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 Degree Discipline: Materials Science and Engineering
Mechanical behavior and performance of injection molded semi-crystalline polymers.

Mechanical behavior and performance of injection molded semi-crystalline polymers.

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Date: August 2003
Creator: Simoes, Ricardo J. F.
Description: I have used computer simulations to investigate the behavior of polymeric materials at the molecular level. The simulations were performed using the molecular dynamics method with Lennard-Jones potentials defining the interactions between particles in the system. Significant effort was put into the creation of realistic materials on the computer. For this purpose, an algorithm was developed based on the step-wise polymerization process. The resulting computer-generated materials (CGMs) exhibit several features of real materials, such as molecular weight distribution and presence of chain entanglements. The effect of the addition of a liquid crystalline (LC) phase to the flexible matrix was also studied. The concentration and distribution of the second phase (2P) were found to influence the mechanical and tribological properties of the CGMs. The size of the 2P agglomerates was found to have negligible influence on the properties within the studied range. Moreover, although the 2P reinforcement increases the modulus, it favors crack formation and propagation. Regions of high LC concentration exhibit high probability of becoming part of the crack propagation path. Simulations of the tensile deformation under a uniaxial force have shown that the molecular deformation mechanisms developing in the material depend on several variables, such as the magnitude of ...
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Study of Gate Electrode Materials on High K Dielectrics

Study of Gate Electrode Materials on High K Dielectrics

Date: August 2003
Creator: Yao, Chun
Description: This problem in lieu of thesis report presents a study on gate electrode materials on high K dielectrics, including poly-SiGe and Ru. The stability of poly-SiGe in direct contact with Hf silicon-oxynitride (HfSiON) is studied by rapid thermal annealing (RTA), Rutherford backscattering spectrometry (RBS), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM). By performing a series of RTA treatments we found that as RTA thermal budgets reach 1050 C for 30s, the poly-SiGe layer begins to intermix with the HfSiON film, as observed by TEM. The maximum annealing condition for the Hf0.14Si0.23O0.46N0.17 film to remain stable in contact with poly-SiGe is 1050 C for 20s in high purity N2(99.9%) ambient. We also found that after 1000 C annealing for 60s in a nitrogen ambient, the poly-SiGe crystal phase structure was changed from a columnar structure to a large grain structure. For a metal gate, Ru was studied to determine N2annealing effects on sheet resistance of Ru sample electrodes and electrical characterization of Ru/HfSiOx/Si stack. Results show that a pure Ru metal gate is not a good choice for high k materials since it is hard to etch off, and different annealing conditions can cause large changes in ...
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Hydrophobic, fluorinated silica xerogel for low-k applications.

Hydrophobic, fluorinated silica xerogel for low-k applications.

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

Study of Conductance Quantization by Cross-Wire Junction

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Date: May 2004
Creator: Zheng, Tao
Description: The thesis studied quantized conductance in nanocontacts formed between two thin gold wires with one of the wires coated by alkainthiol self assembly monolayers (SAM), by using the cross-wire junction. Using the Lorenz force as the driving force, we can bring the two wires in contact in a controlled manner. We observed conductance with steps of 2e2 / h. The conductance plateaus last several seconds. The stability of the junction is attributed to the fact that the coating of SAM improves the stability and capability of the formed contact.
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A Wet Etch Release Method for Silicon Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS) Using Polystyrene Microspheres for Improved Yield

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

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Date: May 2004
Creator: Mantiziba, Fadziso
Description: One of the final steps in fabricating microelectromechanical devices often involves a liquid etch release process. Capillary forces during the liquid evaporation stage after the wet etch process can pull two surfaces together resulting in adhesion of suspended microstructures to the supporting substrate. This release related adhesion can greatly reduce yields. In this report, a wet etch release method that uses polystyrene microspheres in the final rinse liquid is investigated. The polystyrene microspheres act as physical barriers between the substrate and suspended microstructures during the final liquid evaporation phase. A plasma ashing process is utilized to completely remove the polystyrene microspheres from the microstructure surfaces. Using this process, release yields > 90% were achieved. It is found that the surface roughness of gold surfaces increases while that of the silicon is reduced due to a thin oxide that grows on the silicon surface during the plasma process.
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Determination of wear in polymers using multiple scratch test.

Determination of wear in polymers using multiple scratch test.

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

Development of a Novel Grease Resistant Functional Coatings for Paper-based Packaging and Assessment of Application by Flexographic Press

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Date: August 2004
Creator: Brown, Robert W.
Description: Recent commercial developments have created a need for alternative materials and methods for imparting oil/grease resistance to paper and/or paperboard used in packaging. The performance of a novel grease resistant functional coating comprised of polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), sodium tetraborate pentahydrate (borate) and acetonedicarboxylic acid (ACDA) and the application of said coating by means of flexographic press is presented herein. Application criteria is developed, testing procedures described, and performance assessment of the developed coating materials are made. SEM images along with contact angle data suggest that coating performance is probably attributable to decreased mean pore size in conjunction with a slightly increased surface contact angle facilitated by crosslinking of PVA molecules by both borate ions and ACDA.
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Effect of Silyation on Organosilcate Glass Films

Effect of Silyation on Organosilcate Glass Films

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Date: August 2004
Creator: Kadam, Poonam
Description: Photoresist stripping with oxygen plasma ashing destroys the functional groups in organosilicate glass films and induce moisture uptake, causing low-k dielectric degradation. In this study, hexamethyldisilazane (HMDS), triethylchlorosilane and tripropylchlorosilane are used to repair the damage to organosilicate glass by the O2 plasma ashing process. The optimization of the surface functionalization of the organosilicate glass by the silanes and the thermal stability of the functionalized surfaces are investigated. These experimental results show that HMDS is a promising technique to repair the damage to OSG during the photoresist removal processing and that the heat treatment of the functionalized surfaces causes degradation of the silanes deteriorating the hydrophobicity of the films.
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Topics in micro electromechanical systems: MEMS engineering and alternative materials for MEMS fabrication.

Topics in micro electromechanical systems: MEMS engineering and alternative materials for MEMS fabrication.

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Date: August 2004
Creator: Chapla, Kevin
Description: This paper deals with various topics in micro electromechanical systems (MEMS) technology beginning with microactuation, MEMS processing, and MEMS design engineering. The fabrication and testing of three separate MEMS devices are described. The first two devices are a linear stepping motor and a continuous rotary motor, respectively; and were designed for the purpose of investigating the frictional and wear properties of silicon components. The third device is a bi-stable microrelay, in which electrical current conducts through a secondary circuit, via a novel probe-interconnect mechanism. The second half focuses on engineering a carbon nanotube / SU-8 photoepoxy nanocomposite for fabricating MEMS devices. A processing method for this material as well as the initial results of characterization, are discussed.
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Barrier and long term creep properties of polymer nanocomposites.

Barrier and long term creep properties of polymer nanocomposites.

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Date: December 2004
Creator: Ranade, Ajit
Description: The barrier properties and long term strength retention of polymers are of significant importance in a number of applications. Enhanced lifetime food packaging, substrates for OLED based flexible displays and long duration scientific balloons are among them. Higher material requirements in these applications drive the need for an accurate measurement system. Therefore, a new system was engineered with enhanced sensitivity and accuracy. Permeability of polymers is affected by permeant solubility and diffusion. One effort to decrease diffusion rates is via increasing the transport path length. We explore this through dispersion of layered silicates into polymers. Layered silicates with effective aspect ratio of 1000:1 have shown promise in improving the barrier and mechanical properties of polymers. The surface of these inorganic silicates was modified with surfactants to improve the interaction with organic polymers. The micro and nanoscale dispersion of the layered silicates was probed using optical and transmission microscopy as well as x-ray diffraction. Thermal transitions were analyzed using differential scanning calorimetry. Mechanical and permeability measurements were correlated to the dispersion and increased density. The essential structure-property relationships were established by comparing semicrystalline and amorphous polymers. Semicrystalline polymers selected were nylon-6 and polyethylene terephthalate. The amorphous polymer was polyethylene terphthalate-glycol. Densification ...
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