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 Degree Discipline: Materials Science and Engineering
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.
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.
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.
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.
Investigations in the Mechanism of Carbothermal Reduction of Yttria Stabilized Zirconia for Ultra-high Temperature Ceramics Application and Its Influence on Yttria Contained in It
Zirconium carbide (ZrC) is a high modulus ceramic with an ultra-high melting temperature and, consequently, is capable of withstanding extreme environments. Carbon-carbon composites (CCCs) are important structural materials in future hypersonic aircraft; however, these materials may be susceptible to degradation when exposed to elevated temperatures during extreme velocities. At speeds of exceeding Mach 5, intense heating of leading edges of the aircraft triggers rapid oxidation of carbon in CCCs resulting in degradation of the structure and probable failure. Environmental/thermal barrier coatings (EBC/TBC) are employed to protect airfoil structures from extreme conditions. Yttria stabilized zirconia (YSZ) is a well-known EBC/TBC material currently used to protect metallic turbine blades and other aerospace structures. In this work, 3 mol% YSZ has been studied as a potential EBC/TBC on CCCs. However, YSZ is an oxygen conductor and may not sufficiently slow the oxidation of the underlying CCC. Under appropriate conditions, ZrC can form at the interface between CCC and YSZ. Because ZrC is a poor oxygen ion conductor in addition to its stability at high temperatures, it can reduce the oxygen transport to the CCC and thus increase the service lifetime of the structure. This dissertation investigates the thermodynamics and kinetics of the YSZ/ZrC/CCC system and the resulting structural changes across multiple size scales. A series of experiments were conducted to understand the mechanisms and species involved in the carbothermal reduction of ZrO2 to form ZrC. 3 mol% YSZ and graphite powders were uniaxially pressed into pellets and reacted in a graphite (C) furnace. Rietveld x-ray diffraction phase quantification determined that greater fractions of ZrC were formed when carbon was the majority mobile species. These results were validated by modeling the process thermochemically and were confirmed with additional experiments. Measurements were conducted to examine the effect of carbothermal reduction on the bond lengths in YSZ and ZrC. Subsequent extended x-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) measurements and calculations showed Zr-O, Zr-C and Zr-Zr bond lengths to be unchanged after carbothermal reduction. Energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) line scan and mapping were carried out on carbothermaly reduced 3 mol% YSZ and 10 mol% YSZ powders. Results revealed Y2O3 stabilizer forming agglomerates with a very low solubility in ZrC.
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.
Dislocation Dynamics Simulations of Plasticity in Cu Thin Films
Strong size effects in plastic deformation of thin films have been experimentally observed, indicating non-traditional deformation mechanisms. These observations require improved understanding of the behavior of dislocation in small size materials, as they are the primary plastic deformation carrier. Dislocation dynamics (DD) is a computational method that is capable of directly simulating the motion and interaction of dislocations in crystalline materials. This provides a convenient approach to study micro plasticity in thin films. While two-dimensional dislocation dynamics simulation in thin film proved that the size effect fits Hall-Petch equation very well, there are issues related to three-dimensional size effects. In this work, three-dimensional dislocation dynamics simulations are used to study model cooper thin film deformation. Grain boundary is modeled as impenetrable obstacle to dislocation motion in this work. Both tension and cyclic loadings are applied and a wide range of size and geometry of thin films are studied. The results not only compare well with experimentally observed size effects on thin film strength, but also provide many details on dislocation processes in thin films, which could greatly help formulate new mechanisms of dislocation-based plasticity.
Laser Deposition, Heat-treatment, and Characterization of the Binary Ti-xmn System
The present research seeks to characterization of an additively manufactured and heat-treated Ti-xMn gradient alloy, a binary system that has largely been unexplored. In order to rapidly assess this binary system, compositionally graded Ti-xMn (0<x<15 wt%) specimens were fabricated using the LENS (Laser Engineered Net Shaping) and were subsequently heat-treated and characterized using a wide range of techniques. Microstructural changes with respect to the change in thermal treatments, hardness and chemical composition were observed and will be presented. These include assessments of both continuous cooling, leading to observations of both equilibrium and metastable phases, including the titanium martensites, and to direct aging studies looking for composition regimes that produce highly refined alpha precipitates – a subject of great interest given recent understandings of non-classical nucleation and growth mechanisms. The samples were characterized using SEM, EDS, TEM, and XRD and the properties probed using a Vickers Microhardness tester.
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.
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.
Integrated Computational and Experimental Approach to Control Physical Texture During Laser Machining of Structural Ceramics
The high energy lasers are emerging as an innovative material processing tool to effectively fabricate complex shapes on the hard and brittle structural ceramics, which previously had been near impossible to be machined effectively using various conventional machining techniques. In addition, the in-situ measurement of the thermo-physical properties in the severe laser machining conditions (high temperature, short time duration, and small interaction volume) is an extremely difficult task. As a consequence, it is extremely challenging to investigate the evolution of surface topography through experimental analyses. To address this issue, an integrated experimental and computational (multistep and multiphysics based finite-element modeling) approach was employed to understand the influence of laser processing parameters to effectively control the various thermo-physical effects (recoil pressure, Marangoni convection, and surface tension) during transient physical processes (melting, vaporization) for controlled surface topography (surface finish). The results indicated that the material lost due to evaporation causes an increase in crater depth of machined cavity, whereas liquid expulsion created by the recoil pressure increases the material pileup height around the lip of machined cavity, the major attributes of surface topography (roughness). Also, it was found that the surface roughness increased with increase in laser energy density and pulse rate (from 10 to 50Hz), and with the decrease in distance between two pulses (from 0.6 to 0.1mm) or the increase in lateral and transverse overlap (0, 17, 33, 50, 67, and 83%). The results of the computational model are also validated by experimental observations with reasonably close agreement.
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.
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.
Dynamic Precipitation of Second Phase Under Deformed Condition in Mg-nd Based Alloy
Magnesium alloys are the lightweight structural materials with high strength to weigh ratio that permits their application in fuel economy sensitive automobile industries. Among the several flavors of of Mg-alloys, precipitation hardenable Mg-rare earth (RE) based alloys have shown good potential due to their favorable creep resistance within a wide window of operating temperatures ranging from 150°C to 300°C. A key aspect of Mg-RE alloys is the presence of precipitate phases that leads to strengthening of such alloys. Several notable works, in literature, have been done to examine the formation of such precipitate phases. However, there are very few studies that evaluated the effect stress induced deformation on the precipitation in Mg-RE alloys. Therefore, the objective of this work is to examine influence of deformation on the precipitation of Mg-Nd based alloys. To address this problem, precipitation in two Mg-Nd based alloys, subjected to two different deformation conditions, and was examined via transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and atom probe tomography (APT). In first deformation condition, Md-2.6wt%Nd alloy was subjected to creep deformation (90MPa / 177ºC) to failure. Effect of stress-induced deformation was examined by comparing and contrasting with precipitation in non-creep tested specimens subjected to isothermal annealing (at 177ºC). In second condition, Mg-4.0Y-3.0Nd-0.5Zr (wt %) or WE43 alloy (with comparable Nd content as model Mg-Nd system) was subjected to hot rolling deformation at a sub-solvus temperature.
Dynamic Adhesion and Self-cleaning Mechanisms of Gecko Setae and Spatulae
Geckos can freely climb on walls and ceilings against their body weight at speed of over 1ms-1. Switching between attachment and detachment seem simple and easy for geckos, without considering the surface to be dry or wet, smooth or rough, dirty or clean. In addition, gecko can shed dirt particles during use, keeping the adhesive pads clean. Mimicking this biological system can lead to a new class of dry adhesives for various applications. However, gecko’s unique dry self-cleaning mechanism remains unknown, which impedes the development of self-cleaning dry adhesives. In this dissertation we provide new evidence and self-cleaning mechanism to explain how gecko shed particles and keep its sticky feet clean. First we studied the dynamic enhancement observed between micro-sized particles and substrate under dry and wet conditions. The adhesion force of soft (polystyrene) and hard (SiO2 and Al2O3) micro-particles on soft (polystyrene) and hard (fused silica and sapphire) substrates was measured using an atomic force microscope (AFM) with retraction (z-piezo) speed ranging over 4 orders of magnitude. The adhesion is strongly enhanced by the dynamic effect. When the retraction speeds varies from 0.02 µm/s to 156 µm/s, the adhesion force increases by 10% ~ 50% in dry nitrogen while it increases by 15%~70% in humid air. A dynamic model was developed to explain this dynamic effect, which agrees well with the experimental results. Similar dynamic enhancement was also observed in aqueous solution. The influence of dynamic factors related to the adhesion enhancement, such as particle inertia, viscoelastic deformations and crack propagation, was discussed to understand the dynamic enhancement mechanisms. Although particles show dynamic enhancement, Gecko fabrillar hair shows a totally different trend. The pull off forces of a single gecko seta and spatula was tested by AFM under different pull-off velocities. The result shows that both the spatula and the seta have a rate independent adhesion response in normal retraction, which is quite different from micro-particles. Further research indicated the shape of the contact area was a key factor to the dynamic effect. In order to verify this hypothesis, artificial gecko spatula made of glass fibers was nanofabricated by a focus ion beam (FIB) and tested by AFM. These manmade spatulae also show a rate independent adhesion response. The dynamic adhesion of a single gecko seta and spatula were simulated with finite element analysis and the results also confirm the rate independent phenomena.. In conclusion, self-cleaning is induced by dynamic effect during gecko locomotion. The relative dynamic adhesion change between particles and seta makes it possible for gecko to shed the dirt particles while walking.Finally, the fatigue property of gecko seta was examined with the atomic force microscope under cyclic attachment/detachment process, mimicking gecko running. The adhesion force versus cycles has been tested and evaluated. Fatigue mechanism of gecko seta was also analyzed based on the experimental findings.
Corrosion Protection of Aerospace Grade Magnesium Alloy Elektron 43™ for Use in Aircraft Cabin Interiors
Magnesium alloys exhibit desirable properties for use in transportation technology. In particular, the low density and high specific strength of these alloys is of interest to the aerospace community. However, the concerns of flammability and susceptibility to corrosion have limited the use of magnesium alloys within the aircraft cabin. This work studies a magnesium alloy containing rare earth elements designed to increase resistance to ignition while lowering rate of corrosion. The microstructure of the alloy was documented using scanning electron microscopy. Specimens underwent salt spray testing and the corrosion products were examined using energy dispersive spectroscopy.
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).
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.
Solid Lubrication Mechanisms in Laser Deposited Nickel-titanium-carbon Metal Matrix Composites
A Ni/TiC/C metal matrix composite (MMC) has been processed using the laser engineered net shaping (LENS) process from commercially available powders with a Ni-3Ti-20C (atomic %) composition. This processing route produces the in-situ formation of homogeneously distributed eutectic and primary titanium carbide and graphite precipitates throughout the Ni matrix. The composite exhibits promising tribological properties when tested in dry sliding conditions with a low steady state coefficient of friction (CoF) of ~0.1 and lower wear rates in comparison to LENS deposited pure Ni. The as deposited and tribologically worn composite has been characterized using Auger electron spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction, high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) with energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS), dual beam focused ion beam SEM (FIB/SEM) serial sectioning and Vickers micro-hardness testing. The evolution of subsurface stress states and precipitate motion during repeated sliding contact has been investigated using finite element analysis (FEA). The results of FIB/SEM serial sectioning, HRTEM, and Auger electron spectroscopy in conjunction with FEA simulations reveal that the improved tribological behavior is due to the in-situ formation of a low interfacial shear strength amorphous carbon tribofilm that is extruded to the surface via refined Ni grain boundaries.
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.
Laser Modified Alumina: a Computational and Experimental Analysis
Laser surface modification involves rapid melting and solidification is an elegant technique used for locally tailoring the surface morphology of alumina in order to enhance its abrasive characteristics. COMSOL Multiphysics® based heat transfer modeling and experimental approaches were designed and used in this study for single and multiple laser tracks to achieve densely-packed multi-facet grains via temperature history, cooling rate, solidification, scanning electron micrographs, and wear rate. Multi-facet grains were produced at the center of laser track with primary dendrites extending toward the edge of single laser track. The multiple laser tracks study indicates the grain/dendrite size increases as the laser energy density increases resulting in multiplying the abrasive edges which in turn enhance the abrasive qualities.
An Integrated Approach to Determine Phenomenological Equations in Metallic Systems
It is highly desirable to be able to make predictions of properties in metallic materials based upon the composition of the material and the microstructure. Unfortunately, the complexity of real, multi-component, multi-phase engineering alloys makes the provision of constituent-based (i.e., composition or microstructure) phenomenological equations extremely difficult. Due to these difficulties, qualitative predictions are frequently used to study the influence of microstructure or composition on the properties. Neural networks were used as a tool to get a quantitative model from a database. However, the developed model is not a phenomenological model. In this study, a new method based upon the integration of three separate modeling approaches, specifically artificial neural networks, genetic algorithms, and monte carlo was proposed. These three methods, when coupled in the manner described in this study, allows for the extraction of phenomenological equations with a concurrent analysis of uncertainty. This approach has been applied to a multi-component, multi-phase microstructure exhibiting phases with varying spatial and morphological distributions. Specifically, this approach has been applied to derive a phenomenological equation for the prediction of yield strength in a+b processed Ti-6-4. The equation is consistent with not only the current dataset but also, where available, the limited information regarding certain parameters such as intrinsic yield strength of pure hexagonal close-packed alpha titanium.
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.
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.
First Principles Calculations of the Site Substitution Behavior in Gamma Prime Phase in Nickel Based Superalloys
Nickel based superalloys have superior high temperature mechanical strength, corrosion and creep resistance in harsh environments and found applications in the hot sections as turbine blades and turbine discs in jet engines and gas generator turbines in the aerospace and energy industries. The efficiency of these turbine engines depends on the turbine inlet temperature, which is determined by the high temperature strength and behavior of these superalloys. The microstructure of nickel based superalloys usually contains coherently precipitated gamma prime (?) Ni3Al phase within the random solid solution of the gamma () matrix, with the ? phase being the strengthening phase of the superalloys. How the alloying elements partition into the and ? phases and especially in the site occupancy behaviors in the strengthening ? phases play a critical role in their high temperature mechanical behaviors. The goal of this dissertation is to study the site substitution behavior of the major alloying elements including Cr, Co and Ti through first principles based calculations. Site substitution energies have been calculated using the anti-site formation, the standard defect formation formalism, and the vacancy formation based formalism. Elements such as Cr and Ti were found to show strong preference for Al sublattice, whereas Co was found to have a compositionally dependent site preference. In addition, the interaction energies between Cr-Cr, Co-Co, Ti-Ti and Cr-Co atoms have also been determined. Along with the charge transfer, chemical bonding and alloy chemistry associated with the substitutions has been investigated by examining the charge density distributions and electronic density of states to explain the chemical nature of the site substitution. Results show that Cr and Co atoms prefer to be close by on either Al sublattice or on a Ni-Al mixed lattice, suggesting a potential tendency of Cr and Co segregation in the ? phase.
Biodegradable Poly(hydroxy Butyrate-co-valerate) Nanocomposites And Blends With Poly(butylene Adipate-co-terephthalate) For Sensor Applications
The utilization of biodegradable polymers is critical for developing “cradle to cradle” mindset with ecological, social and economic consequences. Poly(hydroxy butyrate-co-valerate) (PHBV) shows significant potential for many applications with a polypropylene equivalent mechanical performance. However, it has limitations including high crystallinity, brittleness, small processing window, etc. which need to be overcome before converting them into useful products. Further the development of biodegradable strain sensing polymer sensors for structural health monitoring has been a growing need. In this dissertation I utilize carbon nanotubes as a self sensing dispersed nanofiller. The impact of its addition on PHBV and a blend of PHBV with poly(butylene adipate-co-terephthalate) (PBAT) polymer was examined. Nanocomposites and blends of PHBV, PBAT, and MWCNTs were prepared by melt-blending. The effect of MWCNTs on PHBV crystallinity, crystalline phase, quasi-static and dynamic mechanical property was studied concurrently with piezoresistive response. In PHBV/PBAT blends a rare phenomenon of melting point elevation by the addition of low melting point PBAT was observed. The blends of these two semicrystalline aliphatic and aromatic polyesters were investigated by using differential scanning calorimetry, small angle X-ray scattering, dynamic mechanical analysis, surface energy measurement by contact angle method, polarized optical and scanning electron microscopy, and rheology. The study revealed a transition of immiscible blend compositions to miscible blend compositions across the 0-100 composition range. PHBV10, 20, and 30 were determined to be miscible blends based on a single Tg and rheological properties. The inter-relation between stress, strain, morphological structure and piezoresistive response of MWCNT filled PHBV and PHBV/PBAT blend system was thoroughly investigated. The outcomes of piezoreistivity study indicated MWCNT filled PHBV and PHBV/PBAT blend system as a viable technology for structural health monitoring. Finally, the compostability of pure polymer, blend system, and MWCNT filled system was studied indicating that PBAT and CNT decreased the biodegradability of PHBV with CNT being a better contributor than PBAT.
Electrical and Structure Properties of High-κ Barium Tantalite and Aluminum Oxide Interface with Zinc Oxide for Applications in Transparent Thin Film Transistors
ZnO has generated interest for flexible electronics/optoelectronic applications including transparent thin film transistors (TFTs). For this application, low temperature processes that simultaneously yield good electrical conductivity and optical transparency and that are compatible with flexible substrates such as plastic, are of paramount significance. Further, gate oxides are a critical component of TFTs, and must exhibit low leakage currents and self-healing breakdown in order to ensure optimal TFTs switching performance and reliability. Thus, the objective of this work was twofold: (1) develop an understanding of the processing-structure-property relationships of ZnO and high-κ BaTa2O6 and Al2O3 (2) understand the electronic defect structure of BaTa2O6 /ZnO and Al2O3/ZnO interfaces and develop insight to how such interfaces may impact the switching characteristics (speed and switching power) of TFTs featuring these materials. Of the ZnO films grown by atomic layer deposition (ALD), pulsed laser deposition (PLD) and magnetron sputtering at 100-200 °C, the latter method exhibited the best combination of n-type electrical conductivity and optical transparency. These determinations were made using a combination of photoluminescence, photoluminescence excitation, absorption edge and Hall measurements. Metal-insulator-semiconductor devices were then fabricated with sputtered ZnO and high-κ BaTa2O6 and Al2O3 and the interfaces of high-κ BaTa2O6 and Al2O3 with ZnO were analyzed using frequency dependent C-V and G-V measurements. The insulator films were deposited at room temperature by magnetron sputtering using optimized processing conditions. Although the Al2O3 films exhibited a lower breakdown strength and catastrophic breakdown behavior compared to BaTa2O6/ZnO interface, the Al2O3/ZnO interface was characterized by more than an order of magnitude smaller density of interface traps and interface trapped charge. The BaTa2O6 films in addition were characterized by a significantly higher concentration of fixed oxide charge. The transition from accumulation to inversion in the Al2O3 MIS structure was considerably sharper, and occurred at less than one tenth of the voltage required for the same transition in the BaTa2O6 case. The frequency dispersion effects were also noticeably more severe in the BaTa2O6 structures. XPS results suggest that acceptor-like structural defects associated with oxygen vacancies in the non-stoichiometric BaTa2O6 films are responsible for the extensive electrical trapping and poor high frequency response. The Al2O3 films were essentially stoichiometric. The results indicate that amorphous Al2O3 is better suited than BaTa2O6 as a gate oxide for transparent thin film transistor applications where low temperature processing is a prerequisite, assuming of course that the operation voltage of such devices is lower than the breakdown voltage. Also, the operation power for the devices with amorphous Al2O3 is lower than the case for devices with BaTa2O6 due to the smaller fixed oxide charges and interface trap density.
Biocompatible Hybrid Nanomaterials Involving Polymers and Hydrogels Interfaced with Phosphorescent Complexes and Toxin-Free Metallic Nanoparticles for Biomedical Applications
The major topics discussed are all relevant to interfacing brightly phosphorescent and non-luminescent coinage metal complexes of [Ag(I) and Au(I)] with biopolymers and thermoresponsive gels for making hybrid nanomaterials with an explanation on syntheses, characterization and their significance in biomedical fields. Experimental results and ongoing work on determining outreaching consequences of these hybrid nanomaterials for various biomedical applications like cancer therapy, bio-imaging and antibacterial abilities are described. In vitro and in vivo studies have been performed on majority of the discussed hybrid nanomaterials and determined that the cytotoxicity or antibacterial activity are comparatively superior when compared to analogues in literature. Consequential differences are noticed in photoluminescence enhancement from hybrid phosphorescent hydrogels, phosphorescent complex ability to physically crosslink, Au(I) sulfides tendency to form NIR (near-infrared) absorbing AuNPs compared to any similar work in literature. Syntheses of these hybrid nanomaterials has been thoroughly investigated and it is determined that either metallic nanoparticles syntheses or syntheses of phosphorescent hydrogels can be carried in single step without involving any hazardous reducing agents or crosslinkers or stabilizers that are commonly employed during multiple step syntheses protocols for syntheses of similar materials in literature. These astounding results that have been discovered within studies of hybrid nanomaterials are an asset to applications ranging from materials development to health science and will have striking effect on environmental and green chemistry approaches.
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.
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.
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.
The Influence of Ohmic Metals and Oxide Deposition on the Structure and Electrical Properties of Multilayer Epitaxial Graphene on Silicon Carbide Substrates
Graphene has attracted significant research attention for next generation of semiconductor devices due to its high electron mobility and compatibility with planar semiconductor processing. In this dissertation, the influences of Ohmic metals and high dielectric (high-k) constant aluminum oxide (Al2O3) deposition on the structural and electrical properties of multi-layer epitaxial graphene (MLG) grown by graphitization of silicon carbide (SiC) substrates have been investigated. Uniform MLG was successfully grown by sublimation of silicon from epitaxy-ready, Si and C terminated, 6H-SiC wafers in high-vacuum and argon atmosphere. The graphene formation was accompanied by a significant enhancement of Ohmic behavior, and, was found to be sensitive to the temperature ramp-up rate and annealing time. High-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) showed that the interface between the metal and SiC remained sharp and free of macroscopic defects even after 30 min, 1430 °C anneals. The impact of high dielectric constant Al2O3 and its deposition by radio frequency (RF) magnetron sputtering on the structural and electrical properties of MLG is discussed. HRTEM analysis confirms that the Al2O3/MLG interface is relatively sharp and that thickness approximation of the MLG using angle resolved X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (ARXPS) as well as variable-angle spectroscopic ellipsometry (VASE) is accurate. The totality of results indicate that ARXPS can be used as a nondestructive tool to measure the thickness of MLG, and that RF sputtered Al2O3 can be used as a (high-k) constant gate oxide in multilayer grapheme based transistor applications.
Bioresorbable Polymer Blend Scaffold for Tissue Engineering
Tissue engineering merges the disciplines of study like cell biology, materials science, engineering and surgery to enable growth of new living tissues on scaffolding constructed from implanted polymeric materials. One of the most important aspects of tissue engineering related to material science is design of the polymer scaffolds. The polymer scaffolds needs to have some specific mechanical strength over certain period of time. In this work bioresorbable aliphatic polymers (PCL and PLLA) were blended using extrusion and solution methods. These blends were then extruded and electrospun into fibers. The fibers were then subjected to FDA standard in vitro immersion degradation tests where its mechanical strength, water absorption, weight loss were observed during the eight weeks. The results indicate that the mechanical strength and rate of degradation can be tailored by changing the ratio of PCL and PLLA in the blend. Processing influences these parameters, with the loss of mechanical strength and rate of degradation being higher in electrospun fibers compared to those extruded. A second effort in this thesis addressed the potential separation of the scaffold from the tissue (loss of apposition) due to the differences in their low strain responses. This hypothesis that using knit with low tension will have better compliance was tested and confirmed.
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 &#947; matrix. A typical industrially relevant heat-treatment often leads to the formation of multiple size ranges of &#947;¢ precipitates presumably arising from multiple nucleation bursts during the continuous cooling process. The morphology and distribution of these &#947;&#8242; precipitates inside &#947; 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 &#947;&#8242; 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 &#947;&#8242; 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 &#947;&#8242; including a non-classical mechanism, operative at large undercoolings.
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.
Growth, Structure and Tribological Properties of Atomic Layer Deposited Lubricious Oxide Nanolaminates
Friction and wear mitigation is typically accomplished by introducing a shear accommodating layer (e.g., a thin film of liquid) between surfaces in sliding and/or rolling contacts. When the operating conditions are beyond the liquid realm, attention turns to solid coatings. Solid lubricants have been widely used in governmental and industrial applications for mitigation of wear and friction (tribological properties). Conventional examples of solid lubricants are MoS2, WS2, h-BN, and graphite; however, these and some others mostly perform best only for a limited range of operating conditions, e.g. ambient air versus dry nitrogen and room temperature versus high temperatures. Conversely, lubricious oxides have been studied lately as good potential candidates for solid lubricants because they are thermodynamically stable and environmentally robust. Oxide surfaces are generally inert and typically do not form strong adhesive bonds like metals/alloys in tribological contacts. Typical of these oxides is ZnO. The interest in ZnO is due to its potential for utility in a variety of applications. To this end, nanolaminates of ZnO, Al2O3, ZrO2 thin films have been deposited at varying sequences and thicknesses on silicon substrates and high temperature (M50) bearing steels by atomic layer deposition (ALD). The top lubricious, nanocrystalline ZnO layer was structurally-engineered to achieve low surface energy {0002}-orientated grain that provided low sliding friction coefficients (0.2 to 0.3), wear factors (range of 10-7 to 10-8 mm3/Nm) and good rolling contact fatigue resistance. The Al2O3 was intentionally made amorphous to achieve the {0002} preferred orientation while {101}-orientated tetragonal ZrO2 acted as a high toughness/load bearing layer. It was determined that the ZnO defective structure (oxygen sub-stoichiometric with growth stacking faults) aided in shear accommodation by re-orientating the nanocrystalline grains where they realigned to create new friction-reducing surfaces. Specifically, high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) inside the wear surfaces revealed in an increase in both partial dislocation and basal stacking fault densities through intrafilm shear/slip of partial dislocations on the (0002) planes via a dislocation glide mechanism. This shear accommodation mode mitigated friction and prevented brittle fracture classically observed in higher friction microcrystalline and single crystal ZnO that has potential broad implications to other defective nanocrystalline ceramics. Overall, this work has demonstrated that environmentally-robust, lubricious ALD nanolaminates of ZnO/Al2O3/ZrO2 are good candidates for providing low friction and wear interfaces in moving mechanical assembles, such as fully assembled rolling element bearings and microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) that require thin (~10-200 nm), uniform and conformal films.
Effects of Plasma, Temperature and Chemical Reactions on Porous Low Dielectric Films for Semiconductor Devices
Low-dielectric (k) films are one of the performance drivers for continued scaling of integrated circuit devices. These films are needed in microelectronic device interconnects to lower power consumption and minimize cross talk between metal lines that "interconnect" transistors. Low-k materials currently in production for the 45 and 65 nm node are most often organosilicate glasses (OSG) with dielectric constants near 2.8 and nominal porosities of 8-10%. The next generation of low-k materials will require k values 2.6 and below for the 45 nm device generation and beyond. The continuous decrease in device dimensions in ultra large scale integrated (ULSI) circuits have brought about the replacement of the silicon dioxide interconnect dielectric (ILD), which has a dielectric constant (k) of approximately 4.1, with low dielectric constant materials. Lowering the dielectric constant reduces the propagation delays, RC constant (R = the resistance of the metal lines; C = the line capacitance), and metal cross-talk between wires. In order to reduce the RC constants, a number of low-k materials have been studied for use as intermetal dielectrics. The k values of these dielectric materials can be lowered by replacing oxide films with carbon-based polymer films, incorporating hydrocarbon functional groups into oxide films (SiOCH films), or introducing porogens in the film during processing to create pores. However, additional integration issues such as damage to these materials caused by plasma etch, plasma ash, and wet etch processes are yet to be overcome. This dissertation reports the effects of plasma, temperature and chemical reactions on low-k SiOCH films. Plasma ash processes have been known to cause hydrophobic films to lose their hydrophobic methyl groups, rendering them to be hydrophilic. This allows the films to readily absorb moisture. Supercritical carbon dioxide (SC-CO2) can be used to transport silylating agents, hexamethyldisilazane (HMDS) and diethoxy-dimethlysilane (DEDMS), to functionalize the damaged surfaces of the ash-damaged films. The thermal stability of the low-k films after SC-CO2 treatment is also discussed by performing in-situ heat treatments on the films. UV curing has been shown to reduce the amount of pores while showing only a limited change dielectric constant. This work goes on to describe the effect of UV curing on low-k films after exposing the films to supercritical carbon dioxide (CO2) in combination with tetramethylorthosilicate (TMOS).
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.
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 %.
Carrier Mobility, Charge Trapping Effects on the Efficiency of Heavily Doped Organic Light-Emitting Diodes, and EU(lll) Based Red OLEDs
Transient electroluminescence (EL) was used to measure the onset of emission delay in OLEDs based on transition metal, phosphorescent bis[3,5-bis(2-pyridyl)-1,2,4-triazolato] platinum(&#921;&#921;) and rare earth, phosphorescent Eu(hfa)3 with 4'-(p-tolyl)-2,2":6',2" terpyridine (ttrpy) doped into 4,4'-bis(carbazol-9-yl) triphenylamine (CBP), from which the carrier mobility was determined. For the Pt(ptp)2 doped CBP films in OLEDs with the structure: ITO/NPB (40nm)/mcp (10nm)/65% Pt(ptp)2:CBP (25nm)/TPBI (30nm)/Mg:Ag (100nm), where NPB=N, N'-bis(1-naphthyl)-N-N'-biphenyl-1, 1'-biphenyl-4, MCP= N, N'-dicarbazolyl-3,5-benzene, TPBI=1,3,5-tris(phenyl-2-benzimidazolyl)-benzene, delayed recombination was observed and based on its dependence on frequency and duty cycle, ascribed to trapping and de-trapping processes at the interface of the emissive layer and electron blocker. The result suggests that the exciton recombination zone is at, or close to the interface between the emissive layer and electron blocker. The lifetime of the thin films of phosphorescent emitter Pt(ptp)2 were studied for comparison with rare earth emitter Eu(hfa)3. The lifetime of 65% Pt(ptp)2:CBP co-film was around 638 nanoseconds at the emission peak of 572nm, and the lifetime of neat Eu(hfa)3 film was obtained around 1 millisecond at 616 nm, which supports the enhanced efficiency obtained from the Pt(ptp)2 devices. The long lifetime and narrow emission of the rare earth dopant Eu(hfa)3 is a fundamental factor limiting device performance. Red organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs) based on the rare earth emitter Eu(hfa)3 with 4'-(p-tolyl)-2,2":6',2" terpyridine (ttrpy) complex have been studied and improved with respect performance. The 4.5% Eu(hfa)3 doped into CBP device produced the best power efficiency of 0.53 lm/W, and current efficiency of 1.09 cd/A. The data suggests that the long lifetime of the f-f transition of the Eu ion is a principal limiting factor irrespective of how efficient the energy transfer from the host to the dopant and the antenna effect are.
Atomistic Studies of Point Defect Migration Rates in the Iron-Chromium System
Generation and migration of helium and other point defects under irradiation causes ferritic steels based on the Fe-Cr system to age and fail. This is motivation to study point defect migration and the He equation of state using atomistic simulations due to the steels' use in future reactors. A new potential for the Fe-Cr-He system developed by collaborators at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory was validated using published experimental data. The results for the He equation of state agree well with experimental data. The activation energies for the migration of He- and Fe-interstitials in varying compositions of Fe-Cr lattices agree well with prior work. This research did not find a strong correlation between lattice ordering and interstitial migration energy
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.