the development of biodegradable strain sensing polymer sensors for structural health monitoring has been a growing need. In this dissertation I utilize carbon nanotubes as a self sensing dispersed nanofiller. The impact of its addition on PHBV and a blend of PHBV with poly(butylene adipate-co-terephthalate) (PBAT) polymer was examined. Nanocomposites and blends of PHBV, PBAT, and MWCNTs were prepared by melt-blending. The effect of MWCNTs on PHBV crystallinity, crystalline phase, quasi-static and dynamic mechanical property was studied concurrently with piezoresistive response. In PHBV/PBAT blends a rare phenomenon of melting point elevation by the addition of low melting point PBAT was observed. The blends of these two semicrystalline aliphatic and aromatic polyesters were investigated by using differential scanning calorimetry, small angle X-ray scattering, dynamic mechanical analysis, surface energy measurement by contact angle method, polarized optical and scanning electron microscopy, and rheology. The study revealed a transition of immiscible blend compositions to miscible blend compositions across the 0-100 composition range. PHBV10, 20, and 30 were determined to be miscible blends based on a single Tg and rheological properties. The inter-relation between stress, strain, morphological structure and piezoresistive response of MWCNT filled PHBV and PHBV/PBAT blend system was thoroughly investigated. The outcomes of piezoreistivity study indicated MWCNT filled PHBV and PHBV/PBAT blend system as a viable technology for structural health monitoring. Finally, the compostability of pure polymer, blend system, and MWCNT filled system was studied indicating that PBAT and CNT decreased the biodegradability of PHBV with CNT being a better contributor than PBAT. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103405/
Bulk and interfacial effects on density in polymer nanocomposites
The barrier properties of polymers are a significant factor in determining the shelf or device lifetime in polymer packaging. Nanocomposites developed from the dispersion of nanometer thick platelets into a host polymer matrix have shown much promise. The magnitude of the benefit on permeability has been different depending on the polymer investigated or the degree of dispersion of the platelet in the polymer. In this dissertation, the effect of density changes in the bulk and at the polymer-platelet interface on permeability of polymer nanocomposites is investigated. Nanocomposites of nylon, PET, and PEN were processed by extrusion. Montmorillonite layered silicate (MLS) in a range of concentrations from 1 to 5% was blended with all three resins. Dispersion of the MLS in the matrix was investigated by using one or a combination of X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Variation in bulk density via crystallization was analyzed using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and polarized optical microscopy. Interfacial densification was investigated using force modulation atomic force microscopy (AFM) and ellipsometry. Mechanical properties are reported. Permeability of all films was measured in an in-house built permeability measurement system. The effect of polymer orientation and induced defects on permeability was investigated using biaxially stretched, small and large cycle fatigue samples of PET and nylon nanocomposites. The effect of annealing in nylon and nanocomposites was also investigated. The measured permeability was compared to predicted permeability by considering the MLS as an ideal dispersion and the matrix as a system with concentration dependent crystallinity. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3619/
Carrier Mobility, Charge Trapping Effects on the Efficiency of Heavily Doped Organic Light-Emitting Diodes, and EU(lll) Based Red OLEDs
Transient electroluminescence (EL) was used to measure the onset of emission delay in OLEDs based on transition metal, phosphorescent bis[3,5-bis(2-pyridyl)-1,2,4-triazolato] platinum(ΙΙ) and rare earth, phosphorescent Eu(hfa)3 with 4'-(p-tolyl)-2,2":6',2" terpyridine (ttrpy) doped into 4,4'-bis(carbazol-9-yl) triphenylamine (CBP), from which the carrier mobility was determined. For the Pt(ptp)2 doped CBP films in OLEDs with the structure: ITO/NPB (40nm)/mcp (10nm)/65% Pt(ptp)2:CBP (25nm)/TPBI (30nm)/Mg:Ag (100nm), where NPB=N, N'-bis(1-naphthyl)-N-N'-biphenyl-1, 1'-biphenyl-4, MCP= N, N'-dicarbazolyl-3,5-benzene, TPBI=1,3,5-tris(phenyl-2-benzimidazolyl)-benzene, delayed recombination was observed and based on its dependence on frequency and duty cycle, ascribed to trapping and de-trapping processes at the interface of the emissive layer and electron blocker. The result suggests that the exciton recombination zone is at, or close to the interface between the emissive layer and electron blocker. The lifetime of the thin films of phosphorescent emitter Pt(ptp)2 were studied for comparison with rare earth emitter Eu(hfa)3. The lifetime of 65% Pt(ptp)2:CBP co-film was around 638 nanoseconds at the emission peak of 572nm, and the lifetime of neat Eu(hfa)3 film was obtained around 1 millisecond at 616 nm, which supports the enhanced efficiency obtained from the Pt(ptp)2 devices. The long lifetime and narrow emission of the rare earth dopant Eu(hfa)3 is a fundamental factor limiting device performance. Red organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs) based on the rare earth emitter Eu(hfa)3 with 4'-(p-tolyl)-2,2":6',2" terpyridine (ttrpy) complex have been studied and improved with respect performance. The 4.5% Eu(hfa)3 doped into CBP device produced the best power efficiency of 0.53 lm/W, and current efficiency of 1.09 cd/A. The data suggests that the long lifetime of the f-f transition of the Eu ion is a principal limiting factor irrespective of how efficient the energy transfer from the host to the dopant and the antenna effect are. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc30483/
Characterization and mechanical properties of nanoscale precipitates in modified Al-Si-Cu alloys using transmission electron microscopy and 3D atom probe tomography.
Among the commercial aluminum alloys, aluminum 319 (Al-7wt%Si-4wt%Cu) type alloys are popularly used in automobile engine parts. These alloys have good casting characteristics and excellent mechanical properties resulting from a suitable heat treatment. To get a high strength in the 319 type alloys, grain refining, reducing the porosity, solid solution hardening, and precipitation hardening are preferred. All experimental variables such as solidification condition, composition, and heat treatment are influence on the precipitation behavior; however, precipitation hardening is the most significant because excess alloying elements from supersaturated solid solution form fine particles which act as obstacles to dislocation movement. The challenges of the 319 type alloys arise due to small size of precipitate and complex aging response caused by multi components. It is important to determine the chemical composition, crystal structure, and orientation relationship as well as precipitate morphology in order to understand the precipitation behavior and strengthening mechanism. In this study, the mechanical properties and microstructure were investigated using transmission electron microscopy and three dimensional atom probe tomography. The Mn and Mg effects on the microstructure and mechanical properties are discussed with crystallographic study on the iron intermetallic phases. The microstructural evolution and nucleation study on the precipitates in the low-Si 319 type aluminum alloys are also presented with sample preparation and analysis condition of TEM and 3DAP tomography. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3661/
Definition of brittleness: Connections between mechanical and tribological properties of polymers.
The increasing use of polymer-based materials (PBMs) across all types of industry has not been matched by sufficient improvements in understanding of polymer tribology: friction, wear, and lubrication. Further, viscoelasticity of PBMs complicates characterization of their behavior. Using data from micro-scratch testing, it was determined that viscoelastic recovery (healing) in sliding wear is independent of the indenter force within a defined range of load values. Strain hardening in sliding wear was observed for all materials-including polymers and composites with a wide variety of chemical structures-with the exception of polystyrene (PS). The healing in sliding wear was connected to free volume in polymers by using pressure-volume-temperature (P-V-T) results and the Hartmann equation of state. A linear relationship was found for all polymers studied with again the exception of PS. The exceptional behavior of PS has been attributed qualitatively to brittleness. In pursuit of a precise description of such, a quantitative definition of brittleness has been defined in terms of the elongation at break and storage modulus-a combination of parameters derived from both static and dynamic mechanical testing. Furthermore, a relationship between sliding wear recovery and brittleness for all PBMs including PS is demonstrated. The definition of brittleness may be used as a design criterion in selecting PBMs for specific applications, while the connection to free volume improves also predictability of wear behavior. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc9097/
Device Engineering for Enhanced Efficiency from Platinum(II) Phosphorescent OLEDs
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Phosphorescent organic light emitting diodes (PHOLEDs) based on efficient electrophosphorescent dopant, platinum(II)-pyridyltriazolate complex, bis[3,5-bis(2-pyridyl)-1,2,4-triazolato]platinum(II) (Pt(ptp)2) have been studied and improved with respect to power efficiency, external efficiency, chromacity and efficiency roll-off. By studying the electrical and optical behavior of the doped devices and functionality of the various constituent layers, devices with a maximum EQE of 20.8±0.2 % and power efficiency of 45.1±0.9 lm/W (77lm/W with luminaries) have been engineered. This improvement compares to devices whose emission initially could only be detected by a photomultiplier tube in a darkened environment. These devices consisted of a 65 % bis[3,5-bis(2-pyridyl)-1,2,4-triazolato]platinum(II) (Pt(ptp)2) doped into 4,4'-bis(carbazol-9-yl)triphenylamine (CBP) an EML layer, a hole transporting layer/electron blocker of 1,1-bis[(di-4-tolylamino)phenyl]cyclohexane (TAPC), an electron transport layer of 1,3,5-tris(phenyl-2-benzimidazolyl)-benzene (TPBI), and a LiF/Al cathode. These devices show the acceptable range for warm white light quadrants and qualify to be called "warm white" even w/o adding another emissive layer. Dual EML devices composed of neat Pt(ptp)2 films emitting orange and CBP: Pt(ptp)2 film emitting blue-green produced a color rendering index (CRI) of 59 and color coordinates (CIE) of (0.47,0.49) at 1000Cd/m² with power efficiency of 12.6±0.2 lm/W and EQE of 10.8±0.2 %. Devices with two blue fluorescent emission layers as singlet filters and one broad yellow emission layer from CBP: Pt(ptp)2 displayed a CRI of 78 and CIE of (0.28,0.31) at 100Cd/m² with maximum power efficiency of 6.7±0.3 lm/W and EQE of 5.7±0.2 %. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc30482/
Effects of Plasma, Temperature and Chemical Reactions on Porous Low Dielectric Films for Semiconductor Devices
Low-dielectric (k) films are one of the performance drivers for continued scaling of integrated circuit devices. These films are needed in microelectronic device interconnects to lower power consumption and minimize cross talk between metal lines that "interconnect" transistors. Low-k materials currently in production for the 45 and 65 nm node are most often organosilicate glasses (OSG) with dielectric constants near 2.8 and nominal porosities of 8-10%. The next generation of low-k materials will require k values 2.6 and below for the 45 nm device generation and beyond. The continuous decrease in device dimensions in ultra large scale integrated (ULSI) circuits have brought about the replacement of the silicon dioxide interconnect dielectric (ILD), which has a dielectric constant (k) of approximately 4.1, with low dielectric constant materials. Lowering the dielectric constant reduces the propagation delays, RC constant (R = the resistance of the metal lines; C = the line capacitance), and metal cross-talk between wires. In order to reduce the RC constants, a number of low-k materials have been studied for use as intermetal dielectrics. The k values of these dielectric materials can be lowered by replacing oxide films with carbon-based polymer films, incorporating hydrocarbon functional groups into oxide films (SiOCH films), or introducing porogens in the film during processing to create pores. However, additional integration issues such as damage to these materials caused by plasma etch, plasma ash, and wet etch processes are yet to be overcome. This dissertation reports the effects of plasma, temperature and chemical reactions on low-k SiOCH films. Plasma ash processes have been known to cause hydrophobic films to lose their hydrophobic methyl groups, rendering them to be hydrophilic. This allows the films to readily absorb moisture. Supercritical carbon dioxide (SC-CO2) can be used to transport silylating agents, hexamethyldisilazane (HMDS) and diethoxy-dimethlysilane (DEDMS), to functionalize the damaged surfaces of the ash-damaged films. The thermal stability of the low-k films after SC-CO2 treatment is also discussed by performing in-situ heat treatments on the films. UV curing has been shown to reduce the amount of pores while showing only a limited change dielectric constant. This work goes on to describe the effect of UV curing on low-k films after exposing the films to supercritical carbon dioxide (CO2) in combination with tetramethylorthosilicate (TMOS). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33192/
Electrical and Structure Properties of High-κ Barium Tantalite and Aluminum Oxide Interface with Zinc Oxide for Applications in Transparent Thin Film Transistors
ZnO has generated interest for flexible electronics/optoelectronic applications including transparent thin film transistors (TFTs). For this application, low temperature processes that simultaneously yield good electrical conductivity and optical transparency and that are compatible with flexible substrates such as plastic, are of paramount significance. Further, gate oxides are a critical component of TFTs, and must exhibit low leakage currents and self-healing breakdown in order to ensure optimal TFTs switching performance and reliability. Thus, the objective of this work was twofold: (1) develop an understanding of the processing-structure-property relationships of ZnO and high-κ BaTa2O6 and Al2O3 (2) understand the electronic defect structure of BaTa2O6 /ZnO and Al2O3/ZnO interfaces and develop insight to how such interfaces may impact the switching characteristics (speed and switching power) of TFTs featuring these materials. Of the ZnO films grown by atomic layer deposition (ALD), pulsed laser deposition (PLD) and magnetron sputtering at 100-200 °C, the latter method exhibited the best combination of n-type electrical conductivity and optical transparency. These determinations were made using a combination of photoluminescence, photoluminescence excitation, absorption edge and Hall measurements. Metal-insulator-semiconductor devices were then fabricated with sputtered ZnO and high-κ BaTa2O6 and Al2O3 and the interfaces of high-κ BaTa2O6 and Al2O3 with ZnO were analyzed using frequency dependent C-V and G-V measurements. The insulator films were deposited at room temperature by magnetron sputtering using optimized processing conditions. Although the Al2O3 films exhibited a lower breakdown strength and catastrophic breakdown behavior compared to BaTa2O6/ZnO interface, the Al2O3/ZnO interface was characterized by more than an order of magnitude smaller density of interface traps and interface trapped charge. The BaTa2O6 films in addition were characterized by a significantly higher concentration of fixed oxide charge. The transition from accumulation to inversion in the Al2O3 MIS structure was considerably sharper, and occurred at less than one tenth of the voltage required for the same transition in the BaTa2O6 case. The frequency dispersion effects were also noticeably more severe in the BaTa2O6 structures. XPS results suggest that acceptor-like structural defects associated with oxygen vacancies in the non-stoichiometric BaTa2O6 films are responsible for the extensive electrical trapping and poor high frequency response. The Al2O3 films were essentially stoichiometric. The results indicate that amorphous Al2O3 is better suited than BaTa2O6 as a gate oxide for transparent thin film transistor applications where low temperature processing is a prerequisite, assuming of course that the operation voltage of such devices is lower than the breakdown voltage. Also, the operation power for the devices with amorphous Al2O3 is lower than the case for devices with BaTa2O6 due to the smaller fixed oxide charges and interface trap density. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84233/
First Principles Calculations of the Site Substitution Behavior in Gamma Prime Phase in Nickel Based Superalloys
Nickel based superalloys have superior high temperature mechanical strength, corrosion and creep resistance in harsh environments and found applications in the hot sections as turbine blades and turbine discs in jet engines and gas generator turbines in the aerospace and energy industries. The efficiency of these turbine engines depends on the turbine inlet temperature, which is determined by the high temperature strength and behavior of these superalloys. The microstructure of nickel based superalloys usually contains coherently precipitated gamma prime (?) Ni3Al phase within the random solid solution of the gamma () matrix, with the ? phase being the strengthening phase of the superalloys. How the alloying elements partition into the and ? phases and especially in the site occupancy behaviors in the strengthening ? phases play a critical role in their high temperature mechanical behaviors. The goal of this dissertation is to study the site substitution behavior of the major alloying elements including Cr, Co and Ti through first principles based calculations. Site substitution energies have been calculated using the anti-site formation, the standard defect formation formalism, and the vacancy formation based formalism. Elements such as Cr and Ti were found to show strong preference for Al sublattice, whereas Co was found to have a compositionally dependent site preference. In addition, the interaction energies between Cr-Cr, Co-Co, Ti-Ti and Cr-Co atoms have also been determined. Along with the charge transfer, chemical bonding and alloy chemistry associated with the substitutions has been investigated by examining the charge density distributions and electronic density of states to explain the chemical nature of the site substitution. Results show that Cr and Co atoms prefer to be close by on either Al sublattice or on a Ni-Al mixed lattice, suggesting a potential tendency of Cr and Co segregation in the ? phase. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc149571/
Formation and Quantification of Corrosion Deposits in the Power Industry
The presence of deposits on the secondary side of pressurized water reactor (PWR) steam generator systems is one of the main contributors to the high maintenance costs of these generators. Formation and transport of corrosion products formed due to the presence of impurities, metals and metallic oxides in the secondary side of the steam generator units result in formation of deposits. This research deals with understanding the deposit formation and characterization of deposits by studying the samples collected from different units in secondary side system at Comanche Peak Steam Electric Station (CPSES). Fourier transform infrared spectrophotometry (FTIR), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) have been used for studying the phases, morphologies and compositions of the iron oxides formed at Unit 1 and Unit 2 of secondary side of steamgenerator systems. Hematite and magnetite were found to be the dominant phases of iron oxides present in the units. Fe, Cr, O, Ni, Si, Cl and Cu were found in samples collected from both the units. A qualitative method was developed to differentiate iron oxides using laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) based on temporal response of iron oxides to a high power laser beam. A quantitative FTIR technique was developed to identify and quantify iron oxides present in the different components of the secondary side of the steam generator of CPSES. Amines are used in water treatment to control corrosion and fouling in pressurized water reactors. CPSES presently uses an amine combination of dimethylamine (DMA), hydrazine and morpholine to control the water chemistry. Along with the abovementioned amines, this study also focuses on corrosion inhibition mechanismsof a new amine DBU (1, 8-diazabicyclo [5.4.0] undec-7-ene). Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy and polarization curves were used to study the interaction mechanism between DBU solution and inconel alloys 600 and 690 at steamgenerator operating temperatures and pressures. Of all the amines used in this study (DMA, DBU, ETA, and morpholine), DMA was more effective at keeping the passive film formed on the alloy 600 surface from failing at both ambient and high temperatures. Morpholine was found result in higher corrosion resistance compared to the other amines in case of alloy 690. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3635/
Functionalization and characterization of porous low-κ dielectrics.
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The incorporation of fluorine into SiO2 has been shown to reduce the dielectric constant of the existing materials by reducing the electrical polarizability. However, the incorporation of fluorine has also been shown to decrease film stability. Therefore, new efforts have been made to find different ways to further decrease the relative dielectric constant value of the existing low-k materials. One way to reduce the dielectric constant is by decreasing its density. This reduces the amount of polarizable materials. A good approach is increasing porosity of the film. Recently, fluorinated silica xerogel films have been identified as potential candidates for applications such as interlayer dielectric materials in CMOS technology. In addition to their low dielectric constants, these films present properties such as low refractive indices, low thermal conductivities, and high surface areas. Another approach to lower k is incorporating lighter atoms such as hydrogen or carbon. Silsesquioxane based materials are among them. However, additional integration issues such as damage to these materials caused by plasma etch, plasma ash, and wet etch processes are yet to be overcome. This dissertation reports the effects of triethoxyfluorosilane-based (TEFS) xerogel films when reacted with silylation agents. TEFS films were employed because they form robust silica networks and exhibit low dielectric constants. However, these films readily absorb moisture. Employing silylation reactions enhances film hydrophobicity and permits possible introduction of this film as an interlayer dielectric material. Also, this work describes the effects of SC-CO2 in combination with silylating agents used to functionalize the damaged surface of the ash-damaged MSQ films. Ashed MSQ films exhibit increased water adsorption and dielectric constants due to the carbon depletion and modification of the properties of the low-k material caused by interaction with plasma species. CO2 is widely used as a supercritical solvent, because of its easily accessible critical point, low cost, and non-hazardous nature. Its unique diffusion and surface tension properties make SC-CO2 a good candidate for treatment of porous ultra low-k materials. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5570/
Growth, Structure and Tribological Properties of Atomic Layer Deposited Lubricious Oxide Nanolaminates
Friction and wear mitigation is typically accomplished by introducing a shear accommodating layer (e.g., a thin film of liquid) between surfaces in sliding and/or rolling contacts. When the operating conditions are beyond the liquid realm, attention turns to solid coatings. Solid lubricants have been widely used in governmental and industrial applications for mitigation of wear and friction (tribological properties). Conventional examples of solid lubricants are MoS2, WS2, h-BN, and graphite; however, these and some others mostly perform best only for a limited range of operating conditions, e.g. ambient air versus dry nitrogen and room temperature versus high temperatures. Conversely, lubricious oxides have been studied lately as good potential candidates for solid lubricants because they are thermodynamically stable and environmentally robust. Oxide surfaces are generally inert and typically do not form strong adhesive bonds like metals/alloys in tribological contacts. Typical of these oxides is ZnO. The interest in ZnO is due to its potential for utility in a variety of applications. To this end, nanolaminates of ZnO, Al2O3, ZrO2 thin films have been deposited at varying sequences and thicknesses on silicon substrates and high temperature (M50) bearing steels by atomic layer deposition (ALD). The top lubricious, nanocrystalline ZnO layer was structurally-engineered to achieve low surface energy {0002}-orientated grain that provided low sliding friction coefficients (0.2 to 0.3), wear factors (range of 10-7 to 10-8 mm3/Nm) and good rolling contact fatigue resistance. The Al2O3 was intentionally made amorphous to achieve the {0002} preferred orientation while {101}-orientated tetragonal ZrO2 acted as a high toughness/load bearing layer. It was determined that the ZnO defective structure (oxygen sub-stoichiometric with growth stacking faults) aided in shear accommodation by re-orientating the nanocrystalline grains where they realigned to create new friction-reducing surfaces. Specifically, high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) inside the wear surfaces revealed in an increase in both partial dislocation and basal stacking fault densities through intrafilm shear/slip of partial dislocations on the (0002) planes via a dislocation glide mechanism. This shear accommodation mode mitigated friction and prevented brittle fracture classically observed in higher friction microcrystalline and single crystal ZnO that has potential broad implications to other defective nanocrystalline ceramics. Overall, this work has demonstrated that environmentally-robust, lubricious ALD nanolaminates of ZnO/Al2O3/ZrO2 are good candidates for providing low friction and wear interfaces in moving mechanical assembles, such as fully assembled rolling element bearings and microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) that require thin (~10-200 nm), uniform and conformal films. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33186/
Hydrophobic, fluorinated silica xerogel for low-k applications.
A new hydrophobic hybrid silica film was synthesized by introducing one silicon precursor (as modifiers) into another precursor (network former). Hybrid films have improved properties. Hydrolysis and condensation of dimethyldiethoxysilane (DMDES) (solvent (EtOH) to DMDES molar ratio R = 4, water to DMDES molar ratio r = 4, 0.01 N HCl catalyst) was analyzed using high-resolution liquid 29Si NMR. It was found that after several hours, DMDES hydrolyzed and condensed into linear and cyclic species. Films from triethoxyfluorosilane (TEFS) have been shown to be promising interlayer dielectric materials for future integrated circuit applications due to their low dielectric constant and high mechanical properties (i.e., Young's modulus (E) and hardness (H)). Co-condensing with TEFS, linear structures from DMDES hydrolysis and condensation reactions rendered hybrid films hydrophobic, and cyclic structures induced the formation of pores. Hydrophobicity characterized by contact angle, thermal stability by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), Fourier transform Infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), contact angle, and dynamic secondary ion mass spectroscopy (DSIMS), dielectric constant determined by impedance measurement, and mechanical properties (E and H) determined by nanoindentation of TEFS and TEFS + DMDES films were compared to study the effect of DMDES on the TEFS structure. Hybrid films were more hydrophobic and thermally stable. DMDES incorporation affected the dielectric constant, but showed little enhancement of mechanical properties. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4472/
The Influence of Ohmic Metals and Oxide Deposition on the Structure and Electrical Properties of Multilayer Epitaxial Graphene on Silicon Carbide Substrates
Graphene has attracted significant research attention for next generation of semiconductor devices due to its high electron mobility and compatibility with planar semiconductor processing. In this dissertation, the influences of Ohmic metals and high dielectric (high-k) constant aluminum oxide (Al2O3) deposition on the structural and electrical properties of multi-layer epitaxial graphene (MLG) grown by graphitization of silicon carbide (SiC) substrates have been investigated. Uniform MLG was successfully grown by sublimation of silicon from epitaxy-ready, Si and C terminated, 6H-SiC wafers in high-vacuum and argon atmosphere. The graphene formation was accompanied by a significant enhancement of Ohmic behavior, and, was found to be sensitive to the temperature ramp-up rate and annealing time. High-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) showed that the interface between the metal and SiC remained sharp and free of macroscopic defects even after 30 min, 1430 °C anneals. The impact of high dielectric constant Al2O3 and its deposition by radio frequency (RF) magnetron sputtering on the structural and electrical properties of MLG is discussed. HRTEM analysis confirms that the Al2O3/MLG interface is relatively sharp and that thickness approximation of the MLG using angle resolved X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (ARXPS) as well as variable-angle spectroscopic ellipsometry (VASE) is accurate. The totality of results indicate that ARXPS can be used as a nondestructive tool to measure the thickness of MLG, and that RF sputtered Al2O3 can be used as a (high-k) constant gate oxide in multilayer grapheme based transistor applications. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc68009/
Long Term Property Prediction of Polyethylene Nanocomposites
The amorphous fraction of semicrystalline polymers has long been thought to be a significant contributor to creep deformation. In polyethylene (PE) nanocomposites, the semicrystalline nature of the maleated PE compatibilizer leads to a limited ability to separate the role of the PE in the nanocomposite properties. This dissertation investigates blown films of linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) and its nanocomposites with montmorillonite-layered silicate (MLS). Addition of an amorphous ethylene propylene copolymer grafted maleic anhydride (amEP) was utilized to enhance the interaction between the PE and the MLS. The amorphous nature of the compatibilizer was used to differentiate the effect of the different components of the nanocomposites; namely the matrix, the filler, and the compatibilizer on the overall properties. Tensile test results of the nanocomposites indicate that the addition of amEP and MLS separately and together produces a synergistic effect on the mechanical properties of the neat PE Thermal transitions were analyzed using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) to determine if the observed improvement in mechanical properties is related to changes in crystallinity. The effect of dispersion of the MLS in the matrix was investigated by using a combination of X-ray Diffraction (XRD) and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). Mechanical measurements were correlated to the dispersion of the layered silicate particles in the matrix. The nonlinear time dependent creep of the material was analyzed by examining creep and recovery of the films with a Burger model and the Kohlrausch-Williams-Watts (KWW) relation. The effect of stress on the nonlinear behavior of the nanocomposites was investigated by analyzing creep-recovery at different stress levels. Stress-related creep constants and shift factors were determined for the material by using the Schapery nonlinear viscoelastic equation at room temperature. The effect of temperature on the tensile and creep properties of the nanocomposites was analyzed by examining tensile and creep-recovery behavior of the films at temperatures in the range of 25 to -100 oC. Within the measured temperature range, the materials showed a nonlinear temperature dependent response. The time-temperature superposition principle was successfully used to predict the long term behavior of LLDPE nanocomposites. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc9738/
Low Temperature Polymeric Precursor Derived Zinc Oxide Thin Films
Zinc oxide (ZnO) is a versatile environmentally benign II-VI direct wide band gap semiconductor with several technologically plausible applications such as transparent conducting oxide in flat panel and flexible displays. Hence, ZnO thin films have to be processed below the glass transition temperatures of polymeric substrates used in flexible displays. ZnO thin films were synthesized via aqueous polymeric precursor process by different metallic salt routes using ethylene glycol, glycerol, citric acid, and ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid (EDTA) as chelating agents. ZnO thin films, derived from ethylene glycol based polymeric precursor, exhibit flower-like morphology whereas thin films derived of other precursors illustrate crack free nanocrystalline films. ZnO thin films on sapphire substrates show an increase in preferential orientation along the (002) plane with increase in annealing temperature. The polymeric precursors have also been used in fabricating maskless patterned ZnO thin films in a single step using the commercial Maskless Mesoscale Materials Deposition system. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5504/
Measurement of Lattice Strain and Relaxation Effects in Strained Silicon Using X-ray Diffraction and Convergent Beam Electron Diffraction
The semiconductor industry has decreased silicon-based device feature sizes dramatically over the last two decades for improved performance. However, current technology has approached the limit of achievable enhancement via this method. Therefore, other techniques, including introducing stress into the silicon structure, are being used to further advance device performance. While these methods produce successful results, there is not a proven reliable method for stress and strain measurements on the nanometer scale characteristic of these devices. The ability to correlate local strain values with processing parameters and device performance would allow for more rapid improvements and better process control. In this research, x-ray diffraction and convergent beam electron diffraction have been utilized to quantify the strain behavior of simple and complex strained silicon-based systems. While the stress relaxation caused by thinning of the strained structures to electron transparency complicates these measurements, it has been quantified and shows reasonable agreement with expected values. The relaxation values have been incorporated into the strain determination from relative shifts in the higher order Laue zone lines visible in convergent beam electron diffraction patterns. The local strain values determined using three incident electron beam directions with different degrees of tilt relative to the device structure have been compared and exhibit excellent agreement. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3978/
Mechanical behavior and performance of injection molded semi-crystalline polymers.
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I have used computer simulations to investigate the behavior of polymeric materials at the molecular level. The simulations were performed using the molecular dynamics method with Lennard-Jones potentials defining the interactions between particles in the system. Significant effort was put into the creation of realistic materials on the computer. For this purpose, an algorithm was developed based on the step-wise polymerization process. The resulting computer-generated materials (CGMs) exhibit several features of real materials, such as molecular weight distribution and presence of chain entanglements. The effect of the addition of a liquid crystalline (LC) phase to the flexible matrix was also studied. The concentration and distribution of the second phase (2P) were found to influence the mechanical and tribological properties of the CGMs. The size of the 2P agglomerates was found to have negligible influence on the properties within the studied range. Moreover, although the 2P reinforcement increases the modulus, it favors crack formation and propagation. Regions of high LC concentration exhibit high probability of becoming part of the crack propagation path. Simulations of the tensile deformation under a uniaxial force have shown that the molecular deformation mechanisms developing in the material depend on several variables, such as the magnitude of the force, the force increase rate, and the level of orientation of the chains. Three-dimensional (3D) graphical visualization tools were developed for representation and analysis of the simulation results. These also present interesting educational possibilities. Computer simulations provide us information which is inaccessible experimentally. From the concomitant use of simulations and experiments, a better understanding of the molecular phenomena that take place during deformation of polymers has been established. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5528/
Mechanisms of Ordered Gamma Prime Precipitation in Nickel Base Superalloys
Commercial superalloys like Rene88DT are used in high temperature applications like turbine disk in aircraft jet engines due to their excellent high temperature properties, including strength, ductility, improved fracture toughness, fatigue resistance, enhanced creep and oxidation resistance. Typically this alloy's microstructure has L12-ordered precipitates dispersed in disordered face-centered cubic γ matrix. A typical industrially relevant heat-treatment often leads to the formation of multiple size ranges of γ¢ precipitates presumably arising from multiple nucleation bursts during the continuous cooling process. The morphology and distribution of these γ′ precipitates inside γ matrix influences the mechanical properties of these materials. Therefore, the study of thermodynamic and kinetic factors influencing the evolution of these precipitates and subsequent effects is both relevant for commercial applications as well as for a fundamental understanding of the underlying phase transformations. The present research is primarily focused on understanding the mechanism of formation of different generations of γ′ precipitates during continuous cooling by coupling scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy filtered TEM and atom probe tomography (APT). In addition, the phase transformations leading to nucleation of γ′ phase has been a topic of controversy for decades. The present work, for the first time, gives a novel insight into the mechanism of order-disorder transformations and associated phase separation processes at atomistic length scales, by coupling high angle annular dark field (HAADF) - STEM imaging and APT. The results indicate that multiple competing mechanisms can operate during a single continuous cooling process leading to different generations of γ′ including a non-classical mechanism, operative at large undercoolings. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc67949/
Mist and Microstructure Characterization in End Milling Aisi 1018 Steel Using Microlubrication
Flood cooling is primarily used to cool and lubricate the cutting tool and workpiece interface during a machining process. But the adverse health effects caused by the use of flood coolants are drawing manufacturers' attention to develop methods for controlling occupational exposure to cutting fluids. Microlubrication serves as an alternative to flood cooling by reducing the volume of cutting fluid used in the machining process. Microlubrication minimizes the exposure of metal working fluids to the machining operators leading to an economical, safer and healthy workplace environment. In this dissertation, a vegetable based lubricant is used to conduct mist, microstructure and wear analyses during end milling AISI 1018 steel using microlubrication. A two-flute solid carbide cutting tool was used with varying cutting speed and feed rate levels with a constant depth of cut. A full factorial experiment with Multivariate Analysis of Variance (MANOVA) was conducted and regression models were generated along with parameter optimization for the flank wear, aerosol mass concentration and the aerosol particle size. MANOVA indicated that the speed and feed variables main effects are significant, but the interaction of (speed*feed) was not significant at 95% confidence level. The model was able to predict 69.44%, 68.06% and 42.90% of the variation in the data for both the flank wear side 1 and 2 and aerosol mass concentration, respectively. An adequate signal-to-noise precision ratio more than 4 was obtained for the models, indicating adequate signal to use the model as a predictor for both the flank wear sides and aerosol mass concentration. The highest average mass concentration of 8.32 mg/m3 was realized using cutting speed of 80 Surface feet per minute (SFM) and a feed rate of 0.003 Inches per tooth (IPT). The lowest average mass concentration of 5.91 mg/m3 was realized using treatment 120 SFM and 0.005 IPT. The cutting performance under microlubrication is five times better in terms of tool life and two times better in terms of materials removal volume under low cutting speed and feed rate combination as compared to high cutting speed and feed rate combination. Abrasion was the dominant wear mechanism for all the cutting tools under consideration. Other than abrasion, sliding adhesive wear of the workpiece materials was also observed. The scanning electron microscope investigation of the used cutting tools revealed micro-fatigue cracks, welded micro-chips and unusual built-up edges on the cutting tools flank and rake side. Higher tool life was observed in the lowest cutting speed and feed rate combination. Transmission electron microscopy analysis at failure for the treatment 120 SFM and 0.005 IPT helped to quantify the dislocation densities. Electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) identified 4 to 8 µm grain size growth on the machined surface due to residual stresses that are the driving force for the grain boundaries motion to reduce its overall energy resulting in the slight grain growth. EBSD also showed that (001) textured ferrite grains before machining exhibited randomly orientated grains after machining. The study shows that with a proper selection of the cutting parameters, it is possible to obtain higher tool life in end milling under microlubrication. But more scientific studies are needed to lower the mass concentration of the aerosol particles, below the recommended value of 5 mg/m3 established by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc283858/
Phase Separation and Second Phase Precipitation in Beta Titanium Alloys
The current understanding of the atomic scale phenomenon associated with the influence of beta phase instabilities on the evolution of microstructure in titanium alloys is limited due to their complex nature. Such beta phase instabilities include phase separation and precipitation of nano-scale omega and alpha phases in the beta matrix. The initial part of the present study focuses on omega precipitation within the beta matrix of model binary titanium molybdenum (Ti-Mo) alloys. Direct atomic scale observation of pre-transition omega-like embryos in quenched alloys, using aberration-corrected high resolution scanning transmission electron microscopy and atom probe tomography (APT) was compared and contrasted with the results of first principles computations performed using the Vienna ab initio simulation package (VASP) to present a novel mechanism of these special class of phase transformation. Thereafter the beta phase separation and subsequent alpha phase nucleation in a Ti-Mo-Al ternary alloy was investigated by coupling in-situ high energy synchrotron x-ray diffraction with ex-situ characterization studies performed using aberration corrected transmission electron microscopy and APT to develop a deeper understanding of the mechanism of transformation. Subsequently the formation of the omega phase in the presence of simultaneous development of compositional phase separation within the beta matrix phase of a Ti-10V-6Cu (wt%) alloy during continuous cooling has been investigated using a combination of transmission electron microscopy and atom probe tomography. The results of these investigations provided novel insights into the mechanisms of solid-state transformations in metallic systems by capturing the earliest stages of nucleation at atomic to near atomic spatial and compositional resolution. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc67975/
Processing, structure property relationships in polymer layer double hydroxide multifunctional nanocomposites
Dan Beaty (1937-2002) was a prolific composer, pianist, researcher, educator, and writer. His large compositional output included chamber works, choral works, songs, orchestral pieces, electronic music, and keyboard works. Beaty was well versed in traditional Western music as well as the more avant-garde and perplexing idioms of the twentieth century. Beaty's compositions reflect the many fascinating, if not always popular, musical trends of his time. His music encompasses styles from serial to jazz, shows compositional influences from Arnold Schoenberg to Indonesian music, and demonstrates thought-provoking and highly intellectual craftsmanship. This document explores several of Beaty's songs through a discussion of the composer's life and compositional process. Songs included in this document are Three Weeks Songs, October, November, A Sappho Lyric, Love Song, That Night When Joy Began, and War Lyrics. This document was written to accompany the author's DMA Lecture-Recital at the University of North Texas. Unfortunately, Beaty's vocal music was never published and is mostly unknown. One goal of the project was to initiate interest in Beaty's songs. Through this document, Lecture-Recital, and additional performances, considerable strides have been made to bring Beaty's songs to new audiences throughout the United States. In addition, the author has received permission from the Beaty family to publish Dan Beaty's songs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc12174/
Stimuli-responsive microgels for self-assembled crystalline structures and controlled drug release.
Tissue response to PNIPAM and HPC nanoparticles has been studied by implantation method. The results suggest that both PNIAPM and HPC nanoparticles possess good biocompatibility and they may serve as a good carrier for the applications of controlled delivery. Rheological properties of dispersions of IPN microgels composed of PNIPAM and PAAc have been studied. It is found that the IPN microgel dispersion can undergo a sol-gel transition at temperature above 33°C. In vivo drug release experiments suggest that the gelation procedure creates a diffusion barrier and thus leads to slow release. An emulsion method has been used to grow columnar crystals by mixing PNIPAM microgel dispersions with organic solvents. Effect of both temperature and microgel concentration on formation of columnar crystals has been studied. PNIPAM-co-NMA microgels have been used for the fabrication of crystalline hydrogel films by self-crosslinking microgels. The hydrogel film exhibits an iridescent. The thermally responsive properties and mechanical properties of this film have been studied. Melting temperature (Tm) of colloidal crystals self-assembled with PNIPAM-co-AAc microgels has been investigated as a function of pH, salt concentration and microgel concentration. It is revealed that Tm increases as pH value increases; Tm decreases with increase of salt concentration; Tm increases as microgel concentration increases. Phase behavior of PNIPAM-co-HEAc microgel dispersions has been investigated. It is observed that these microgel dispersions exhibit liquid, crystal, and glass phase. As microgel size increases, crystal phase shifts to low concentration range. As temperature increases, crystal phase shifts to high concentration ranges. These colloidal crystals can be stabilized by NaOH-induced gelation. Effect of NaOH concentration on formation of physical gelation has been investigated. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc11001/
Structure and Low-temperature Tribology of Lubricious Nanocrystalline ZnO/Al2O3 Nanolaminates and ZrO2 Monofilms Grown by Atomic Layer Deposition
Currently available solid lubricants only perform well under a limited range of environmental conditions. Unlike them, oxides are thermodynamically stable and relatively inert over a broad range of temperatures and environments. However, conventional oxides are brittle at normal temperatures; exhibiting significant plasticity only at high temperatures (>0.5Tmelting). This prevents oxides' use in tribological applications at low temperatures. If oxides can be made lubricious at low temperatures, they would be excellent solid lubricants for a wide range of conditions. Atomic layer deposition (ALD) is a growth technique capable of depositing highly uniform and conformal films in challenging applications that have buried surfaces and high-aspect-ratio features such as microelectromechanical (MEMS) devices where the need for robust solid lubricants is sometimes necessary. This dissertation investigates the surface and subsurface characteristics of ALD-grown ZnO/Al2O3 nanolaminates and ZrO2 monofilms before and after sliding at room temperature. Significant enhancement in friction and wear performance was observed for some films. HRSEM/FIB, HRTEM and ancillary techniques (i.e. SAED, EELS) were used to determine the mechanisms responsible for this enhancement. Contributory characteristics and energy dissipation modes were identified that promote low-temperature lubricity in both material systems. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc9741/
Synthesis and Characterization of Crystalline Assemblies of Functionalized Hydrogel Nanoparticles
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Two series monodispersed nanoparticles of hydroxylpropyl cellulose (HPC) and functionalized poly-N-isopropylamide (PNIPAM) particles have been synthesized and used as building blocks for creating three-dimensional networks, with two levels of structural hierarchy. The first level is HPC nanoparticles were made from methacrylated or degradable cross-linker attached HPC. These nanoparticles could be stabilized at room temperature by residual methacrylate or degradable groups are present both within and on the exterior of HPC nanoparticles. Controlled release studies have been performed on the particle and networks .The nearly monodispersed nanoparticles have been synthesized on the basis of a natural polymer of hydropropylcellulose (HPC) with a high molecular weight using the precipitation polymerization method and self-assembly of these particles in water results in bright colors. The HPC nanoparticles can be potential using as crosslinkers to increase the hydrogels mechanical properties, such as high transparency and rapid swelling/de-swelling kinetics. The central idea is to prepare colloidal particles containing C=C bonds and to use them as monomers - vinylparticles, to form stable particle assemblies with various architectures. This is accomplished by mixing an aqueous suspension of hydrogel nanoparticles (PNIPAM-co-allylamine) with the organic solvent (dichloromethane) to grow columnar crystals. The hydrogels with such a unique crystal structure behavior not only like the hydrogel opals, but also have a unique property: anisotropy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4976/
Synthesis and characterization of crystalline assembly of poly Nisopropylacry-lamide)-co-acrylic acid nanoparticles.
In this study, crystalline poly(N-isopropylacrylamide-co-acrylic acid) (PNIPAm-co-AAc) nanoparticle network in organic solvents was obtained by self assembling precursor particles in acetone/epichlorohydrin mixture at room temperature followed by inter-sphere crosslinking at ~98 °C. The crystals thus formed can endure solvent exchanges or large distortions under a temporary compressing force with the reoccurrence of crystalline structures. In acetone, the crystals were stable, independent of temperature, while in water crystals could change their colors upon heating or changing pH values. By passing a focused white light beam through the crystals, different colors were displayed at different observation angles, indicating typical Bragg diffraction. Shear moduli of the gel nanoparticle crystals were measured in the linear stress-yield ranges for the same gel crystals in both acetone and water. Syntheses of particles of different sizes and the relationship between particle size and the color of the gel nanoparticle networks at a constant solid content were also presented. Temperature- and pH- sensitive crystalline PNIPAm-co-AAc hydrogel was prepared using osmosis crosslinking method. Not only the typical Bragg diffraction phenomenon was observed for the hydrogel but also apparent temperature- and pH- sensitive properties were performed. The phase behavior of PNIPAm nanoparticles dispersed in water was also investigated using a thermodynamic perturbation theory combined with lightscattering and spectrometer measurements. It was shown how the volume transition of PNIPAM particles affected the interaction potential and determined a novel phase diagram that had not been observed in conventional colloids. Because both particle size and attractive potential depended on temperature, PNIPAM aqueous dispersion exhibited phase transitions at a fixed particle number density by either increasing or decreasing temperature. The phase transition of PNIPAm-co-AAc colloids was also studied. The results from the comparison between pure PNIPAm and charged PNIPAm colloids showed that the introducing of carboxyl (-COOH) group not only contributed to the synthesis of three-dimensional nanoparticle network but also effectively increased the crystallization temperature and concentration range. The phase transitions at both low and high temperatures were observed from the turbidity change by using UV-Vis spectrometer. Centrifugal vibration method was used to make crystalline PNIPAm-co-AAc dispersion at high concentration (8%). The turbidity test proved the formation of iridescent pattern. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4671/
Thermophysical, Interfacial and Decomposition Analyses of Polyhydroxyalkanoates introduced against Organic and Inorganic Surfaces
The development of a "cradle-to-cradle" mindset with both material performance during utilization and end of life disposal is a critical need for both ecological and economic considerations. The main limitation to the use of the biopolymers is their mechanical properties. Reinforcements are therefore a good alternative but disposal concerns then arise. Thus the objective of this dissertation is to investigate a biopolymer nanocomposite where the filler is a synthetically prepared layer double hydroxide (inorganic interface); and a biopolymer paper (organic interface) based coating or laminate. The underlying issues driving performance are the packing density of the biopolymer and the interaction with the reinforcement. Since the polyhydroxyalkanoates or PHAs (the biopolymers used for the manufacture of the nanocomposites and coatings) are semicrystalline materials, the glass transition was investigated using dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) and dielectric spectroscopy (DES), whereas the melt crystallization, cold crystallization and melting points were investigated using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy was used to estimate crystallinity in the coated material given the low thermal mass of the PHA in the PHA coating. The significant enhancement of the crystallization rate in the PHA nanocomposite was probed using DSC and polarized optical microscopy (POM) and analyzed using Avrami and Lauritzen-Hoffman models. Both composites showed a significant improvement in the mechanical performance obtained by DMA, tensile and impact testing. The degradation and decomposition of the two composites were investigated in low microbial activity soil for the cellulose paper (to slow down the degradation rate that occurs in compost) and in compost. An in-house system according to the American Society for Testing and Materials ASTM D-98 (2003) was engineered. Soil decomposition showed that PHA coating into and onto the cellulose paper can be considered to be a useful method for the assessment of the degradability of the biopolymer. PHA nanocomposite showed enhanced compostability. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc12111/
Trapping of hydrogen in Hf-based high κ dielectric thin films for advanced CMOS applications.
In recent years, advanced high κ gate dielectrics are under serious consideration to replace SiO2 and SiON in semiconductor industry. Hafnium-based dielectrics such as hafnium oxides, oxynitrides and Hf-based silicates/nitrided silicates are emerging as some of the most promising alternatives to SiO2/SiON gate dielectrics in complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) devices. Extensive efforts have been taken to understand the effects of hydrogen impurities in semiconductors and its behavior such as incorporation, diffusion, trapping and release with the aim of controlling and using it to optimize the performance of electronic device structures. In this dissertation, a systematic study of hydrogen trapping and the role of carbon impurities in various alternate gate dielectric candidates, HfO2/Si, HfxSi1-xO2/Si, HfON/Si and HfON(C)/Si is presented. It has been shown that processing of high κ dielectrics may lead to some crystallization issues. Rutherford backscattering spectroscopy (RBS) for measuring oxygen deficiencies, elastic recoil detection analysis (ERDA) for quantifying hydrogen and nuclear reaction analysis (NRA) for quantifying carbon, X-ray diffraction (XRD) for measuring degree of crystallinity and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) were used to characterize these thin dielectric materials. ERDA data are used to characterize the evolution of hydrogen during annealing in hydrogen ambient in combination with preprocessing in oxygen and nitrogen. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5114/
Tribological Improvements of Carbon-Carbon Composites by Infiltration of Atomic Layer Deposited Lubricious Nanostructured Ceramic Oxides
A number of investigators have reported enhancement in oxidation and wear resistant of carbon-carbon composites (CCC) in the presence of protective coating layers. However, application of a surface and subsurface coating system that can preserve its oxidation and wear resistance along with maintaining lubricity at high temperature remains unsolved. To this end, thermodynamically stable protective oxides (ZnO/Al2O3/ZrO2) have been deposited by atomic layer deposition (ALD) to infiltrate porous CCC and graphite foams in order to improve the thermal stability and wear resistance in low and high speed sliding contacts. Characterization of microstructural evolution was achieved by using energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDS) mapping in scanning electron microscope (SEM) coupled with focused ion beam (FIB), x-ray tomography, high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM), scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD). Evaluation of the tribological properties of CCC coated with abovementioned ALD thin films were performed by employing low speed pure sliding tribometer and a high speed/frequency reciprocating rig to simulate the fretting wear behavior at ambient temperature and elevated temperatures of 400°C.It was determined with x-ray tomography imaging and EDS mapping that ALD ZnO/Al2O3/ZrO2 nanolaminates and baseline ZrO2 coatings exhibited excellent conformality and pore-filling capabilities down to ~100 μm and 1.5 mm in the porous CCC and graphite foam, respectively, which were dependent on the exposure time of the ALD precursors. XRD and HRTEM determined the crystalline phases of {0002} textured ZnO (wurtzite), amorphous Al2O3, and {101}-tetragonal ZrO2. Significant improvements up to ~65% in the sliding and fretting wear factors were determined for the nanolaminates in comparison to the uncoated CCC. A tribochemical sliding-induced mechanically mixed layer (MML) was found to be responsible for these improvements. HRTEM confirmed the presence of a high density of ZnO shear-induced basal stacking faults inside the wear tracks responsible for intrafilm shear velocity accommodation that mitigated friction and wear. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84254/