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 Department: Department of Materials Science and Engineering
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc407788/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc500194/
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/
A magnetorheological study of single-walled and multi-walled carbon nanotube dispersions in mineral oil and epoxy resin.
Single wall carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) and multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) were dispersed in mineral oil and epoxy resin. The magnetorheological properties of these dispersions were studied using a parallel plate rheometer. Strain sweeps, frequency sweeps, magneto sweeps and steady shear tests were conducted in various magnetic fields. G', G", h* and ty increased with increasing magnetic field, which was partially attributed to the increasing degree of the alignment of nanotubes in a stronger magnetic field. The SWNT/mo dispersions exhibited more pronounced magnetic field dependence than SWNT/ep and MWNT/mo counterparts due to their much lower viscosity. The alignment of SWNTs in mineral oil increased with rising nanotube concentration up to 2.5vol% but were significantly restricted at 6.41vol% due to nanotube flocculation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4742/
Maleic anhydride grafted polypropylene coatings on steel: Adhesion and wear.
Polymeric coatings are being used in a growing number of applications, contributing to protection against weather conditions and localized corrosion, reducing the friction and erosion wear on the substrate. In this study, various polypropylene (PP) coatings were applied onto steel substrates by compression molding. Chemical modification of PP has been performed to increase its adhesion to metallic surfaces by grafting of maleic anhydride (MAH) onto PP in the presence of dicumyl peroxide (DCP). Influence of different concentrations of MAH and DCP on the properties of resulting materials have been examined. The coated steel samples are characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), shear adhesion testing, FTIR and tribometry. The coatings with 3 wt. % MAH have shown the maximum adhesion strength due to maximum amount of grafting. The wear rates increased with increasing the amount of MAH due to simultaneous increase in un-reacted MAH. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc28452/
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/
Mechanics and Mechanisms of Creep and Ductile Fracture
The main aim of this dissertation is to relate measurable and hopefully controllable features of a material's microstructure to its observed failure modes to provide a basis for designing better materials. The understanding of creep in materials used at high temperatures is of prime engineering importance. Single crystal Ni-based superalloys used in turbine aerofoils of jet engines are exposed to long dwell times at very high temperatures. In contrast to current theories, creep tests on Ni-based superalloy specimens have shown size dependent creep response termed as the thickness debit effect. To investigate the mechanism of the thickness debit effect, isothermal creep tests were performed on uncoated Ni-based single crystal superalloy sheet specimens with two thicknesses and under two test conditions: a low temperature high stress condition and a high temperature low stress condition. At the high temperature, surface oxidation induced microstructural changes near the free surface forming a layered microstructure. Finite element calculations showed that this layered microstructure gave rise to local changes in the stress state. The specimens also contained nonuniform distribution of initial voids formed during the solidification and homogenization processes. The experiments showed that porosity evolution could play a significant role in the thickness debit effect. This motivated a basic mechanics study of porosity evolution in single crystals subjected to creep for a range of stress states. The study was performed using three-dimensional finite deformation finite element analysis of unit cells containing a single initially spherical void in a single crystal matrix. The materials are characterized by a rate-dependent crystal plasticity constitutive relation accounting for both primary and secondary creep. The effect of initial void spacing and creep exponent was also explored. Based on the experimental observations and results of finite element calculations a quantitative mechanistic model is proposed that can account for both bulk and surface damage effects and assess their relative roles in the observed thickness debit effect. Another set of calculations aim at relating the crack growth resistance and fracture surface morphology to material microstructure for ductile structural metals. The process that governs the ductile fracture of structural materials at room temperature is one of nucleation, growth and coalescence of micron scale voids, and involves large plastic deformations. Experimental studies have shown that fracture surfaces in a wide variety of materials and under a wide variety of loading conditions have remarkable scaling properties. For thirty years, the hope to relate the statistical characterization of fracture surfaces to a measure of a material's crack growth resistance has remained unfulfilled. Only recently has the capability been developed to calculate sufficient amounts of three dimensional ductile crack growth in heterogeneous microstructures to obtain a statistical characterization of the predicted fracture surfaces. This development has enabled the exploration of the relation of both fracture toughness and fracture surface statistics to material properties and microstructure when the fracture mechanism is one of void nucleation, growth and coalescence. The relation of both toughness and the statistical properties of fracture surfaces in calculations of heterogeneous microstructures to various microstructural features is discussed and a remarkable correlation between fracture surface roughness and fracture toughness is shown for the first time. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc283799/
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/
Micro and nano composites composed of a polymer matrix and a metal disperse phase.
Low density polyethylene (LDPE) and Hytrel (a thermoplastic elastomer) were used as polymeric matrices in polymer + metal composites. The concentration of micrometric (Al, Ag and Ni) as well as nanometric particles (Al and Ag) was varied from 0 to 10 %. Composites were prepared by blending followed by injection molding. The resulting samples were analyzed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and focused ion beam (FIB) in order to determine their microstructure. Certain mechanical properties of the composites were also determined. Static and dynamic friction was measured. The scratch resistance of the specimens was determined. A study of the wear mechanisms in the samples was performed. The Al micro- and nanoparticles as well as Ni microparticles are well dispersed throughout the material while Ag micro and nanoparticles tend to form agglomerates. Generally the presence of microcomposites affects negatively the mechanical properties. For the nanoparticles, composites with a higher elastic modulus than that of the neat materials are achievable. For both micro- and nanocomposites it is feasible to lower the friction values with respective to the neat polymers. The addition of metal particles to polymers also improves the scratch resistance of the composites, particularly so for microcomposites. The inclusion of Ag and Ni particles causes an increase in the wear loss volume while Al can reduce the wear for both polymeric matrices. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5135/
Microstructure Evolution in Laser Deposited Nickel-Titanium-Carbon in situ Metal Matrix Composite
Ni/TiC metal matrix composites have been processed using the laser engineered net shaping (LENS) process. As nickel does not form an equilibrium carbide phase, addition of a strong carbide former in the form of titanium reinforces the nickel matrix resulting in a promising hybrid material for both surface engineering as well as high temperature structural applications. Changing the relative amounts of titanium and carbon in the nickel matrix, relatively low volume fraction of refined homogeneously distributed carbide precipitates, formation of in-situ carbide precipitates and the microstructural changes are investigated. The composites have been characterized in detail using x-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy (including energy dispersive spectroscopy (XEDS) mapping and electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD)), Auger electron spectroscopy, and transmission (including high resolution) electron microscopy. Both primary and eutectic titanium carbides, observed in this composite, exhibited the fcc-TiC structure (NaCl-type). Details of the orientation relationship between Ni and TiC have been studied using SEM-EBSD and high resolution TEM. The results of micro-hardness and tribology tests indicate that these composites have a relatively high hardness and a steady-state friction coefficient of ~0.5, both of which are improvements in comparison to LENS deposited pure Ni. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33154/
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/
Modifications of epoxy resins for improved mechanical and tribological performances and their effects on curing kinetics.
A commercial epoxy, diglycidyl ether of bisphenol-A, was modified by two different routes. One was the addition of silica to produce epoxy composites. Three different silane coupling agents, glycidyloxypropyl trimethoxy silane (GPS), -methacryloxypropyl trimethoxy silane (MAMS) and 3-mercaptopropyltriethoxy silane (MPS), were used as silica-surface modifiers. The effects of silica content, together with the effects of chemical surface treatment of silica, were studied. The results indicate that epoxy composites with silica exhibit mechanical and tribological properties as well as curing kinetics different than the pure epoxy. The optimum silica content for improved mechanical and tribological properties (low friction coefficient and wear rate) was different for each type of silane coupling agent. An unequivocal correlation between good mechanical and improved tribological properties was not found. Activation energy of overall reactions was affected by the addition of silica modified with MAMS and MPS, but not with GPS. The second route was modification by fluorination. A new fluoro-epoxy oligomer was synthesized and incorporated into a commercial epoxy by a conventional blending method. The oligomer functioned as a catalyst in the curing of epoxy and polyamine. Thermal stability of the blends decreased slightly at a high oligomer content. Higher wear resistance, lower friction coefficient and higher toughness were found with increasing oligomer content; thus in this case there was a correlation between good mechanical and improved tribological properties. The results indicated that increasing toughness and formation of a transfer film contribute to improved tribological performances. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc6123/
Modified epoxy coatings on mild steel: A study of tribology and surface energy.
A commercial epoxy was modified by adding fluorinated poly (aryl ether ketone) and in turn metal micro powders (Ni, Al, Zn, and Ag) and coated on mild steel. Two curing agents were used; triethylenetetramine (curing temperatures: 30 oC and 70 oC) and hexamethylenediamine (curing temperature: 80 oC). Variation in tribological properties (dynamic friction and wear) and surface energies with varying metal powders and curing agents was evaluated. When cured at 30 oC, friction and wear decreased significantly due to phase separation reaction being favored but increased when cured at 70 oC and 80 oC due to cross linking reaction being favored. There was a significant decrease in surface energies with the addition of modifiers. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc12119/
Molecular Dynamics Simulations of the Structures of Europium Containing Silicate and Cerium Containing Aluminophosphate Glasses
Rare earth ion doped glasses find applications in optical and photonic devices such as optical windows, laser, and optical amplifiers, and as model systems for immobilization of nuclear waste. Macroscopic properties of these materials, such as luminescence efficiency and phase stability, depend strongly on the atomic structure of these glasses. In this thesis, I have studied the atomic level structure of rare earth doped silicate and aluminophosphate glasses by using molecular dynamics simulations. Extensive comparisons with experimental diffraction and NMR data were made to validate the structure models. Insights on the local environments of rare earth ions and their clustering behaviors and their dependence on glass compositions have been obtained. In this thesis, MD simulations have been used to investigate the structure of Eu2O3-doped silica and sodium silicate glasses to understand the glass composition effect on the rare earth ions local environment and their clustering behaviors in the glass matrix, for compositions with low rare earth oxide concentration (~1mol%). It was found that Eu–O distances and coordination numbers were different in silica (2.19-2.22 Å and 4.6-4.8) from those in sodium silicate (2.32 Å and 5.8). High tendencies of Eu clustering and short Eu-Eu distances in the range 3.40-3.90 Å were observed in pure silica glasses as compared to those of silicate glasses with much better dispersed Eu3+ ions and lower probability to form clusters. The results show Eu3+ clustering behavior dependence on the system size and suggest for low doping levels, over 12,000 atoms to obtain statistical meaningful results on the local environment and clustering for rigid silica-based glasses. The structures of four cerium aluminophosphate glasses have also been studied using MD simulations for systems of about 13,000 atoms to investigate aluminum and cerium ion environment and their distribution. P5+ and Al3+ local structures were found stable while those of Ce3+ and Ce4+ ions, through their coordination numbers and bond lengths, are glass composition-dependence. Cerium clusters were found in the high cerium glasses.P5+ coordination numbers around cerium revealed the preference of phosphorus ions in the second coordination shell. Total structure factors from MD simulations and experimental diffraction results show a general agreement from comparison for all the cerium aluminophosphate glasses and with compositional changes up to 25 Å-1. Aluminum enters the phosphate glass network mainly as AlO4 and AlO5 polyhedra only connected through corner sharing to PO4 tetrahedra identified by Q11(1 AlOx), Q12(2 AlOx), Q21(1 AlOx), and Q22(2 AlOx) species. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc149624/
Morphological properties of poly (ethylene terephthalate) (PET) nanocomposites in relation to fracture toughness.
The effect of incorporation of montmorillonite layered silicate (MLS) on poly (ethylene terephthalate) (PET) matrix was investigated. MLS was added in varying concentration of 1 to 5 weight percent in the PET matrix. DSC and polarized optical microscopy were used to determine the crystallization effects of MLS addition. Non isothermal crystallization kinetics showed that the melting temperature and crystallization temperature decrease as the MLS percent increases. This delayed crystallization along with the irregular spherulitic shape indicates hindered crystallization in the presence of MLS platelets. The influence of this morphology was related with the fracture toughness of PET nanocomposites using essential work of fracture coupled with the infra red (IR) thermography. Both the essential as well as non essential work of fracture decreased on addition of MLS with nanocomposite showing reduced toughness. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4845/
Nano-crystallization Inhibition in 5 Nm Ru Film Diffusion Barriers for Advanced Cu-interconnect
As the semiconductor industries are moving beyond 22 nm node technology, the currently used stacked Ta/TaN diffusion barrier including a copper seed will be unable to fulfill the requirements for the future technologies. Due to its low resistivity and ability to perform galvanic copper fill without a seed layer, ruthenium (Ru) has emerged as a potential copper diffusion barrier. However, its crystallization and columnar nanostructure have been the main cause of barrier failures even at low processing temperatures (300 oC -350 oC). In this study, we have proposed and evaluated three different strategies to improve the performance of the ultrathin Ru film as a diffusion barrier for copper. The first study focused on shallow surface plasma irradiation/amorphization and nitridation of 5 nm Ru films. Systematic studies of amorphization and nitrogen incorporation versus sample bias were performed. XPS, XRD and RBS were used to determine the physico-chemical, crystallization and barrier efficiency of the plasma modified Ru barrier. The nitrogen plasma surface irradiation of Ru films at substrate bias voltage of -350 V showed an improved barrier performance up to 400 oC annealing temperatures. The barrier barely started failing at 450 oC due mainly to nitrogen instability. The second study involved only amorphization of the Ru thin film without any nitrogen incorporation. A low energy ion beam irradiation/amorphization on Ru thin film was carried out by using 60 KeV carbon ions with different irradiation doses. The irradiation energy was chosen high enough so that the irradiation ions pass through the whole Ru thin film and stop in the SiO2/Si support substrate. The C-ion fluence of 5×1016 atoms/cm2 at 60 KeV made the Ru film near amorphous without changing its composition. XRD and RBS were used to determine the relationship between crystallization and barrier efficiency of the carbon irradiated Ru barrier. The amorphized Ru film showed an improved barrier performance up to 400 oC annealing temperatures similar to the plasma nitrided Ru films. The barrier barely began to fail at 450 oC due mainly to crystallization. The third study focused on a study of Al doping of nitrided Ru thin films and their crystallinity with the aim of obtaining a completely amorphous Ru based barrier and stable nitridation. The addition of 4% Al and 14% of nitrogen in Ru produced a near amorphous film. Nitrogen in the film remained stable until the annealing temperature of 450 oC for 10 min in N2 atmosphere. Crystallization growth of the film was inhibited until 450 oC. At 500 oC, the crystallization of the Ru films barely started, but the degree of its crystallization is minimal. The Ru-Al-N film was demonstrated to be an effective diffusion barrier for copper until the annealing temperature of 450 oC and began to fail at 500 oC. The Al doping was shown to stabilize the nitrogen in the Ru thin film barrier inhibiting its crystallization and leading to improved diffusion barrier performance and a gain in processing temperatures of 150 oC -200 oC over the as prepared pure Ru thin film barriers. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc407743/
Orientation, Microstructure and Pile-Up Effects on Nanoindentation Measurements of FCC and BCC Metals
This study deals with crystal orientation effect along with the effects of microstructure on the pile-ups which affect the nanoindentation measurements. Two metal classes, face centered cubic (FCC) and body centered cubic (BCC, are dealt with in the present study. The objective of this study was to find out the degree of inaccuracy induced in nanoindentation measurements by the inherent pile-ups and sink-ins. Also, it was the intention to find out how the formation of pile-ups is dependant upon the crystal structure and orientation of the plane of indentation. Nanoindentation, Nanovision, scanning electron microscopy, electron dispersive spectroscopy and electron backscattered diffraction techniques were used to determine the sample composition and crystal orientation. Surface topographical features like indentation pile-ups and sink-ins were measured and the effect of crystal orientation on them was studied. The results show that pile-up formation is not a random phenomenon, but is quite characteristic of the material. It depends on the type of stress imposed by a specific indenter, the depth of penetration, the microstructure and orientation of the plane of indentation. Pile-ups are formed along specific directions on a plane and this formation as well as the pile-up height and the contact radii with the indenter is dependant on the aforesaid parameters. These pile-ups affect the mechanical properties like elastic modulus and hardness measurements which are pivotal variables for specific applications in micro and nano scale devices. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc6050/
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/
Piezoresistive Polyvinylidene Fluoride/Carbon Filled Nanocomposites
This thesis examines the value of using dispersed conductive fillers as a stress/strain sensing material. The effect of the intrinsic conductivity of the filler on the ability to be effective and the influence of filler concentration on the conductivity are also examined. To meet these objectives, nanocomposites of polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) with carbon nanofibers (CNFs) and carbon nanotubes (CNTs) were prepared by melt-blending using a twin screw extruder. Since PVDF has a potential to be piezoresistive based on the type of crystalline phase, the effect of CNFs on PVDF crystallinity, crystalline phase, quasi static and dynamic mechanical property was studied concurrently with piezoresponse. Three time dependencies were examined for PVDF/CNTs nanocomposites: quasi-static, transient and cyclic fatigue. The transient response of the strain with time showed viscoelastic behavior and was modeled by the 4-element Burger model. Under quasi-static loading the resistance showed negative pressure coefficient below yield but changed to a positive pressure coefficient after yield. Under cyclic load, the stress-time and resistance-time were synchronous but the resistance peak value decreased with increasing cycles, which was attributed to charge storage in the nanocomposite. The outcomes of this thesis indicate that a new piezoresponsive system based on filled polymers is a viable technology for structural health monitoring. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc68059/
Polyethylene-layered double hydroxide and montmorillonite nanocomposites: Thermal, mechanical and flame retardance properties.
The effect of incorporation two clays; layered double hydroxides (LDH) and montmorillonite layered silicates (MLS) in linear low density polyethylene (PE) matrix was investigated. MLS and LDH were added of 5, 15, 30 and 60 weight percent in the PE and compounded using a Brabender. Ground pellets were subsequently compression molded. Dispersion of the clays was analyzed using optical microscopy, SEM and XRD. Both the layered clays were immiscible with the PE matrix and agglomerates formed with increased clay concentration. The thermal properties were studied by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). Both clays served as nucleation enhancers increasing recrystallization temperatures in the composites. Flame retarding properties were determined by using the flammability HVUL-94 system. LDH indicated better flame retarding properties than MLS for PE. The char structure was analyzed by environmental scanning electron microscopy. Mechanical properties were studied by tensile testing and Vickers microhardness testing apparatus. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc6087/
Polymer Liquid Crystal (PLC) and Polypropylene Interlayers in Polypropylene and Glass Fiber Composites: Mechanical Properties
In recent developments of composite materials, scientists and engineers have come up with fibers as well as matrices for composites and techniques of blending high cost components with low cost materials. Thus, one creates cost effective composite materials that are as efficient as space age components. One of the major breakthroughs in this area is the innovation of molecular composites, specifically polymeric liquid crystals (PLCs). These materials have excellent mechanical properties such as tensile impact and bending strength. They have excellent chemical resistance, low thermal expansivity, and low flammability. Their low viscosity leads to good processability One major setback in using space age composite technology in commercial applications is the price. Due to the complexity of processing, the cost of space composite materials is skyrocketing. To take the same concept of space age composite materials to create a more economical substitute has become a serious concern among scientists and engineers around the world. The two issues that will be resolved in this thesis are: (1) the potential impact of using PLCs (molecular reinforcement) can have on macro reinforced (heterogeneous composite, HC) long fiber systems; and (2) how strategic placement of the reinforcing layers can affect the macromechanical properties of the laminates. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5838/
Processing and Characterization of Nickel-carbon Base Metal Matrix Composites
Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and graphene nanoplatelets (GNPs) are attractive reinforcements for lightweight and high strength metal matrix composites due to their excellent mechanical and physical properties. The present work is an attempt towards investigating the effect of CNT and GNP reinforcements on the mechanical properties of nickel matrix composites. The CNT/Ni (dry milled) nanocomposites exhibiting a tensile yield strength of 350 MPa (about two times that of SPS processed monolithic nickel ~ 160 MPa) and an elongation to failure ~ 30%. In contrast, CNT/Ni (molecular level mixed) exhibited substantially higher tensile yield strength (~ 690 MPa) but limited ductility with an elongation to failure ~ 8%. The Ni-1vol%GNP (dry milled) nanocomposite exhibited the best balance of properties in terms of strength and ductility. The enhancement in the tensile strength (i.e. 370 MPa) and substantial ductility (~40%) of Ni-1vol%GNP nanocomposites was achieved due to the combined effects of grain refinement, homogeneous dispersion of GNPs in the nickel matrix, and well-bonded Ni-GNP interface, which effectively transfers stress across metal-GNP interface during tensile deformation. A second emphasis of this work was on the detailed 3D microstructural characterization of a new class of Ni-Ti-C based metal matrix composites, developed using the laser engineered net shaping (LENSTM) process. These composites consist of an in situ formed and homogeneously distributed titanium carbide (TiC) as well as graphite phase reinforcing the nickel matrix. 3D microstructure helps in determining true morphology and spatial distribution of TiC and graphite phase as well as the phase evolution sequence. These Ni-TiC-C composites exhibit excellent tribological properties (low COF), while maintaining a relatively high hardness. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc500026/
Processing, Structure, and Tribological Property Interrelationships in Sputtered Nanocrystalline ZnO Coatings
Solid lubricant coatings with controlled microstructures are good candidates in providing lubricity in moving mechanical assembly applications, such as orthopedics and bearing steels. Nanocrystalline ZnO coatings with a layered wurtzite crystal structure have the potential to function as a lubricious material by its defective structure which is controlled by sputter deposition. The interrelationships between sputtered ZnO, its nanocrystalline structure and its lubricity will be discussed in this thesis. The nanocrystalline ZnO coatings were deposited on silicon substrates and Ti alloys by RF magnetron sputtering with different substrate adhesion layers, direct current biases, and temperatures. X-ray diffraction identified that the ZnO (0002) preferred orientation was necessary to achieve low sliding friction and wear along with substrate biasing. In addition, other analyses such as scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and selected area electron diffraction (SAED) were utilized to study the solid lubrication mechanisms responsible for low friction and wear. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc12207/
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/
Saturation and foaming of thermoplastic nanocomposites using supercritical CO2.
Polystyrene (PS) nanocomposite foams were prepared using supercritical fluid (SCF) CO2 as a solvent and blowing agent. PS was first in-situ polymerized with a range of concentrations of montmorillonite layered silicate (MLS). The polymerized samples were then compression molded into 1 to 2mm thick laminates. The laminates were foamed in a batch supercritical CO2 process at various temperatures and pressures from 60°-85°C and 7.6-12MPa. The resulting foams were analyzed by scanning electron microscopy to determine effect of MLS on cellular morphology. Differential scanning calorimetry was used to determine the impact of nanocomposite microstructure on glass transition of the foamed polymer. X-ray diffraction spectra suggested that the PS/MLS composite had an intercalated structure at both the 1% and 3% mixtures, and that the intercalation may be enhanced by the foaming process. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4745/
Scratch Modeling of Polymeric Materials with Molecular Dynamics
It is impossible to determine the amount of money that is spent every replacing products damaged from wear, but it is safe to assume that it is in the millions of dollars. With metallic materials, liquid lubricants are often used to prevent wear from materials rubbing against one another. However, with polymeric materials, liquid lubricants cause swelling, creating an increase in friction and therefore increasing the wear. Therefore, a different method or methods to mitigate wear in polymers should be developed. For better understanding of the phenomenon of wear, scratch resistance testing can be used. For this project, classic molecular dynamics is used to study the mechanics of nanometer scale scratching on amorphous polymeric materials. As a first approach, a model was created for polyethylene, considering intramolecular and intermolecular interactions as well as mass and volume of the CH2 monomers in a polymer chain. The obtained results include analysis of penetration depth and recovery percentage related to indenter force and size. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc149608/
State accountability ratings as related to district size and diversity.
All Texas school districts were examined to determine the relationship of district size and diversity to the accountability ratings of selected Texas school districts and the implications of including all data in the accountability rating system. Eight large districts and 12 small districts were matched demographically utilizing data from the 2003-2004 school year. Information from the Texas Education Agency was accessed over 2003-2004 and 2004-2005. The ratings were found to be lowered from Recognized to Academically Acceptable with the inclusion of these groups 6 out of 20 times. These findings indicate that the Texas accountability system, in its current structure, excludes certain students based upon race and economic status and is not in compliance with what the law intended. This study should be replicated on a larger scale to assess its validity for a larger sample of small districts. Equity among states should be examined to provide information for a nationwide accountability system. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc6049/
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/
Study of Conductance Quantization by Cross-Wire Junction
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The thesis studied quantized conductance in nanocontacts formed between two thin gold wires with one of the wires coated by alkainthiol self assembly monolayers (SAM), by using the cross-wire junction. Using the Lorenz force as the driving force, we can bring the two wires in contact in a controlled manner. We observed conductance with steps of 2e2 / h. The conductance plateaus last several seconds. The stability of the junction is attributed to the fact that the coating of SAM improves the stability and capability of the formed contact. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5540/
Study of lead sorption on magnetite at high temperatures.
Lead's uptake on magnetite has been quantitatively evaluated in the present study at a temperature of 200°C and pH of 8.5 with lead concentrations ranging from 5 ppm to175 ppm by equilibrium adsorption isotherms. The pH independent sorption behavior suggested lead sorption due to pH independent permanent charge through weak electrostatic, non-specific attraction where cations are sorbed on the cation exchange sites. The permanent negative charge could be a consequence of lead substitution which is supported by increase in the lattice parameter values from the X-ray diffraction (XRD) results. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC/TGA) results showed an increase of exothermic (magnetite to maghemite transformation) peak indicating substitution of lead ions due to which there is retardation in the phase transformation. Presence of outer sphere complexes and physical sorption is further supported by Fourier transformed infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). None of the results suggested chemisorption of lead on magnetite. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5445/
A Study of Mechanisms to Engineer Fine Scale Alpha Phase Precipitation in Beta Titanium Alloy, Beta 21S
Metastable b-Ti alloys are titanium alloys with sufficient b stabilizer alloying additions such that it's possible to retain single b phase at room temperature. These alloys are of great advantage compared to a/b alloys since they are easily cold rolled, strip produced and can attain excellent mechanical properties upon age hardening. Beta 21S, a relatively new b titanium alloy in addition to these general advantages is known to possess excellent oxidation and corrosion resistance at elevated temperatures. A homogeneous distribution of fine sized a precipitates in the parent b matrix is known to provide good combination of strength, ductility and fracture toughness. The current work focuses on a study of different mechanisms to engineer homogeneously distributed fine sized a precipitates in the b matrix. The precipitation of metastable phases upon low temperature aging and their influence on a precipitation is studied in detail. The precipitation sequence on direct aging above the w solvus temperature is also assessed. The structural and compositional evolution of precipitate phase is determined using multiple characterization tools. The possibility of occurrence of other non-classical precipitation mechanisms that do not require heterogeneous nucleation sites are also analyzed. Lastly, the influence of interstitial element, oxygen on a precipitation during the oxidation of Beta 21S has been determined. The ingress of oxygen and its influence on microstructure have also been correlated to measured mechanical properties. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc283838/
A Study of Power Generation From a Low-cost Hydrokinetic Energy System
The kinetic energy in river streams, tidal currents, or other artificial water channels has been used as a feasible source of renewable power through different conversion systems. Thus, hydrokinetic energy conversion systems are attracting worldwide interest as another form of distributed alternative energy. Because these systems are still in early stages of development, the basic approaches need significant research. The main challenges are not only to have efficient systems, but also to convert energy more economically so that the cost-benefit analysis drives the growth of this alternative energy form. One way to view this analysis is in terms of the energy conversion efficiency per unit cost. This study presents a detailed assessment of a prototype hydrokinetic energy system along with power output costs. This experimental study was performed using commercial low-cost blades of 20 in diameter inside a tank with water flow speed up to 1.3 m/s. The work was divided into two stages: (a) a fixed-pitch blade configuration, using a radial permanent magnet generator (PMG), and (b) the same hydrokinetic turbine, with a variable-pitch blade and an axial-flux PMG. The results indicate that even though the efficiency of a simple blade configuration is not high, the power coefficient is in the range of other, more complicated designs/prototypes. Additionally, the low manufacturing and operation costs of this system offer an option for low-cost distributed power applications. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc500174/
Supercritical CO2 foamed biodegradable polymer blends of polycaprolactone and Mater-Bi.
Supercritical CO2 foam processing of biopolymers represents a green processing route to environmentally friendly media and packaging foams. Mater-Bi, a multiconstituent biopolymer of polyester, starch and vegetable oils has shown much promise for biodegradation. The polymer, however, is not foamable with CO2 so blended with another polymer which is. Polycaprolactone is a biopolymer with potential of 4000% change in volume with CO2. Thus we investigate blends of Mater-Bi (MB) and polycaprolactone (PCL) foamed in supercritical CO2 using the batch process. Characterization of the foamed and unfoamed samples were done using X-ray diffraction (XRD), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Micrographs of the samples from the SEM revealed that the cell size of the foams reduced and increased with increase in MB concentration and increase in the foaming temperature respectively. Mechanical tests; tensile, compression, shear and impact were performed on the foamed samples. It was noted that between the 20-25% wt. MB, there was an improvement in the mechanical properties. This suggests that at these compositions, there is a high interaction between PCL and MB at the molecular level compared to other compositions. The results indicate that green processing of polymer blends is viable. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5136/
Supercritical Silylation and Stability of Silyl Groups
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Methylsilsesquioxane (MSQ) and organosilicate glass (OSG) are the materials under this study because they exhibit the dielectric constant values necessary for future IC technology requirements. Obtaining a low-k dielectric value is critical for the IC industry in order to cope time delay and cross talking issues. These materials exhibit attractive dielectric value, but there are problems replacing conventional SiO2, because of their chemical, mechanical and electrical instability after plasma processing. Several techniques have been suggested to mitigate process damage but supercritical silylation offers a rapid single repair step solution to this problem. Different ash and etch damaged samples were employed in this study to optimize an effective method to repair the low-k dielectric material and seal the surface pores via supercritical fluid processing with various trialkylchlorosilanes. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), contact angle, capacitance- voltage measurements, and x-ray photoemission spectroscopy, dynamic secondary ion mass spectroscopy (DSIMS), characterized the films. The hydrophobicity and dielectric constant after exposure to elevated temperatures and ambient conditions were monitored and shown to be stable. The samples were treated with a series of silylating agents of the form R3-Si-Cl where R is an alkyl groups (e.g. ethyl, propyl, isopropyl). Reactivity with the surface hydroxyls was inversely proportional to the length of the alkyl group, perhaps due to steric effects. Contact angle measurements revealed that heating the films in ambient diminished hydrophobicity. Depth and surface profiling using (DSIMS) and (XPS) were utilized to develop a model for surface coverage. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5216/
Surface Engineering and Characterization of Laser Deposited Metallic Biomaterials
Novel net shaping technique Laser Engineered Net shaping™ (LENS) laser based manufacturing solution (Sandia Corp., Albuquerque, NM); Laser can be used to deposit orthopedic implant alloys. Ti-35Nb-7Zr-5Ta (TNZT) alloy system was deposited using LENS. The corrosion resistance being an important prerequisite was tested electrochemically and was found that the LENS deposited TNZT was better than conventionally used Ti-6Al-4V in 0.1N HCl and a simulated body solution. A detailed analysis of the corrosion product exhibited the presence of complex oxides which are responsible for the excellent corrosion resistance. In addition, the in vitro tests done on LENS deposited TNZT showed that they have excellent biocompatibility. In order to improve the wear resistance of the TNZT system boride reinforcements were carried out in the matrix using LENS processing. The tribological response of the metal matrix composites was studied under different conditions and compared with Ti-6Al-4V. Usage of Si3N4 balls as a counterpart in the wear studies showed that there is boride pullout resulting in third body abrasive wear with higher coefficient of friction (COF). Using 440C stainless steel balls drastically improved the COF of as deposited TNZT+2B and seemed to eliminate the effect of “three body abrasive wear,” and also exhibited superior wear resistance than Ti-6Al-4V. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3618/
Surface Modifications to Enhance the Wear Resistance and the Osseo-integration Properties of Biomedical Ti-alloy
The current study focuses on improving the wear resistance of femoral head component and enhancing the osseo-integration properties of femoral stem component of a hip implant made of a new generation low modulus alloy, Ti-35Nb-7Zr-5Ta or TNZT. Different techniques that were adopted to improve the wear resistance of low-modulus TNZT alloy included; (a) fabrication of graded TNZT-xB (x= 0, 1, 2 wt%) samples using LENS, (b) oxidation, and (c) LASER nitriding of TNZT. TNZT-1B and TNZT-O samples have shown improved wear resistance when tested against UHMWPE ball in SBF medium. A new class of bio-ceramic coatings based on calcium phosphate (CaP), was applied on the TNZT sample surface and was further laser processed with the objective of enhancing their osseo-integration properties. With optimized LASER parameters, TNZT-CaP samples have shown improved corrosion resistance, surface wettability and cellular response when compared to the base TNZT sample. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc500110/
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/
Thermoplastic and Thermoset Natural Fiber Composite and Sandwich Performance
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The objective of this thesis is to investigate the effects of adding natural fiber (kenaf fiber, retted kenaf fiber, and sugarcane fiber) into polymer materials. The effects are obtained by considering three main parts. 1. Performance in thermoplastic composites. The effect of fiber retting on polymer composite crystallization and mechanical performance was investigated. PHBV/PBAT in 80/20 blend ratio was modified using 5% by weight kenaf fiber. Dynamic mechanical analysis of the composites was done to investigate the glass transition and the modulus at sub-ambient and ambient temperatures. ESEM was conducted to analyze fiber topography which revealed smoother surfaces on the pectinase retted fibers. 2. Performance in thermoset composites. The effect of the incorporation of natural fibers of kenaf and of sugarcane combined with the polyester resin matrix is investigated. A comparison of mechanical properties of kenaf polyester composite, sugarcane polyester composite and pure polyester in tensile, bending, dynamic mechanical thermal analysis (DMA) and moisture test on performance is measured.. 3. Performance in sandwich composites. The comparison of the performance characteristics and mechanical properties of natural fiber composites panels with soft and rigid foam cores are evaluated. A thorough test of the mechanical behavior of composites sandwich materials in tensile, bending and DCB is presented here. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc500002/
Titanium Boride Formation and Its Subsequent Influence on Morphology and Crystallography of Alpha Precipitates in Titanium Alloys
Over the last two decades there has been an increased interest in understanding the influence of trace boron additions in Ti alloys. These additions refine the prior β grain size in as-cast Ti alloys along with increasing their modulus and yield strength due to the precipitation of TiB. TiB also acts as a heterogeneous nucleation site for α precipitation and has been shown to influence the α phase morphology. B is completely soluble in liquid Ti but has a negligible solubility in both body centered cubic β and hexagonal close packed α phases of Ti. Thus, during solidification of hypoeutectic B containing alloys, B is rejected from β into the liquid where it reacts with Ti to form pristine single crystal whiskers of TiB. Despite a substantial amount of reported experimental work on the characterization of TiB precipitates, its formation mechanism and influence on α phase precipitation are still not clear. The current work is divided into two parts – (i) understanding the mechanism of TiB formation using first principles based density functional theory (DFT) calculations and (ii) elucidating how TiB influences the α phase morphology and crystallography in titanium alloys using electron microscopy techniques. TiB exhibits anisotropic growth morphology with [010] direction as its predominant growth direction and displays a hexagonal cross section with (100), (101), and (10) as the bounding planes. A high density of stacking faults has been experimentally observed on the (100) plane. The present study, by using DFT based nudged elastic band (NEB) calculations, elucidates for the first time that the diffusion of B through TiB is via an interstitial-assisted mechanism as opposed to vacancy-assisted mechanism hypothesized in literature. This one dimensional interstitial-assisted diffusion results in the anisotropic growth of TiB. In addition, the energetics of TiB- α interfaces was calculated to understand the hexagonal cross-section of TiB. The intimate mixing of B27 and Bf structures and their co-existence with stacking faults has been explained by calculating the interfacial energy of B27/Bf interfaces along with stacking fault formation energy. The boride precipitates have also been shown to modify the morphology of α phase from lath like to more equiaxed like. However, the influence of TiB on the crystallography of α precipitation has not been explored in great detail. The present study will clearly demonstrate, for the first time, the influence of various alloying elements present in the titanium alloy, on the resulting effect of B addition on α morphology and its crystallography in Ti alloys. Thus, the influence of B addition on α precipitation in two classes of commercial Ti alloys, i.e. β alloys and α + β alloys have been explored. It has been found that TiB nucleated α can either become equiaxed by a loss of Burgers orientation relationship (OR) with β or can retain the lath morphology in case of alloys containing a combination of Ti, Al and Mo. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc407855/
Topics in micro electromechanical systems: MEMS engineering and alternative materials for MEMS fabrication.
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This paper deals with various topics in micro electromechanical systems (MEMS) technology beginning with microactuation, MEMS processing, and MEMS design engineering. The fabrication and testing of three separate MEMS devices are described. The first two devices are a linear stepping motor and a continuous rotary motor, respectively; and were designed for the purpose of investigating the frictional and wear properties of silicon components. The third device is a bi-stable microrelay, in which electrical current conducts through a secondary circuit, via a novel probe-interconnect mechanism. The second half focuses on engineering a carbon nanotube / SU-8 photoepoxy nanocomposite for fabricating MEMS devices. A processing method for this material as well as the initial results of characterization, are discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4553/
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 Behavior of Spark Plasma Sintered Tic/graphite/nickel Composites and Cobalt Alloys
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Monolithic composites are needed that combine low friction and wear, high mechanical hardness, and high fracture toughness. Thin films and coatings are often unable to meet this engineering challenge as they can delaminate and fracture during operation ceasing to provide beneficial properties during service life. Two material systems were synthesized by spark plasma sintering (SPS) and were studied for their ability to meet these criteria. A dual hybrid composite was fabricated and consisted of a nickel matrix for fracture toughness, TiC for hardness and graphite for solid/self‐lubrication. An in‐situ reaction during processing resulted in the formation of TiC from elemental Ti and C powders. The composition was varied to determine its effects on tribological behavior. Stellite 21, a cobalt‐chrome‐molybdenum alloy, was also produced by SPS. Stellite 21 has low stacking fault energy and a hexagonal phase which forms during sliding that both contribute to low interfacial shear and friction. Samples were investigated by x‐ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive x‐ray spectroscopy (EDS), and electron back‐scattered diffraction (EBSD). Tribological properties were characterized by pin on disc tribometry and wear rates were determined by profilometry and abrasion testing. Solid/self‐lubrication in the TiC/C/Ni system was investigated by Raman and Auger mapping. A tribofilm, which undergoes a stress‐induced phase transformation from polycrystalline graphite to amorphous carbon, was formed during sliding in the TiC/C/Ni system that is responsible for low friction and wear. TiC additions help to further decrease wear. Stellite 21 was also found to exhibit acceptably low friction and wear properties arising from the presence of Cr23C6 in the matrix and work hardening of the cobalt and chromium during sliding. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc407776/
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/
Void Growth and Collapse in a Creeping Single Crystal
Aircraft engine components can be subjected to a large number of thermo-mechanical loading cycles and to long dwell times at high temperatures. In particular, the understanding of creep in single crystal superalloy turbine blades is of importance for designing more reliable and fuel efficient aircraft engines. Creep tests on single crystal superalloy specimens have shown greater creep strain rates for thinner specimens than predicted by current theories. Therefore, it is necessary to develop a more predictive description of creep processes in these materials for them to be used effectively. Experimental observations have shown that the crystals have an initial porosity and that the progressive growth of these voids plays a major role in limiting creep life. In order to understand void growth under creep in single crystals, we have analyzed the creep response of three dimensional unit cells with a single spherical void under different types of isothermal creep loading. The growth behavior of the void is simulated using a three dimensional rate dependent crystal plasticity constitutive relation in a quasi-static finite element analysis. The aim of the present work is to analyze the effect of stress traixiality and Lode parameter on void growth under both constant true stress and constant engineering stress isothermal creep loading. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84281/
A Wet Etch Release Method for Silicon Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS) Using Polystyrene Microspheres for Improved Yield
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One of the final steps in fabricating microelectromechanical devices often involves a liquid etch release process. Capillary forces during the liquid evaporation stage after the wet etch process can pull two surfaces together resulting in adhesion of suspended microstructures to the supporting substrate. This release related adhesion can greatly reduce yields. In this report, a wet etch release method that uses polystyrene microspheres in the final rinse liquid is investigated. The polystyrene microspheres act as physical barriers between the substrate and suspended microstructures during the final liquid evaporation phase. A plasma ashing process is utilized to completely remove the polystyrene microspheres from the microstructure surfaces. Using this process, release yields > 90% were achieved. It is found that the surface roughness of gold surfaces increases while that of the silicon is reduced due to a thin oxide that grows on the silicon surface during the plasma process. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4457/
Wettability of Silicon, Silicon Dioxide, and Organosilicate Glass
Wetting of a substance has been widely investigated since it has many applications to many different fields. Wetting principles can be applied to better select cleans for front end of line (FEOL) and back end of line (BEOL) cleaning processes. These principles can also be used to help determine processes that best repel water from a semiconductor device. It is known that the value of the dielectric constant in an insulator increases when water is absorbed. These contact angle experiments will determine which processes can eliminate water absorption. Wetting is measured by the contact angle between a solid and a liquid. It is known that roughness plays a crucial role on the wetting of a substance. Different surface groups also affect the wetting of a surface. In this work, it was investigated how wetting was affected by different solid surfaces with different chemistries and different roughness. Four different materials were used: silicon; thermally grown silicon dioxide on silicon; chemically vapor deposited (CVD) silicon dioxide on silicon made from tetraethyl orthosilicate (TEOS); and organosilicate glass (OSG) on silicon. The contact angle of each of the samples was measured using a goniometer. The roughness of the samples was measured by atomic force microscopy (AFM). The chemistry of each of the samples were characterized by using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and grazing angle total attenuated total reflection Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR/GATR). Also, the contact angle was measured at the micro scale by using an environmental scanning electron microscope (ESEM). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc12161/