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 Department: Department of Materials Science and Engineering
Amorphization and De-vitrification in Immiscible Copper-Niobium Alloy Thin Films

Amorphization and De-vitrification in Immiscible Copper-Niobium Alloy Thin Films

Date: May 2007
Creator: Puthucode Balakrishnan, Anantharamakrishnan
Description: While amorphous phases have been reported in immiscible alloy systems, there is still some controversy regarding the reason for the stabilization of these unusual amorphous phases. Direct evidence of nanoscale phase separation within the amorphous phase forming in immiscible Cu-Nb alloy thin films using 3D atom probe tomography has been presented. This evidence clearly indicates that the nanoscale phase separation is responsible for the stabilization of the amorphous phase in such immiscible systems since it substantially reduces the free energy of the undercooled liquid (or amorphous) phase, below that of the competing supersaturated crystalline phases. The devitrification of the immiscible Cu-Nb thin film of composition Cu-45% Nb has been studied in detail with the discussion on the mechanism of phase transformation. The initial phase separation in the amorphous condition seems to play a vital role in the crystallization of the thin film. Detailed analysis has been done using X-ray diffraction, transmission electron microscopy and 3D atom probe tomography.
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Surface Engineering and Characterization of Laser Deposited Metallic Biomaterials

Surface Engineering and Characterization of Laser Deposited Metallic Biomaterials

Date: May 2007
Creator: Samuel, Sonia
Description: 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 ...
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Bulk and interfacial effects on density in polymer nanocomposites

Bulk and interfacial effects on density in polymer nanocomposites

Date: May 2007
Creator: Sahu, Laxmi Kumari
Description: The barrier properties of polymers are a significant factor in determining the shelf or device lifetime in polymer packaging. Nanocomposites developed from the dispersion of nanometer thick platelets into a host polymer matrix have shown much promise. The magnitude of the benefit on permeability has been different depending on the polymer investigated or the degree of dispersion of the platelet in the polymer. In this dissertation, the effect of density changes in the bulk and at the polymer-platelet interface on permeability of polymer nanocomposites is investigated. Nanocomposites of nylon, PET, and PEN were processed by extrusion. Montmorillonite layered silicate (MLS) in a range of concentrations from 1 to 5% was blended with all three resins. Dispersion of the MLS in the matrix was investigated by using one or a combination of X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Variation in bulk density via crystallization was analyzed using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and polarized optical microscopy. Interfacial densification was investigated using force modulation atomic force microscopy (AFM) and ellipsometry. Mechanical properties are reported. Permeability of all films was measured in an in-house built permeability measurement system. The effect of polymer orientation and induced defects on permeability ...
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Measurement of Lattice Strain and Relaxation Effects in Strained Silicon Using X-ray Diffraction and Convergent Beam Electron Diffraction

Measurement of Lattice Strain and Relaxation Effects in Strained Silicon Using X-ray Diffraction and Convergent Beam Electron Diffraction

Date: August 2007
Creator: Diercks, David Robert
Description: 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 ...
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Characterization of cure kinetics and physical properties of a high performance, glass fiber-reinforced epoxy prepreg and a novel fluorine-modified, amine-cured commercial epoxy.

Characterization of cure kinetics and physical properties of a high performance, glass fiber-reinforced epoxy prepreg and a novel fluorine-modified, amine-cured commercial epoxy.

Date: December 2003
Creator: Bilyeu, Bryan
Description: Kinetic equation parameters for the curing reaction of a commercial glass fiber reinforced high performance epoxy prepreg composed of the tetrafunctional epoxy tetraglycidyl 4,4-diaminodiphenyl methane (TGDDM), the tetrafunctional amine curing agent 4,4'-diaminodiphenylsulfone (DDS) and an ionic initiator/accelerator, are determined by various thermal analysis techniques and the results compared. The reaction is monitored by heat generated determined by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and by high speed DSC when the reaction rate is high. The changes in physical properties indicating increasing conversion are followed by shifts in glass transition temperature determined by DSC, temperature-modulated DSC (TMDSC), step scan DSC and high speed DSC, thermomechanical (TMA) and dynamic mechanical (DMA) analysis and thermally stimulated depolarization (TSD). Changes in viscosity, also indicative of degree of conversion, are monitored by DMA. Thermal stability as a function of degree of cure is monitored by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). The parameters of the general kinetic equations, including activation energy and rate constant, are explained and used to compare results of various techniques. The utilities of the kinetic descriptions are demonstrated in the construction of a useful time-temperature-transformation (TTT) diagram and a continuous heating transformation (CHT) diagram for rapid determination of processing parameters in the processing of prepregs. Shrinkage ...
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Deposition and characterization of pentacene film.

Deposition and characterization of pentacene film.

Date: December 2003
Creator: Singh, Nidhi
Description: Many organic materials have been studied to be used as semiconductors, few of them being pentacene and polythiophene. Organic semiconductors have been investigated to make organic thin film transistors. Pentacene has been used in the active region of the transistors. Transistors fabricated with pentacene do not have very high mobility. But in some applications, high mobility is not needed. In such application other properties of organic transistors are used, such as, ease of production and flexibility. Organic thin film transistors (OTFT) can find use as low density storage devices, such as smart cards or I.D. tags, and displays. OTFT are compatible with polymeric substrates and hence can find use as flexible computer screens. This project aims at making 'smart clothes', the cheap way, with pentacene based OTFT. This problem in lieu of thesis describes a way to deposit pentacene films and characterize it. Pentacene films were deposited on substrates and characterized using x-ray diffraction (XRD) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). The substrate used was ~1500Å platinum on silicon wafer or bare silicon wafer. was used. A deposition system for vacuum deposition of pentacene was assembled. The XRD data for deposited pentacene films shows the presence of two phases, single ...
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Electrochemical synthesis of CeO2 and CeO2/montmorillonite nanocomposites.

Electrochemical synthesis of CeO2 and CeO2/montmorillonite nanocomposites.

Date: December 2003
Creator: Wang, Qi
Description: Nanocrystalline cerium oxide thin films on metal and semiconductor substrates have been fabricated with a novel electrodeposition approach - anodic oxidation. X-ray diffraction analysis indicated that as-produced cerium oxide films are characteristic face-centered cubic fluorite structure with 5 ~ 20 nm crystal sizes. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy study probes the non-stoichiometry property of as-produced films. Raman spectroscopy and Scanning Electron Microscopy have been applied to analyze the films as well. Deposition mode, current density, reaction temperature and pH have also been investigated and the deposition condition has been optimized for preferred oriented film formation: galvanostatic deposition with current density of -0.06 mA/cm2, T > 50oC and 7 < pH < 10. Generally, potentiostatic deposition results in random structured cerium oxide films. Sintering of potentiostatic deposited cerium oxide films leads to crystal growth and reach nearly full density at 1100oC. It is demonstrated that in-air heating favors the 1:2 stoichiometry of CeO2. Nanocrystalline cerium oxide powders (4 ~ 10 nm) have been produced with anodic electrochemical synthesis. X-ray diffraction and Raman spectroscopy were employed to investigate lattice expansion phenomenon related to the nanoscale cerium oxide particles. The pH of reaction solution plays an important role in electrochemical synthesis of cerium oxide films ...
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Hydrophobic, fluorinated silica xerogel for low-k applications.

Hydrophobic, fluorinated silica xerogel for low-k applications.

Date: May 2004
Creator: Zhang, Zhengping
Description: A new hydrophobic hybrid silica film was synthesized by introducing one silicon precursor (as modifiers) into another precursor (network former). Hybrid films have improved properties. Hydrolysis and condensation of dimethyldiethoxysilane (DMDES) (solvent (EtOH) to DMDES molar ratio R = 4, water to DMDES molar ratio r = 4, 0.01 N HCl catalyst) was analyzed using high-resolution liquid 29Si NMR. It was found that after several hours, DMDES hydrolyzed and condensed into linear and cyclic species. Films from triethoxyfluorosilane (TEFS) have been shown to be promising interlayer dielectric materials for future integrated circuit applications due to their low dielectric constant and high mechanical properties (i.e., Young's modulus (E) and hardness (H)). Co-condensing with TEFS, linear structures from DMDES hydrolysis and condensation reactions rendered hybrid films hydrophobic, and cyclic structures induced the formation of pores. Hydrophobicity characterized by contact angle, thermal stability by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), Fourier transform Infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), contact angle, and dynamic secondary ion mass spectroscopy (DSIMS), dielectric constant determined by impedance measurement, and mechanical properties (E and H) determined by nanoindentation of TEFS and TEFS + DMDES films were compared to study the effect of DMDES on the TEFS structure. Hybrid films were more hydrophobic and thermally stable. ...
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A Wet Etch Release Method for Silicon Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS) Using Polystyrene Microspheres for Improved Yield

A Wet Etch Release Method for Silicon Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS) Using Polystyrene Microspheres for Improved Yield

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Date: May 2004
Creator: Mantiziba, Fadziso
Description: 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.
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Determination of wear in polymers using multiple scratch test.

Determination of wear in polymers using multiple scratch test.

Date: August 2004
Creator: Damarla, Gowrisankar
Description: Wear is an important phenomenon that occurs in all the polymer applications in one form or the other. However, important links between materials properties and wear remain illusive. Thus optimization of material properties requires proper understanding of polymer properties. Studies to date have typically lacked systematic approach to all polymers and wear test developed are specific to some polymer classes. In this thesis, different classes of polymers are selected and an attempt is made to use multiple scratch test to define wear and to create a universal test procedure that can be employed to most of the polymers. In each of the materials studied, the scratch penetration depth s reaches a constant value after certain number of scratches depending upon the polymer and its properties. Variations in test parameters like load and speed are also studied in detail to understand the behavior of polymers and under different conditions. Apart from polystyrene, all the other polymers studied under multiple scratch test reached asymptotes at different scratch numbers.
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