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 Department: Department of Materials Science and Engineering
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
Advanced Technology for Source Drain Resistance Reduction in Nanoscale FinFETs
Dual gate MOSFET structures such as FinFETs are widely regarded as the most promising option for continued scaling of silicon based transistors after 2010. This work examines key process modules that enable reduction of both device area and fin width beyond requirements for the 16nm node. Because aggressively scaled FinFET structures suffer significantly degraded device performance due to large source/drain series resistance (RS/D), several methods to mitigate RS/D such as maximizing contact area, silicide engineering, and epitaxially raised S/D have been evaluated.
Amorphization and De-vitrification in Immiscible Copper-Niobium Alloy Thin Films
While amorphous phases have been reported in immiscible alloy systems, there is still some controversy regarding the reason for the stabilization of these unusual amorphous phases. Direct evidence of nanoscale phase separation within the amorphous phase forming in immiscible Cu-Nb alloy thin films using 3D atom probe tomography has been presented. This evidence clearly indicates that the nanoscale phase separation is responsible for the stabilization of the amorphous phase in such immiscible systems since it substantially reduces the free energy of the undercooled liquid (or amorphous) phase, below that of the competing supersaturated crystalline phases. The devitrification of the immiscible Cu-Nb thin film of composition Cu-45% Nb has been studied in detail with the discussion on the mechanism of phase transformation. The initial phase separation in the amorphous condition seems to play a vital role in the crystallization of the thin film. Detailed analysis has been done using X-ray diffraction, transmission electron microscopy and 3D atom probe tomography.
Atomistic Computer Simulations of Diffusion Mechanisms in Lithium Lanthanum Titanate Solid State Electrolytes for Lithium Ion Batteries
Solid state lithium ion electrolytes are important to the development of next generation safer and high power density lithium ion batteries. Perovskite-structured LLT is a promising solid electrolyte with high lithium ion conductivity. LLT also serves as a good model system to understand lithium ion diffusion behaviors in solids. In this thesis, molecular dynamics and related atomistic computer simulations were used to study the diffusion behavior and diffusion mechanism in bulk crystal and grain boundary in lithium lanthanum titanate (LLT) solid state electrolytes. The effects of defect concentration on the structure and lithium ion diffusion behaviors in LLT were systematically studied and the lithium ion self-diffusion and diffusion energy barrier were investigated by both dynamic simulations and static calculations using the nudged elastic band (NEB) method. The simulation results show that there exist an optimal vacancy concentration at around x=0.067 at which lithium ions have the highest diffusion coefficient and the lowest diffusion energy barrier. The lowest energy barrier from dynamics simulations was found to be around 0.22 eV, which compared favorably with 0.19 eV from static NEB calculations. It was also found that lithium ions diffuse through bottleneck structures made of oxygen ions, which expand in dimension by 8-10% when lithium ions pass through. By designing perovskite structures with large bottleneck sizes can lead to materials with higher lithium ion conductivities. The structure and diffusion behavior of lithium silicate glasses and their interfaces, due to their importance as a grain boundary phase, with LLT crystals were also investigated by using molecular dynamics simulations. The short and medium range structures of the lithium silicate glasses were characterized and the ceramic/glass interface models were obtained using MD simulations. Lithium ion diffusion behaviors in the glass and across the glass/ceramic interfaces were investigated. It was found that there existed a minor segregation of lithium ions at the glass/crystal interface. Lithium ion diffusion energy barrier at the interface was found to be dominated by the glass phase.
Atomistic Studies of Point Defect Migration Rates in the Iron-Chromium System
Generation and migration of helium and other point defects under irradiation causes ferritic steels based on the Fe-Cr system to age and fail. This is motivation to study point defect migration and the He equation of state using atomistic simulations due to the steels' use in future reactors. A new potential for the Fe-Cr-He system developed by collaborators at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory was validated using published experimental data. The results for the He equation of state agree well with experimental data. The activation energies for the migration of He- and Fe-interstitials in varying compositions of Fe-Cr lattices agree well with prior work. This research did not find a strong correlation between lattice ordering and interstitial migration energy
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.
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.
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.
Bioresorbable Polymer Blend Scaffold for Tissue Engineering
Tissue engineering merges the disciplines of study like cell biology, materials science, engineering and surgery to enable growth of new living tissues on scaffolding constructed from implanted polymeric materials. One of the most important aspects of tissue engineering related to material science is design of the polymer scaffolds. The polymer scaffolds needs to have some specific mechanical strength over certain period of time. In this work bioresorbable aliphatic polymers (PCL and PLLA) were blended using extrusion and solution methods. These blends were then extruded and electrospun into fibers. The fibers were then subjected to FDA standard in vitro immersion degradation tests where its mechanical strength, water absorption, weight loss were observed during the eight weeks. The results indicate that the mechanical strength and rate of degradation can be tailored by changing the ratio of PCL and PLLA in the blend. Processing influences these parameters, with the loss of mechanical strength and rate of degradation being higher in electrospun fibers compared to those extruded. A second effort in this thesis addressed the potential separation of the scaffold from the tissue (loss of apposition) due to the differences in their low strain responses. This hypothesis that using knit with low tension will have better compliance was tested and confirmed.
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.
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.
Characterization of Cure Kinetics and Physical Properties of a High Performance, Glass Fiber-Reinforced Epoxy Prepreg and a Novel Fluorine-Modified, Amine-Cured Commercial Epoxy.
Kinetic equation parameters for the curing reaction of a commercial glass fiber reinforced high performance epoxy prepreg composed of the tetrafunctional epoxy tetraglycidyl 4,4-diaminodiphenyl methane (TGDDM), the tetrafunctional amine curing agent 4,4'-diaminodiphenylsulfone (DDS) and an ionic initiator/accelerator, are determined by various thermal analysis techniques and the results compared. The reaction is monitored by heat generated determined by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and by high speed DSC when the reaction rate is high. The changes in physical properties indicating increasing conversion are followed by shifts in glass transition temperature determined by DSC, temperature-modulated DSC (TMDSC), step scan DSC and high speed DSC, thermomechanical (TMA) and dynamic mechanical (DMA) analysis and thermally stimulated depolarization (TSD). Changes in viscosity, also indicative of degree of conversion, are monitored by DMA. Thermal stability as a function of degree of cure is monitored by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). The parameters of the general kinetic equations, including activation energy and rate constant, are explained and used to compare results of various techniques. The utilities of the kinetic descriptions are demonstrated in the construction of a useful time-temperature-transformation (TTT) diagram and a continuous heating transformation (CHT) diagram for rapid determination of processing parameters in the processing of prepregs. Shrinkage due to both resin consolidation and fiber rearrangement is measured as the linear expansion of the piston on a quartz dilatometry cell using TMA. The shrinkage of prepregs was determined to depend on the curing temperature, pressure applied and the fiber orientation. Chemical modification of an epoxy was done by mixing a fluorinated aromatic amine (aniline) with a standard aliphatic amine as a curing agent for a commercial Diglycidylether of Bisphenol-A (DGEBA) epoxy. The resulting cured network was tested for wear resistance using tribological techniques. Of the six anilines, 3-fluoroaniline and 4-fluoroaniline were determined to have lower wear than the unmodified epoxy, while the others showed much higher wear rates.
Charge Interaction Effects in Epoxy with Cation Exchanged Montmorillonite Clay and Carbon Nanotubes.
The influence of charge heterogeneity in nanoparticles such as montmorillonite layered silicates (MLS) and hybrid systems of MLS + carbon nanotubes was investigated in cured and uncured epoxy. Epoxy nanocomposites made with cation-exchanged montmorillonite clay were found to form agglomerates near a critical concentration. Using differential scanning calorimetry it was determined that the mixing temperature of the epoxy + MLS mixture prior to the addition of the curing agent critically influenced the formation of the agglomerate. Cured epoxy samples showed evidence of the agglomerate being residual charge driven by maxima and minima in the concentration profiles of thermal conductivity and dielectric permittivity respectively. A hybrid nanocomposite of MLS and aniline functionalized multi walled nanotubes indicated no agglomerates. The influence of environmentally and process driven properties on the nanocomposites was investigated by examination of moisture, ultrasound, microwaves and mechanical fatigue on the properties of the hybrid systems. The results point to the importance of charge screening by adsorbed or reacted water and on nanoparticulates.
Comparative Coarsening Kinetics of Gamma Prime Precipitates in Nickel and Cobalt Base Superalloys
The increasing technological need to push service conditions of structural materials to higher temperatures has motivated the development of several alloy systems. Among them, superalloys are an excellent candidate for high temperature applications because of their ability to form coherent ordered precipitates, which enable the retention of high strength close to their melting temperature. The accelerated kinetics of solute diffusion, with or without an added component of mechanical stress, leads to coarsening of the precipitates, and results in microstructural degradation, limiting the durability of the materials. Hence, the coarsening of precipitates has been a classical research problem for these alloys in service. The prolonged hunt for an alternative of nickel base superalloys with superior traits has gained hope after the recent discovery of Co-Al-W based alloys, which readily form high temperature g precipitates, similar to Ni base superalloys. In the present study, coarsening behavior of g precipitates in Co-10Al-10W (at. %) has been carried out at 800°C and 900°C. This study has, for the first time, obtained critical coarsening parameters in cobalt-base alloys. Apart from this, it has incorporated atomic scale compositional information across the g/g interfaces into classical Cahn-Hilliard model for a better model of coarsening kinetics. The coarsening study of g precipitates in Ni-14Al-7 Cr (at. %) has shown the importance of temporal evolution of the compositional width of the g/g interfaces to the coarsening kinetics of g precipitates. This study has introduced a novel, reproducible characterization method of crystallographic study of ordered phase by coupling of orientation microscopy with atom probe tomography (APT). Along with the detailed analysis of field evaporation behaviors of Ni and Co superalloys in APT, the present study determines the site occupancy of various solutes within ordered g precipitates in both Ni and Co superalloys. This study has explained the role of structural and compositional gradients across the precipitates (g)/matrix (g) interfaces on the coarsening behavior of coherent precipitates in both Ni and Co-base superalloys. The observation of two interfacial widths, one corresponding to a structural order-disorder transition, and the other to the compositional transition across the interface, raises fundamental questions regarding the definition of the interfacial width in such systems. The comparative interface analysis in Co and Ni superalloy shows significant differences, which gives insights to the coarsening behaviors of g precipitates in these alloys. Hence, the principal goal of this work is to compare and contrast the Co and Ni superalloys and also, to accommodate atomic scale information related to transitions across interfaces to coarsening models for a better practical applicability of coarsening laws to various alloys.
Computational Studies on Structures and Ionic Diffusion of Bioactive Glasses
Bioactive glasses are a class of synthetic inorganic material that have wide orthopedics, dentistry, tissue engineering and other biomedical applications. The origin of the bioactivity is closely related to the atomic structures of these novel glass materials, which otherwise lack long range order and defies any direct experimental measurements due to their amorphous nature. The structure of bioactive glasses is thus essential for the understanding of bioactive behaviors and eventually rational design of glass compositions. In this dissertation, molecular dynamics (MD) and reverse monte carlo (RMC) based computer simulations have been used to systematically study the atomic structure of three classes of new bioactive glasses: strontium doped 45S5 Bioglass®, ZnO-SrO containing bioactive glasses, and Cao-MgO-P2O5-SiO2 bioactive glasses. Properties such as ionic diffusion that are important to glass dissolution behaviors are also examined as a function of glass compositions. The accuracy of structure model generated by simulation was validated by comparing with various experimental measurements including X-ray/neutron diffraction, NMR and Raman spectroscopy. It is shown in this dissertation that atomistic computer simulations, when integrated with structural and property characterizations, is an effective tool in understanding the structural origin of bioactivity and other properties of amorphous bioactive materials that can lead to design of novel materials for biomedical applications.
Computational Study of Dislocation Based Mechanisms in Fcc Materials
Understanding the relationships between microstructures and properties of materials is a key to developing new materials with more suitable qualities or employing the appropriate materials in special uses. In the present world of material research, the main focus is on microstructural control to cost-effectively enhance properties and meet performance specifications. This present work is directed towards improving the fundamental understanding of the microscale deformation mechanisms and mechanical behavior of metallic alloys, particularly focusing on face centered cubic (FCC) structured metals through a unique computational methodology called three-dimensional dislocation dynamics (3D-DD). In these simulations, the equations of motion for dislocations are mathematically solved to determine the evolution and interaction of dislocations. Microstructure details and stress-strain curves are a direct observation in the simulation and can be used to validate experimental results. The effect of initial dislocation microstructure on the yield strength has been studied. It has been shown that dislocation density based crystal plasticity formulations only work when dislocation densities/numbers are sufficiently large so that a statistically accurate description of the microstructure can be obtainable. The evolution of the flow stress for grain sizes ranging from 0.5 to 10 µm under uniaxial tension was simulated using an improvised model by integrating dislocation pile-up mechanism at grain boundaries has been performed. This study showed that for a same initial dislocation density, the Hall–Petch relationship holds well at small grain sizes (0.5–2 µm), beyond which the yield strength remains constant as the grain size increases.
Corrosion Protection of Aerospace Grade Magnesium Alloy Elektron 43™ for Use in Aircraft Cabin Interiors
Magnesium alloys exhibit desirable properties for use in transportation technology. In particular, the low density and high specific strength of these alloys is of interest to the aerospace community. However, the concerns of flammability and susceptibility to corrosion have limited the use of magnesium alloys within the aircraft cabin. This work studies a magnesium alloy containing rare earth elements designed to increase resistance to ignition while lowering rate of corrosion. The microstructure of the alloy was documented using scanning electron microscopy. Specimens underwent salt spray testing and the corrosion products were examined using energy dispersive spectroscopy.
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.
Deposition and Characterization of Pentacene Film.
Many organic materials have been studied to be used as semiconductors, few of them being pentacene and polythiophene. Organic semiconductors have been investigated to make organic thin film transistors. Pentacene has been used in the active region of the transistors. Transistors fabricated with pentacene do not have very high mobility. But in some applications, high mobility is not needed. In such application other properties of organic transistors are used, such as, ease of production and flexibility. Organic thin film transistors (OTFT) can find use as low density storage devices, such as smart cards or I.D. tags, and displays. OTFT are compatible with polymeric substrates and hence can find use as flexible computer screens. This project aims at making 'smart clothes', the cheap way, with pentacene based OTFT. This problem in lieu of thesis describes a way to deposit pentacene films and characterize it. Pentacene films were deposited on substrates and characterized using x-ray diffraction (XRD) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). The substrate used was ~1500Å platinum on silicon wafer or bare silicon wafer. was used. A deposition system for vacuum deposition of pentacene was assembled. The XRD data for deposited pentacene films shows the presence of two phases, single crystal phase (SCP) and thin film phase (TFP), and the increase in percentage of SCP with increase in substrate temperature during deposition or by annealing the deposited film, in vacuum, at 80°C.
Determination of Wear in Polymers Using Multiple Scratch Test.
Wear is an important phenomenon that occurs in all the polymer applications in one form or the other. However, important links between materials properties and wear remain illusive. Thus optimization of material properties requires proper understanding of polymer properties. Studies to date have typically lacked systematic approach to all polymers and wear test developed are specific to some polymer classes. In this thesis, different classes of polymers are selected and an attempt is made to use multiple scratch test to define wear and to create a universal test procedure that can be employed to most of the polymers. In each of the materials studied, the scratch penetration depth s reaches a constant value after certain number of scratches depending upon the polymer and its properties. Variations in test parameters like load and speed are also studied in detail to understand the behavior of polymers and under different conditions. Apart from polystyrene, all the other polymers studied under multiple scratch test reached asymptotes at different scratch numbers.
Development of a Novel Grease Resistant Functional Coatings for Paper-based Packaging and Assessment of Application by Flexographic Press
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Recent commercial developments have created a need for alternative materials and methods for imparting oil/grease resistance to paper and/or paperboard used in packaging. The performance of a novel grease resistant functional coating comprised of polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), sodium tetraborate pentahydrate (borate) and acetonedicarboxylic acid (ACDA) and the application of said coating by means of flexographic press is presented herein. Application criteria is developed, testing procedures described, and performance assessment of the developed coating materials are made. SEM images along with contact angle data suggest that coating performance is probably attributable to decreased mean pore size in conjunction with a slightly increased surface contact angle facilitated by crosslinking of PVA molecules by both borate ions and ACDA.
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 %.
Dislocation Dynamics Simulations of Plasticity in Cu Thin Films
Strong size effects in plastic deformation of thin films have been experimentally observed, indicating non-traditional deformation mechanisms. These observations require improved understanding of the behavior of dislocation in small size materials, as they are the primary plastic deformation carrier. Dislocation dynamics (DD) is a computational method that is capable of directly simulating the motion and interaction of dislocations in crystalline materials. This provides a convenient approach to study micro plasticity in thin films. While two-dimensional dislocation dynamics simulation in thin film proved that the size effect fits Hall-Petch equation very well, there are issues related to three-dimensional size effects. In this work, three-dimensional dislocation dynamics simulations are used to study model cooper thin film deformation. Grain boundary is modeled as impenetrable obstacle to dislocation motion in this work. Both tension and cyclic loadings are applied and a wide range of size and geometry of thin films are studied. The results not only compare well with experimentally observed size effects on thin film strength, but also provide many details on dislocation processes in thin films, which could greatly help formulate new mechanisms of dislocation-based plasticity.
Dynamic Adhesion and Self-cleaning Mechanisms of Gecko Setae and Spatulae
Geckos can freely climb on walls and ceilings against their body weight at speed of over 1ms-1. Switching between attachment and detachment seem simple and easy for geckos, without considering the surface to be dry or wet, smooth or rough, dirty or clean. In addition, gecko can shed dirt particles during use, keeping the adhesive pads clean. Mimicking this biological system can lead to a new class of dry adhesives for various applications. However, gecko’s unique dry self-cleaning mechanism remains unknown, which impedes the development of self-cleaning dry adhesives. In this dissertation we provide new evidence and self-cleaning mechanism to explain how gecko shed particles and keep its sticky feet clean. First we studied the dynamic enhancement observed between micro-sized particles and substrate under dry and wet conditions. The adhesion force of soft (polystyrene) and hard (SiO2 and Al2O3) micro-particles on soft (polystyrene) and hard (fused silica and sapphire) substrates was measured using an atomic force microscope (AFM) with retraction (z-piezo) speed ranging over 4 orders of magnitude. The adhesion is strongly enhanced by the dynamic effect. When the retraction speeds varies from 0.02 µm/s to 156 µm/s, the adhesion force increases by 10% ~ 50% in dry nitrogen while it increases by 15%~70% in humid air. A dynamic model was developed to explain this dynamic effect, which agrees well with the experimental results. Similar dynamic enhancement was also observed in aqueous solution. The influence of dynamic factors related to the adhesion enhancement, such as particle inertia, viscoelastic deformations and crack propagation, was discussed to understand the dynamic enhancement mechanisms. Although particles show dynamic enhancement, Gecko fabrillar hair shows a totally different trend. The pull off forces of a single gecko seta and spatula was tested by AFM under different pull-off velocities. The result shows that both the spatula and the seta have a rate independent adhesion response in normal retraction, which is quite different from micro-particles. Further research indicated the shape of the contact area was a key factor to the dynamic effect. In order to verify this hypothesis, artificial gecko spatula made of glass fibers was nanofabricated by a focus ion beam (FIB) and tested by AFM. These manmade spatulae also show a rate independent adhesion response. The dynamic adhesion of a single gecko seta and spatula were simulated with finite element analysis and the results also confirm the rate independent phenomena.. In conclusion, self-cleaning is induced by dynamic effect during gecko locomotion. The relative dynamic adhesion change between particles and seta makes it possible for gecko to shed the dirt particles while walking.Finally, the fatigue property of gecko seta was examined with the atomic force microscope under cyclic attachment/detachment process, mimicking gecko running. The adhesion force versus cycles has been tested and evaluated. Fatigue mechanism of gecko seta was also analyzed based on the experimental findings.
Dynamic Precipitation of Second Phase Under Deformed Condition in Mg-nd Based Alloy
Magnesium alloys are the lightweight structural materials with high strength to weigh ratio that permits their application in fuel economy sensitive automobile industries. Among the several flavors of of Mg-alloys, precipitation hardenable Mg-rare earth (RE) based alloys have shown good potential due to their favorable creep resistance within a wide window of operating temperatures ranging from 150°C to 300°C. A key aspect of Mg-RE alloys is the presence of precipitate phases that leads to strengthening of such alloys. Several notable works, in literature, have been done to examine the formation of such precipitate phases. However, there are very few studies that evaluated the effect stress induced deformation on the precipitation in Mg-RE alloys. Therefore, the objective of this work is to examine influence of deformation on the precipitation of Mg-Nd based alloys. To address this problem, precipitation in two Mg-Nd based alloys, subjected to two different deformation conditions, and was examined via transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and atom probe tomography (APT). In first deformation condition, Md-2.6wt%Nd alloy was subjected to creep deformation (90MPa / 177ºC) to failure. Effect of stress-induced deformation was examined by comparing and contrasting with precipitation in non-creep tested specimens subjected to isothermal annealing (at 177ºC). In second condition, Mg-4.0Y-3.0Nd-0.5Zr (wt %) or WE43 alloy (with comparable Nd content as model Mg-Nd system) was subjected to hot rolling deformation at a sub-solvus temperature.
Effect of Retting on Surface Chemistry and Mechanical Performance Interactions in Natural Fibers for High Performance Polymer Composites
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Sustainability through replacement of non-renewable fibers with renewable fibers is an ecological need. Impact of transportation costs from South-east Asia on the life cycle analysis of the composite is detrimental. Kenaf is an easily grown crop in America. Farm based processing involves placing the harvested crop in rivers and ponds, where retting of the fibers from the plant (separation into fibers) can take 2 weeks or more. The objective of this thesis is to analyze industrially viable processes for generating fibers and examine their synergistic impact on mechanical performance, surface topography and chemistry for functional composites. Comparison has been made with commercial and conventional retting process, including alkali retting, enzymatic retting, retting in river and pond water (retting occurs by natural microbial population) with controlled microbial retting. The resulting kenaf fibers were characterized by dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA), Raman spectroscopy (FT-Raman), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), polarized optical microscopy (POM), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) optical fluorescence microscopy, atomic force microscopy (AFM) and carbohydrate analysis. DMA results showed that pectinase and microbe treated fibers have superior viscoelastic properties compared to alkali retting. XPS, Raman, FT-IR and biochemical analysis indicated that the controlled microbial and pectinase retting was effective in removing pectin, hemicellulose and lignin. SEM, optical microscopy and AFM analysis showed the surface morphology and cross sectional architecture were preserved in pectinase retting. Experimental results showed that enzymatic retting at 48 hours and controlled microbial retting at 72 hours yield uniform and superior quality fibers compared to alkali and natural retting process. Controlled microbial retting is an inexpensive way to produce quality fibers for polymer composite reinforcement.
Effect of Silyation on Organosilcate Glass Films
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Photoresist stripping with oxygen plasma ashing destroys the functional groups in organosilicate glass films and induce moisture uptake, causing low-k dielectric degradation. In this study, hexamethyldisilazane (HMDS), triethylchlorosilane and tripropylchlorosilane are used to repair the damage to organosilicate glass by the O2 plasma ashing process. The optimization of the surface functionalization of the organosilicate glass by the silanes and the thermal stability of the functionalized surfaces are investigated. These experimental results show that HMDS is a promising technique to repair the damage to OSG during the photoresist removal processing and that the heat treatment of the functionalized surfaces causes degradation of the silanes deteriorating the hydrophobicity of the films.
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).
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.
Electrochemical synthesis of CeO2 and CeO2/montmorillonite nanocomposites.
Nanocrystalline cerium oxide thin films on metal and semiconductor substrates have been fabricated with a novel electrodeposition approach - anodic oxidation. X-ray diffraction analysis indicated that as-produced cerium oxide films are characteristic face-centered cubic fluorite structure with 5 ~ 20 nm crystal sizes. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy study probes the non-stoichiometry property of as-produced films. Raman spectroscopy and Scanning Electron Microscopy have been applied to analyze the films as well. Deposition mode, current density, reaction temperature and pH have also been investigated and the deposition condition has been optimized for preferred oriented film formation: galvanostatic deposition with current density of -0.06 mA/cm2, T > 50oC and 7 < pH < 10. Generally, potentiostatic deposition results in random structured cerium oxide films. Sintering of potentiostatic deposited cerium oxide films leads to crystal growth and reach nearly full density at 1100oC. It is demonstrated that in-air heating favors the 1:2 stoichiometry of CeO2. Nanocrystalline cerium oxide powders (4 ~ 10 nm) have been produced with anodic electrochemical synthesis. X-ray diffraction and Raman spectroscopy were employed to investigate lattice expansion phenomenon related to the nanoscale cerium oxide particles. The pH of reaction solution plays an important role in electrochemical synthesis of cerium oxide films and powder. Cyclic voltammetry and rotation disk electrode voltammetry have been used to study the reaction mechanisms. The results indicate that the film deposition and powder formation follow different reaction schemes. Ce(III)-L complexation is a reversible process, Ce3+ at medium basic pH region (7~10) is electrochemically oxidized to and then CeO2 film is deposited on the substrate. CE mechanism is suggested to be involved in the formation of films, free Ce3+ species is coordinated with OH- at high basic pH region (>10) to Ce2O3 immediately prior to electrochemically oxidation Ce2O3 to CeO2. CeO2 / montmorillonite nanocomposites were electrochemically produced. X-ray diffraction and Raman spectroscopy illustrate the retaining of FCC structure for cerium oxide. Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy and Differential Scanning Calorimetry of composites indicate the insertion of montmorillonite platelets into the structural matrix of cerium oxide. Sintering study of the nanocomposites demonstrates that low concentration of montmorillonite platelet coordination into cerium oxide matrix increases crystal growth rate whereas high concentration of montmoillonite in nanocomposites retards the increase of crystallite size during the densification process.
Evaluation of hydrogen trapping in HfO2 high-κ dielectric thin films.
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Hafnium based high-κ dielectrics are considered potential candidates to replace SiO2 or SiON as the gate dielectric in complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) devices. Hydrogen is one of the most significant elements in semiconductor technology because of its pervasiveness in various deposition and optimization processes of electronic structures. Therefore, it is important to understand the properties and behavior of hydrogen in semiconductors with the final aim of controlling and using hydrogen to improve electronic performance of electronic structures. Trap transformations under annealing treatments in hydrogen ambient normally involve passivation of traps at thermal SiO2/Si interfaces by hydrogen. High-κ dielectric films are believed to exhibit significantly higher charge trapping affinity than SiO2. In this thesis, study of hydrogen trapping in alternate gate dielectric candidates such as HfO2 during annealing in hydrogen ambient is presented. Rutherford backscattering spectroscopy (RBS), elastic recoil detection analysis (ERDA) and nuclear reaction analysis (NRA) were used to characterize these thin dielectric materials. It was demonstrated that hydrogen trapping in bulk HfO2 is significantly reduced for pre-oxidized HfO2 prior to forming gas anneals. This strong dependence on oxygen pre-processing is believed to be due to oxygen vacancies/deficiencies and hydrogen-carbon impurity complexes that originate from organic precursors used in chemical vapor depositions (CVD) of these dielectrics.
First Principle Calculations of the Structure and Electronic Properties of Pentacene Based Organic and ZnO Based Inorganic Semiconducting Materials
In this thesis, I utilize first principles density functional theory (DFT) based calculations to investigate the structure and electronic properties including charge transfer behaviors and work function of two types of materials: pentacene based organic semiconductors and ZnO transparent conducting oxides, with an aim to search for high mobility n-type organic semiconductors and fine tuning work functions of ZnO through surface modifications. Based on DFT calculations of numerous structure combinations, I proposed a pentacene and perfluoro-pentacene alternating hybrid structures as a new type of n-type semiconductor. Based on the DFT calculations and Marcus charge transfer theory analysis, the new structure has high charge mobility and can be a promising new n-type organic semiconductor material. DFT calculations have been used to systematically investigate the effect of surface organic absorbate and surface defects on the work function of ZnO. It was found that increasing surface coverage of organic groups and decreasing surface defects lead to decrease of work functions, in excellent agreement with experimental results. First principles based calculations thus can greatly contribute to the investigating and designing of new electronic materials.
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.
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.
Gamma Prime Precipitation Mechanisms and Solute Partitioning in Ni-base Alloys
Nickel-base superalloys have been emerged as materials for gas turbines used for jet propulsion and electricity generation. The strength of the superalloys depends mainly from an ordered precipitates of L12 structure, so called gamma prime (γ’) dispersed within the disorder γ matrix. The Ni-base alloys investigated in this dissertation comprise both model alloy systems based on Ni-Al-Cr and Ni-Al-Co as well as the commercial alloy Rene N5. Classical nucleation and growth mechanism dominates the γ’ precipitation process in slowed-cooled Ni-Al-Cr alloys. The effect of Al and Cr additions on γ’ precipitate size distribution as well as morphological and compositional development of γ’ precipitates were characterized by coupling transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and 3D atom probe (3DAP) techniques. Rapid quenching Ni-Al-Cr alloy experiences a non-classical precipitation mechanism. Structural evolution of the γ’ precipitates formed and subsequent isothermal annealing at 600 °C were investigated by coupling TEM and synchrotron-based high-energy x-ray diffraction (XRD). Compositional evolution of the non-classically formed γ’ precipitates was determined by 3DAP and Langer, Bar-on and Miller (LBM) method. Besides homogeneous nucleation, the mechanism of heterogeneous γ’ precipitation involving a discontinuous precipitation mechanism, as a function of temperature, was the primary focus of study in case of the Ni-Al-Co alloy. This investigation coupled SEM, SEM-EBSD, TEM and 3DAP techniques. Lastly, solute partitioning and enrichment of minor refractory elements across/at the γ/ γ’ interfaces in the commercially used single crystal Rene N5 superalloy was investigated by using an advantage of nano-scale composition investigation of 3DAP technique.
Growth Mechanisms, and Mechanical and Thermal Properties of Junctions in 3D Carbon Nanotube-graphene Nano-architectures
Junctions are the key component for 3D carbon nanotube (CNT)-graphene seamless hybrid nanostructures. Growth mechanism of junctions of vertical CNTs growing from graphene in the presence of iron catalysts was simulated via quantum mechanical molecular dynamics (QM/MD) methods. CNTs growth from graphene with iron catalysts is based on a ‘‘base-growth’’ mechanism, and the junctions were the mixture of C-C and Fe-C covalent bonds. Pure C-C bonded junctions could be obtained by moving the catalyst during CNT growth or etching and annealing after growth. The growth process of 3D CNT-graphene junctions on copper templates with nanoholes was simulated with molecular dynamic (MD) simulation. There are two mechanisms of junction formation: (i) CNT growth over the holes that are smaller than 3 nm, and (ii) CNT growth inside the holes that are larger than 3 nm. The growth process of multi-layer filleted CNT-graphene junctions on the Al2O3 template was also simulated with MD simulation. A simple analytical model is developed to explain that the fillet takes the particular angle (135°). MD calculations show that 135° filleted junction has the largest fracture strength and thermal conductivity at room temperature compared to junctions with 90°,120°, 150°, and 180° fillets. The tensile strengths of the as-grown C–C junctions, as well as the junctions embedded with metal nanoparticles (catalysts), were determined by a QM/MD method. Metal catalysts remaining in the junctions significantly reduce the fracture strength and fracture energy. Moreover, the thermal conductivities of the junctions were also calculated by MD method. Metal catalysts remaining in the junctions considerably lower the thermal conductivity of the 3D junctions.
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.
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.
Indentation induced deformation in metallic materials.
Nanoindentation has brought in many features of research over the past decade. This novel technique is capable of producing insights into the small ranges of deformation. This special point has brought a lot of focus in understanding the deformation behavior under the indenter. Nickel, iron, tungsten and copper-niobium alloy system were considered for a surface deformation study. All the samples exhibited a spectrum of residual deformation. The change in behavior with indentation and the materials responses to deformation at low and high loads is addressed in this study. A study on indenter geometry, which has a huge influence on the contact area and subsequently the hardness and modulus value, has been attempted. Deformation mechanisms that govern the plastic flow in materials at low loads of indentation and their sensitivity to the rate of strain imparted has been studied. A transition to elastic, plastic kind of a tendency to an elasto-plastic tendency was seen with an increase in the strain rate. All samples exhibited the same kind of behavior and a special focus is drawn in comparing the FCC nickel with BCC tungsten and iron where the persistence of the elastic, plastic response was addressed. However there is no absolute reason for the inconsistencies in the mechanical properties observed in preliminary testing, more insights can be provided with advanced microscopy techniques where the study can be focused more to understand the deformation behavior under the indenter. These experiments demonstrate that there is a wealth of information in the initial stages of indentation and has led to much more insights into the incipient stages of plasticity.
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.
An Integrated Approach to Determine Phenomenological Equations in Metallic Systems
It is highly desirable to be able to make predictions of properties in metallic materials based upon the composition of the material and the microstructure. Unfortunately, the complexity of real, multi-component, multi-phase engineering alloys makes the provision of constituent-based (i.e., composition or microstructure) phenomenological equations extremely difficult. Due to these difficulties, qualitative predictions are frequently used to study the influence of microstructure or composition on the properties. Neural networks were used as a tool to get a quantitative model from a database. However, the developed model is not a phenomenological model. In this study, a new method based upon the integration of three separate modeling approaches, specifically artificial neural networks, genetic algorithms, and monte carlo was proposed. These three methods, when coupled in the manner described in this study, allows for the extraction of phenomenological equations with a concurrent analysis of uncertainty. This approach has been applied to a multi-component, multi-phase microstructure exhibiting phases with varying spatial and morphological distributions. Specifically, this approach has been applied to derive a phenomenological equation for the prediction of yield strength in a+b processed Ti-6-4. The equation is consistent with not only the current dataset but also, where available, the limited information regarding certain parameters such as intrinsic yield strength of pure hexagonal close-packed alpha titanium.
Integrated Computational and Experimental Approach to Control Physical Texture During Laser Machining of Structural Ceramics
The high energy lasers are emerging as an innovative material processing tool to effectively fabricate complex shapes on the hard and brittle structural ceramics, which previously had been near impossible to be machined effectively using various conventional machining techniques. In addition, the in-situ measurement of the thermo-physical properties in the severe laser machining conditions (high temperature, short time duration, and small interaction volume) is an extremely difficult task. As a consequence, it is extremely challenging to investigate the evolution of surface topography through experimental analyses. To address this issue, an integrated experimental and computational (multistep and multiphysics based finite-element modeling) approach was employed to understand the influence of laser processing parameters to effectively control the various thermo-physical effects (recoil pressure, Marangoni convection, and surface tension) during transient physical processes (melting, vaporization) for controlled surface topography (surface finish). The results indicated that the material lost due to evaporation causes an increase in crater depth of machined cavity, whereas liquid expulsion created by the recoil pressure increases the material pileup height around the lip of machined cavity, the major attributes of surface topography (roughness). Also, it was found that the surface roughness increased with increase in laser energy density and pulse rate (from 10 to 50Hz), and with the decrease in distance between two pulses (from 0.6 to 0.1mm) or the increase in lateral and transverse overlap (0, 17, 33, 50, 67, and 83%). The results of the computational model are also validated by experimental observations with reasonably close agreement.
Interspecimen Study of Bone to Relate Macromechanical, Nanomechanical and Compositional Changes Across the Femoral Cortex of Bone
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Mechanics of bone is widely studied and researched, mainly for the study of fracture. This has been done mostly on a macro scale. In this work hierarchical nature of bone has been explored to investigate bone mechanics in more detail. Flexural test were done to classify the bones according to their strength and deflection. Raman spectroscopy analysis was done to map the mineralization, collagen crosslinking changes across the thickness of the bone. Nanoindentation was done to map indentation hardness and indentation modulus across femoral cortex of the bone. The results indicate that the composition of the bone changes across the thickness of the femoral cortex. The hypothesis is confirmed as increase in mineralization, carbonate to phosphate ratio and collagen crosslinking shows the effect as increased indentation hardness and modulus and decreased deflection.
Investigation of growth kinetics of self-assembling monolayers by means of contact angle, optical ellipsometry, angle-resolved XPS and IR spectroscopy.
Absorption of octadecanethiol and p-nitrobenzenethiol onto gold surfaces from ethanol solutions has been studied by means of contact angle, optical ellipsometry, angle-resolved XPS (ARXPS), and with grazing angle total reflection FTIR. Growth of the monolayers from dilute solutions has been monitored and Langmuir isotherm adsorption curves were fitted to experimental data. A saturated film is formed within approximately 5h after immersion in solutions of concentrations ranging from 0.0005mM to 0.01mM. We found, that the final density of monolayer depends on the concentration of the solution.
Investigations in the Mechanism of Carbothermal Reduction of Yttria Stabilized Zirconia for Ultra-high Temperature Ceramics Application and Its Influence on Yttria Contained in It
Zirconium carbide (ZrC) is a high modulus ceramic with an ultra-high melting temperature and, consequently, is capable of withstanding extreme environments. Carbon-carbon composites (CCCs) are important structural materials in future hypersonic aircraft; however, these materials may be susceptible to degradation when exposed to elevated temperatures during extreme velocities. At speeds of exceeding Mach 5, intense heating of leading edges of the aircraft triggers rapid oxidation of carbon in CCCs resulting in degradation of the structure and probable failure. Environmental/thermal barrier coatings (EBC/TBC) are employed to protect airfoil structures from extreme conditions. Yttria stabilized zirconia (YSZ) is a well-known EBC/TBC material currently used to protect metallic turbine blades and other aerospace structures. In this work, 3 mol% YSZ has been studied as a potential EBC/TBC on CCCs. However, YSZ is an oxygen conductor and may not sufficiently slow the oxidation of the underlying CCC. Under appropriate conditions, ZrC can form at the interface between CCC and YSZ. Because ZrC is a poor oxygen ion conductor in addition to its stability at high temperatures, it can reduce the oxygen transport to the CCC and thus increase the service lifetime of the structure. This dissertation investigates the thermodynamics and kinetics of the YSZ/ZrC/CCC system and the resulting structural changes across multiple size scales. A series of experiments were conducted to understand the mechanisms and species involved in the carbothermal reduction of ZrO2 to form ZrC. 3 mol% YSZ and graphite powders were uniaxially pressed into pellets and reacted in a graphite (C) furnace. Rietveld x-ray diffraction phase quantification determined that greater fractions of ZrC were formed when carbon was the majority mobile species. These results were validated by modeling the process thermochemically and were confirmed with additional experiments. Measurements were conducted to examine the effect of carbothermal reduction on the bond lengths in YSZ and ZrC. Subsequent extended x-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) measurements and calculations showed Zr-O, Zr-C and Zr-Zr bond lengths to be unchanged after carbothermal reduction. Energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) line scan and mapping were carried out on carbothermaly reduced 3 mol% YSZ and 10 mol% YSZ powders. Results revealed Y2O3 stabilizer forming agglomerates with a very low solubility in ZrC.
Laser Deposition, Heat-treatment, and Characterization of the Binary Ti-xmn System
The present research seeks to characterization of an additively manufactured and heat-treated Ti-xMn gradient alloy, a binary system that has largely been unexplored. In order to rapidly assess this binary system, compositionally graded Ti-xMn (0<x<15 wt%) specimens were fabricated using the LENS (Laser Engineered Net Shaping) and were subsequently heat-treated and characterized using a wide range of techniques. Microstructural changes with respect to the change in thermal treatments, hardness and chemical composition were observed and will be presented. These include assessments of both continuous cooling, leading to observations of both equilibrium and metastable phases, including the titanium martensites, and to direct aging studies looking for composition regimes that produce highly refined alpha precipitates – a subject of great interest given recent understandings of non-classical nucleation and growth mechanisms. The samples were characterized using SEM, EDS, TEM, and XRD and the properties probed using a Vickers Microhardness tester.
Laser Modified Alumina: a Computational and Experimental Analysis
Laser surface modification involves rapid melting and solidification is an elegant technique used for locally tailoring the surface morphology of alumina in order to enhance its abrasive characteristics. COMSOL Multiphysics® based heat transfer modeling and experimental approaches were designed and used in this study for single and multiple laser tracks to achieve densely-packed multi-facet grains via temperature history, cooling rate, solidification, scanning electron micrographs, and wear rate. Multi-facet grains were produced at the center of laser track with primary dendrites extending toward the edge of single laser track. The multiple laser tracks study indicates the grain/dendrite size increases as the laser energy density increases resulting in multiplying the abrasive edges which in turn enhance the abrasive qualities.
Laser Surface Alloying of Refractory Metals on Aluminum for Enhanced Corrosion Resistance: Experimental and Computational Approaches
Aluminum (Al) and its alloys are widely used in various technological applications, mainly due to the excellent thermal conductivity, non-magnetic, ecofriendly, easy formability and good recyclability. However due to the inferior corrosion resistance its applications are hampered in various engineering sectors. Besides, the corrosion related failures such as leakage of gas from pipeline, catastrophic breakdown of bridges and fire accidents in processing plants further puts the human life in jeopardy. Within the United States over $ 400 billion dollars per year are spent over research to understand and prevent the corrosion related failures. Recently, the development of transition metal(TM) aluminides (AlxTMy, where, TM = Mo, W, Ta, Nb, Cr, Zr and V) has received the global attention mainly due to high strength at elevated temperatures, light-weight, excellent corrosion and wear resistance. In light of this, surface modification via laser surface alloying (LSA) is a promising engineering approach to mitigate the corrosion and wear problems. In the present study the attempts are made to study the Al-Mo, Al-W, Al-Nb, and Al-Ta systems as a potential corrosion resistant coatings on aluminum. The refractory metal (Mo, W, Nb, Ta) precursor deposit was spray coated separately on aluminum substrate and was subsequently surface alloyed using a continuous wave diode-pumped ytterbium laser at varying laser energy densities. Microstructural analysis was conducted using scanning electron microscopy and further X-ray diffractometry was carried out to evaluate the various phases evolved during laser surface alloying. Corrosion resistance of laser alloyed coatings were evaluated using open circuit potential, cyclic potentiodynamic polarization, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy measurements were performed in 0.6 M NaCl solution (pH:6.9±0.2, 23˚C). Open circuit potential measurements indicate the more stable (steady state) potential values over long periods after laser surface alloying. Cyclic polarization results indicated reduction in the corrosion current density, enhancement in the polarization resistance, and increase in coating/protective efficiency with increase in laser energy density compared to untreated aluminum. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy measurements also indicated an increase in charge transfer resistance after laser surface alloying of refractory metals on aluminum. Additionally, first principle calculations of thermodynamic, electronic and elastic properties of intermetallics evolved during LSA were also thoroughly investigated to correlate the corrosion performance of intermetallic coatings with these properties. The present study indicates that novel Al-Mo, Al-W, Al-Nb, and Al-Ta intermetallics has a great potential for light weight structural applications with enhanced corrosion resistance.
Laser Surface Modification on Az31b Mg Alloy for Bio-wettability
Laser surface modification of AZ31B Magnesium alloy changes surface composition and roughness to provide improved surface bio-wettability. Laser processing resulted in phase transformation and grain refinement due to rapid quenching effect. Furthermore, instantaneous heating and vaporization resulted in removal of material, leading the textured surface generation. A study was conducted on a continuum-wave diode-pumped ytterbium laser to create multiple tracks for determining the resulting bio-wettability. Five different laser input powers were processed on Mg alloy, and then examined by XRD, SEM, optical profilometer, and contact angle measurement. A finite element based heat transfer model was developed using COMSOL multi-physics package to predict the temperature evolution during laser processing. The thermal histories predicted by the model are used to evaluate the cooling rates and solidification rate and the associated changes in the microstructure. The surface energy of laser surface modification samples can be calculated by measuring the contact angle with 3 different standard liquid (D.I water, Formamide, and 1-Bromonaphthalen). The bio-wettability of the laser surface modification samples can be conducted by simulated body fluid contact angle measurement. The results of SEM, 3D morphology, XRD, and contact angle measurement show that the grain size and roughness play role for wetting behavior of laser processing Mg samples. Surface with low roughness and large grain size performs as hydrophilicity. On the contrast, surface with high roughness and small grain size performs as hydrophobicity.
Laser Surface Treatment of Amorphous Metals
Amorphous materials are used as soft magnetic materials and also as surface coatings to improve the surface properties. Furthermore, the nanocrystalline materials derived from their amorphous precursors show superior soft magnetic properties than amorphous counter parts for transformer core applications. In the present work, laser based processing of amorphous materials will be presented. Conventionally, the nanocrystalline materials are synthesized by furnace heat treatment of amorphous precursors. Fe-based amorphous/nanocrystalline materials due to their low cost and superior magnetic properties are the most widely used soft magnetic materials. However, achieving nanocrystalline microstructure in Fe-Si-B ternary system becomes very difficult owing its rapid growth rate at higher temperatures and sluggish diffusion at low temperature annealing. Hence, nanocrystallization in this system is achieved by using alloying additions (Cu and Nb) in the ternary Fe-Si-B system. Thus, increasing the cost and also resulting in reduction of saturation magnetization. laser processing technique is used to achieve extremely fine nanocrystalline microstructure in Fe-Si-B amorphous precursor. Microstructure-magnetic Property-laser processing co-relationship has been established for Fe-Si-B ternary system using analytical techniques. Laser processing improved the magnetic properties with significant increase in saturation magnetization and near zero coercivity values. Amorphous materials exhibit excellent corrosion resistance by virtue of their atomic structure. Fe-based amorphous materials are economical and due to their ease of processing are of potential interest to synthesize as coatings materials for wear and corrosion resistance applications. Fe-Cr-Mo-Y-C-B amorphous system was used to develop thick coatings on 4130 Steel substrate and the corrosion resistance of the amorphous coatings was improved. It is also shown that the mode of corrosion depends on the laser processing conditions. The microstructure evolution and the corrosion mechanisms operating are evaluated using post processing and post corrosion analysis.
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.