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 Degree Discipline: Materials Science and Engineering
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
Barrier and long term creep properties of polymer nanocomposites.
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The barrier properties and long term strength retention of polymers are of significant importance in a number of applications. Enhanced lifetime food packaging, substrates for OLED based flexible displays and long duration scientific balloons are among them. Higher material requirements in these applications drive the need for an accurate measurement system. Therefore, a new system was engineered with enhanced sensitivity and accuracy. Permeability of polymers is affected by permeant solubility and diffusion. One effort to decrease diffusion rates is via increasing the transport path length. We explore this through dispersion of layered silicates into polymers. Layered silicates with effective aspect ratio of 1000:1 have shown promise in improving the barrier and mechanical properties of polymers. The surface of these inorganic silicates was modified with surfactants to improve the interaction with organic polymers. The micro and nanoscale dispersion of the layered silicates was probed using optical and transmission microscopy as well as x-ray diffraction. Thermal transitions were analyzed using differential scanning calorimetry. Mechanical and permeability measurements were correlated to the dispersion and increased density. The essential structure-property relationships were established by comparing semicrystalline and amorphous polymers. Semicrystalline polymers selected were nylon-6 and polyethylene terephthalate. The amorphous polymer was polyethylene terphthalate-glycol. Densification due to the layered silicate in both semicrystalline and amorphous polymers was associated with significant impact on barrier and long term creep behavior. The inferences were confirmed by investigating a semi-crystalline polymer - polyethylene - above and below the glass transition. The results show that the layered silicate influences the amorphous segments in polymers and barrier properties are affected by synergistic influences of densification and uniform dispersion of the layered silicates.
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 %.
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.
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.
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.
Materials properties of ruthenium and ruthenium oxides thin films for advanced electronic applications.
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Ruthenium and ruthenium dioxide thin films have shown great promise in various applications, such as thick film resistors, buffer layers for yttrium barium copper oxide (YBCO) superconducting thin films, and as electrodes in ferroelectric memories. Other potential applications in Si based complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) devices are currently being studied. The search for alternative metal-based gate electrodes as a replacement of poly-Si gates has intensified during the last few years. Metal gates are required to maintain scaling and performance of future CMOS devices. Ru based materials have many desirable properties and are good gate electrode candidates for future metal-oxide-semiconductor (MOS) device applications. Moreover, Ru and RuO2 are promising candidates as diffusion barriers for copper interconnects. In this thesis, the thermal stability and interfacial diffusion and reaction of both Ru and RuO2 thin films on HfO2 gate dielectrics were investigated using Rutherford backscattering spectrometry (RBS), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). An overview of Ru and RuO2/HfO2 interface integrity issues will be presented. In addition, the effects of C ion modification of RuO2 thin films on the physico-chemical and electrical properties are evaluated.
Mechanical behavior and performance of injection molded semi-crystalline polymers.
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I have used computer simulations to investigate the behavior of polymeric materials at the molecular level. The simulations were performed using the molecular dynamics method with Lennard-Jones potentials defining the interactions between particles in the system. Significant effort was put into the creation of realistic materials on the computer. For this purpose, an algorithm was developed based on the step-wise polymerization process. The resulting computer-generated materials (CGMs) exhibit several features of real materials, such as molecular weight distribution and presence of chain entanglements. The effect of the addition of a liquid crystalline (LC) phase to the flexible matrix was also studied. The concentration and distribution of the second phase (2P) were found to influence the mechanical and tribological properties of the CGMs. The size of the 2P agglomerates was found to have negligible influence on the properties within the studied range. Moreover, although the 2P reinforcement increases the modulus, it favors crack formation and propagation. Regions of high LC concentration exhibit high probability of becoming part of the crack propagation path. Simulations of the tensile deformation under a uniaxial force have shown that the molecular deformation mechanisms developing in the material depend on several variables, such as the magnitude of the force, the force increase rate, and the level of orientation of the chains. Three-dimensional (3D) graphical visualization tools were developed for representation and analysis of the simulation results. These also present interesting educational possibilities. Computer simulations provide us information which is inaccessible experimentally. From the concomitant use of simulations and experiments, a better understanding of the molecular phenomena that take place during deformation of polymers has been established.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.