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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Department: Department of Materials Science
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
Cure kinetics and processing parameters of neat and reinforced high performance epoxy resins : evaluation of techniques
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Kinetic equation parameters for the curing reaction of a commercial glass fiber reinforced high performance epoxy prepreg composed of the tetrafunctional epoxy tetraglycidyl 4,4-diaminodiphenyl methane (TGDDM), the tetrafunctional amine curing agent 4,4’-diaminodiphenylsulfone (DDS) and an ionic initiator/accelerator, are determined by various thermal analysis techniques and the results compared. The reaction is monitored by heat generated determined by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). The changes in physical properties indicating increasing conversion are followed by shifts in glass transition temperature determined by DSC and temperature-modulated DSC (TMDSC), thermomechanical (TMA) and dynamic mechanical (DMA) analysis and thermally stimulated depolarization (TSD). Changes in viscosity, also indicative of degree of conversion, are monitored by DMA. Thermal stability as a function of degree of cure is monitored by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). The parameters of the general kinetic equations, including activation energy and rate constant, are explained and used to compare results of various techniques. The utilities of the kinetic descriptions are demonstrated in the construction of a useful time-temperature-transformation (TTT) diagram for rapid determination of processing parameters in the processing of prepregs. Copyright is held by the author, unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved. Files: Thesis.pdf Special Conditions digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2281/
Epoxy + liquid crystalline epoxy coreacted networks
Molecular reinforcement through in-situ polymerization of liquid crystalline epoxies (LCEs) and a non-liquid crystalline epoxy has been investigated. Three LCEs: diglycidyl ether of 4,4'-dihydroxybiphenol (DGE-DHBP) and digylcidyl ether of 4-hydroxyphenyl-4"-hydroxybiphenyl-4'-carboxylate (DGE-HHC), were synthesized and blended with diglycidyl ether of bisphenol F (DGEBP-F) and subsequently cured with anhydride and amine curing agents. Curing kinetics were determined using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). Parameters for autocatalytic curing kinetics of both pure monomers and blended systems were determined. The extent of cure for both monomers was monitored by using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR). The glass transitions were evaluated as a function of composition using DSC and dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA). The results show that the LC constituent affects the curing kinetics of the epoxy resin and that the systems are highly miscible. The effects of molecular reinforcement of DGEBP-F by DGE-DHBP and DGE-HHC were investigated. The concentration of the liquid crystalline moiety affects mechanical properties. Tensile, impact and fracture toughness tests results are evaluated. Scanning electron microscopy of the fracture surfaces shows changes in failure mechanisms compared to the pure components. Results indicate that mechanical properties of the blended samples are improved already at low concentration by weight of the LCE added into epoxy resin. The improvement in mechanical properties was found to occur irrespective of the absence of liquid crystallinity in the blended networks. The mechanism of crack study indicates that crack deflection and crack bridging are the mechanisms in case of LC epoxy. In case of LC modified epoxy, the crack deflection is the main mechanism. Moreover, the effect of coreacting an epoxy with a reactive monomer liquid crystalline epoxy as a matrix for glass fiber composites was investigated. Mechanical properties of the modified matrix were determined by tensile, flexural and impact testing. The improvement in toughness of the bulk matrix by the addition of a LCEs is seen also in the composites. The improvement is related to the enhancement of adhesion between the glass fibers and the matrix. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2705/
Preparation and Characterization of a Treated Montmorillonite Clay and Epoxy Nanocomposite
Montmorillonite reinforced polymers are a new development in the area of nanocomposite materials. Since reinforcement of epoxy is important to the development of high strength adhesives and composite matrices, the introduction of montmorillonite to epoxy is of interest. Compositional effects on epoxy reactivity, on molecular relaxation, and on mechanical properties were investigated. Change in reactivity was determined by Differential Scanning Calorimetry. Tensile properties at room temperature indicated improved modulus and retention of strength of the epoxy matrix but a decreased elongation to failure. Depression of dry nanocomposite glass transition was observed for nanocomposites beyond 5% by weight montmorillonite. Samples that were saturated with water showed lower moduli due to the epoxy matrix. The greatest moisture absorption rate was found at 7%, the least at 3%. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2729/
Polyamide-imide and Montmorillonite Nanocomposites
Solvent suspensions of a high performance polymer, Polyamide-imide (PAI) are widely used in magnetic wire coatings. Here we investigate the effect that the introduction of montmorillonite (MMT) has on PAI. MMT was introduced into an uncured PAI suspension; the sample was then cured by step-wise heat treatment. Polarized optical microscopy was used to choose the best suitable MMT for PAI matrix and to study the distribution of MMT in PAI matrix. Concentration dependent dispersion effect was studied by x-ray diffraction (XRD) and was confirmed by Transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Differential scanning Calorimetry (DSC) and Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) was used to study impact of MMT on glass transition temperature (Tg) and degradation properties of PAI respectively. Micro-hardness testing of PAI nanocomposites was also performed. A concentration dependent state of dispersion was obtained. The glass transition (Tg), degradation and mechanical properties were found to correlate to the state of dispersion. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2873/
Thermal, Electrical, and Structural Analysis of Graphite Foam
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A graphite foam was developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) by Dr. James Klett and license was granted to POCO Graphite, Inc. to manufacture and market the product as PocoFoam™. Unlike many processes currently used to manufacture carbon foams, this process yields a highly graphitic structure and overcomes many limitations, such as oxidation stabilization, that are routinely encountered in the development of carbon foam materials. The structure, thermal properties, electrical resistivity, isotropy, and density uniformity of PocoFoam™ were evaluated. These properties and characteristics of PocoFoam™ are compared with natural and synthetic graphite in order to show that, albeit similar, it is unique. Thermal diffusivity and thermal conductivity were derived from Fourier's energy equation. It was determined that PocoFoam™ has the equivalent thermal conductivity of metals routinely used as heat sinks and that thermal diffusivity is as much as four times greater than pure copper and pure aluminum. SEM and XRD results indicate that PocoFoam™ has a high degree of crystalline alignment and near theoretical d spacing that is more typical of natural flake graphite than synthetic graphite. PocoFoam™ is anisotropic, indicating an isotropy factor of 0.5, and may yield higher thermal conductivity at cryogenic temperatures than is observed in polycrystalline graphite. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2836/
Characterizaton of Triethoxyfluorosilane and Tetraethoxysilane Based Aerogels
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Aerogels are highly porous, low dielectric constant (low k) materials being considered by the semiconductor industry as an interlayer dielectric. Low k materials are needed to overcome capacitance problems that limit device feature sizes. Precursors triethoxyfluorosilane (TEFS) and tetraethoxysilane (TEOS) were used to prepare bulk aerogels. Samples were prepared by sol-gel methods, and then carbon dioxide supercritically-dried. Effects of varying the water to precursor ratio were studied with respect to aerogel properties and microstructure. Methods of analysis for this study include FTIR-ATR, TEM, RBS, EDS, SEM, dielectric constant determination by impedance and surface area by gas adsorption. Si-F bonds were determined to be present in both acid- and base-catalyzed TEFS as well as HF-catalyzed TEOS. Fluorine promotes a fractal network microstructure as opposed to a particle-like microstructure. Surface area and dielectric constant were determined to increase slightly with increases in the water to precursor ratio. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2999/
The effects of color concentrate in polyolefins.
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Throughout history consumer products were generally manufactured from wood and metal. They either had to hold their natural color or become subject to painting. When plastics entered the industry, it was recognized for its ease of shaping, re-usability, physical properties and its low cost. One of plastics' greatest benefits is its ability to hold a given color from within allowing it to avoid use of paint. This paper will give a brief overview on the effects of pigments when incorporated in a polyolefin. It will provide a classification of the main types of pigments and how each effect the properties of the product through: crystallization, weatherability, opacity, coloristic values and of course viscosity. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3016/
Mineral-filled polypropylene: Improvement of scratch resistance
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A potential alternative to acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) and polycarbonate+ABS (PC+ABS), pigmented mineral-filled polypropylene (PP) finds an opening in automotive interior components such as instrument panels, knee bolsters, consoles, etc. Because of the lack of surface aesthetics, pigmented mineral-filled PP is experiencing a limitation to its acceptance in many applications. This study focuses on exploring various mineral fillers and additives in polypropylene to provide a material with enhanced scratch resistance. Several physical properties including Rockwell and Shore D hardness are investigated, and it is determined that Filler W improves scratch resistance. It is also determined that Filler T-filled-PP has poor scratch resistance even with the addition of a lubricant. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3009/
Techniques Utilized in the Characterization of Existing Materials for Improved Material Development
It has become increasingly important to remain on the cutting edge of technology for a company to remain competitive and survive in today's high-tech industries. To do this, a company needs various resources dedicated to this cause. One of these resources is the use of existing materials, as starting points, for which improved materials can be based. For this, a company must rely on the characterization of existing materials to bring that base technology into their company. Through this evaluation, the base materials properties can be obtained and a material with improved properties can be developed. There are many techniques that can be used in characterizing an existing material, but not every technique is required to obtain the desired goal. The techniques utilized depend upon the depth of identification required. This report summarizes several techniques utilized in the characterization of existing materials and provides some examples of evaluated products. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3021/
Hypotheses for Scratch Behavior of Polymer Systems that Recover
Scratch recovery is a desirable property of many polymer systems. The reason why some materials have demonstrated excellent scratch recovery while others do not has been a mystery. Explaining the scratch resistance based upon the hardness of a material or its crosslink density is incorrect. In this thesis, novel polymers were tested in an attempt to discover materials that show excellent scratch recovery - one of the most important parameters in determining the wear of a material. Several hypotheses were developed in an attempt to give an accurate picture of how the chemical structure of a polymer affects its scratch recovery. The results show that high scratch recovery is a complex phenomenon not solely dependent upon the presence of electronegative atoms such as fluorine. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3153/
Application of thermomechanical characterization techniques to bismuth telluride based thermoelectric materials
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The thermoelectric properties of bismuth telluride based thermoelectric (TE) materials are well-characterized, but comparatively little has been published on the thermomechanical properties. In this paper, dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) and differential scanning calorimetry data for bismuth telluride based TE materials is presented. The TE materials' tan delta values, indicative of viscoelastic energy dissipation modes, approached that of glassy or crystalline polymers, were greater than ten times the tan delta of structural metals, and reflected the anisotropic nature of TE materials. DMA thermal scans showed changes in mechanical properties versus temperature with clear hysteresis effects. These results showed that the application of DMA techniques are useful for evaluation of thermophysical and thermomechanical properties of these TE materials. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3166/
Fabrication of MOS capacitor and transitor structure using contact photolithography.
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This problem in lieu of thesis report describes a practical photolithographic method to produce micro patterns on metal-oxide-semiconductor or metal-oxide-semiconductor-metal layers for electrical measurements. The desired patterns are then transferred from the photo mask to the photoresist-coated metal film by exposure, followed by wet etching. In the procedure described in this report, it was observed that microstructures as small as 27 mm with an edge roughness of ~ 2 mm can be reproducibly generated with this process. MOS capacitors and transistors structures can be fabricated by using this technique. The method described in this report requires access to only simple facilities so that it is relatively inexpensive, and the overall time required for the whole process is short. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3172/
Influence of design and coatings on the mechanical reliability of semiconductor wafers.
We investigate some of the mechanical design factors of wafers and the effect on strength. Thin, solid, pre-stressed films are proposed as a means to improve the bulk mechanical properties of a wafer. Three-point bending was used to evaluate the laser scribe density and chemical processing effect on wafer strength. Drop and strike tests were employed to investigate the edge bevel profile effect on the mechanical properties of the wafer. To characterize the effect of thin films on strength, one-micron ceramic films were deposited on wafers using PECVD. Coated samples were prepared by cleaving and were tested using four-point bending. Film adhesion was characterized by notched four-point bending. RBS and FTIR were used to obtain film chemistry, and nanoindentation was used to investigate thin film mechanical properties. A stress measurement gauge characterized residual film stress. Mechanical properties of the wafers correlated to the residual stress in the film. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3190/
Materials properties of hafnium and zirconium silicates: Metal interdiffusion and dopant penetration studies.
Hafnium and Zirconium based gate dielectrics are considered potential candidates to replace SiO2 or SiON as the gate dielectric in CMOS processing. Furthermore, the addition of nitrogen into this pseudo-binary alloy has been shown to improve their thermal stability, electrical properties, and reduce dopant penetration. Because CMOS processing requires high temperature anneals (up to 1050 °C), it is important to understand the diffusion properties of any metal associated with the gate dielectric in silicon at these temperatures. In addition, dopant penetration from the doped polysilicon gate into the Si channel at these temperatures must also be studied. Impurity outdiffusion (Hf, Zr) from the dielectric, or dopant (B, As, P) penetration through the dielectric into the channel region would likely result in deleterious effects upon the carrier mobility. In this dissertation extensive thermal stability studies of alternate gate dielectric candidates ZrSixOy and HfSixOy are presented. Dopant penetration studies from doped-polysilicon through HfSixOy and HfSixOyNz are also presented. Rutherford backscattering spectroscopy (RBS), heavy ion RBS (HI-RBS), x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HR-TEM), and time of flight and dynamic secondary ion mass spectroscopy (ToF-SIMS, D-SIMS) methods were used to characterize these materials. The dopant diffusivity is calculated by modeling of the dopant profiles in the Si substrate. In this disseration is reported that Hf silicate films are more stable than Zr silicate films, from the metal interdiffusion point of view. On the other hand, dopant (B, As, and P) penetration is observed for HfSixOy films. However, the addition of nitrogen to the Hf - Si - O systems improves the dopant penetration properties of the resulting HfSixOyNz films. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3221/
Mechanical Properties of Polymer Modified Mortar
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The mechanical properties of the polymer-modified mortar are markedly improved over conventional cement mortar. We utilized recycled ABS in powder form and a polymer latex emulsion, polymer percentage ranges from 0 to 25 percent by polymer/cement ratio were investigated. The mechanical properties investigated were compression strength and adhesion strength. Compression strength effects did not have an impact on adhesion strength. Adhesion strength was calculated with pullout testing apparatus designed by the author. Results indicate that recycled ABS had a lower adhesive strength than the acrylic latex emulsion and the base mortar, but did increase in adhesive strength when mixed with maleic-anhydride. The adhesive strength was investigated for a Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP) made of an "E" glass fiber that is a continuous strand roving oriented and pre-tensioned longitudinally in an isopthalic polyester matrix material. The FRP rebar was compared to standard steel rebars, and found that the standard steel corrugated rebar had a higher adhesive strength, due to mechanical interlocking. This was clarified by measurements using a smooth steel rebar. Characterization of the polymer-modified mortar was conducted by pore analysis and scanning electron microscopy. Scanning Electron Microscopy was implemented to view the polymer particles, the cement fibrils formed by the hydration, and to prove Ohama's theory of network structure. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3173/
Polymer hydrogel nanoparticles and their networks
The thermally responsive hydroxypropyl cellulose (HPC) hydrogel nanoparticles have been synthesized and characterized. The HPC particles were obtained by chemically crosslinking collapsed HPC polymer chains in water-surfactant (dodecyltrimethylammonium bromide) dispersion above the lower critical solution temperature (LCST) of the HPC. The size distributions of microgel particles, measured by dynamic light scattering, have been correlated with synthesis conditions including surfactant concentration, polymer concentration, and reaction temperature. The swelling and phase transition properties of resultant HPC microgels have been analyzed using both static and dynamic light scattering techniques. By first making gel nanoparticles and then covalently bonding them together, we have engineered a new class of gels with two levels of structural hierarchy: the primary network is crosslinked polymer chains in each individual particle, while the secondary network is a system of crosslinked nanoparticles. The covalent bonding contributes to the structural stability of the nanostructured gels, while self-assembly provides them with crystal structures that diffract light, resulting in colors. By using N-isopropylacrylamide copolymer hydrogel nanoparticles, we have synthesized nanoparticle networks that display a striking iridescence like precious opal but are soft and flexible like gelatin. This is in contrast to previous colored hydrogels, which were created either by adding dyes or fluorescent, or by organic solvent or by embedding a colloidal crystal array of polymer solid spheres . Creating such periodic 3D structures in materials allows us to obtain useful functionality not only from the constituent building blocks but also from the long-range ordering that characterizes these structures. Hydroxypropyl cellulose (HPC) and poly (acrylic acid ) (PAA) complexes were studied using turbidity measurement and laser light scattering. The phase transition temperature of the complexes is found to depend on pH and molecular weights of PAA and HPC. The driving force for this phenomenon is due to the hydrogen bonding and hydrophobic interaction of the macromolecules. Based on the principle of the PAA/HPC complexes, the PAA nanoparticles were synthesized in 0.1wt % HPC aqueous solution at room temperature. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3232/
The Electron Emission Characteristics of Aluminum, Molybdenum and Carbon Nanotubes Studied by Field Emission and Photoemission.
The electron emission characteristics of aluminum, molybdenum and carbon nanotubes were studied. The experiments were setup to study the emission behavior as a function of temperature and exposure to oxygen. Changes in the surface work function as a result of thermal annealing were monitored with low energy ultra-violet photoelectron spectroscopy for flat samples while field emission energy distributions were used on tip samples. The change in the field emission from fabricated single tips exposed to oxygen while in operation was measured using simultaneous Fowler-Nordheim plots and electron energy distributions. From the results a mechanism for the degradation in the emission was concluded. Thermal experiments on molybdenum and aluminum showed that these two materials can be reduced at elevated temperatures, while carbon nanotubes on the other hand show effects of oxidation. To purely reduce molybdenum a temperature in excess of 750 ºC is required. This temperature exceeds that allowed by current display device technology. Aluminum on the other hand shows reduction at a much lower temperature of at least 125 ºC; however, its extreme reactivity towards oxygen containing species produces re-oxidation. It is believed that this reduction is due to the outward diffusion of aluminum atoms through the oxide. Carbon nanotubes on the other hand show signs of oxidation as they are heated above 700 ºC. In this case the elevated temperatures cause the opening of the end caps allowing the uptake of water. Oxygen exposure experiments indicate that degradation in field emission is two-fold and is ultimately dependent on the emission current at which the tip is operated. At low emission currents the degradation is exclusively due to oxidation. At high emission currents ion bombardment results in the degradation of the emitter. In between the two extremes, molybdenum tips are capable of stable emission. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3311/
Stability of Field Emitter Arrays to Oxygen Exposures
The purpose of these experiments was to determine the degradation mechanisms of molybdenum based field emitter arrays to oxygen exposures and to improve the overall reliability. In addition, we also evaluated the emission current stability of gold-coated field emitter arrays to oxygen exposures. oxygen at 1x10-6 torr was introduced into the chamber through a leak valve for different lengths of time and duty cycles. To ensure identical oxygen exposure and experimental measurement conditions, tips on half the area of the FEA were fully coated with gold and the other half were left uncoated. The emission current from the gold coated half was found to degrade much less than that from the uncoated half, in the presence of oxygen. Also in the absence of oxygen, the emission current recovery for the gold-coated side was much quicker than that for the uncoated side. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3346/
Temperature dependent rheology of surfactant-hydroxypropyl cellulose solutions.
The rheology of 1-8% hydroxypropyl cellulose (HPC) solutions has been studied in the temperature range of 20-45 degrees Celsius. The results showed that the relative viscosity at each HPC concentration decreases with increasing temperature. The relative viscosity decreases drastically at about 43 degrees Celsius due to a phase transition. The influence of anionic surfactant, sodium dodecylsulfate (SDS), induced gelation of a 2% HPC solution. The HPC solutions gelled at surfactant SDS concentrations ranging from 0.4 to 1.0 critical micelle concentration (CMC). The gelation of the HPC/SDS hydrogel is explained in the surfactant SDD - bridged HPC linear polymer chains. The complex viscosity - concentration profile was determined below the CMC of the SDS - water pair. The peak itself was a function of frequency indicating the presence of two relaxation times within the gelled network. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3312/
Structure property and deformation analysis of polypropylene montmorillonite nanocomposites.
Nanocomposites with expandable smectites such as montmorillonite layered silicates (MLS) in polymer matrices have attracted extensive application interest. Numerous MLS concentrations have been used with no particular justification. Here, we investigate the effects of MLS dispersion within the matrix and on mechanical performance. The latter is resolved through a three-prong investigation on rate dependent tensile results, time dependent creep results and the influence of a sharp notch in polypropylene (PP) nanocomposites. A fixed concentration of maleated polypropylene (mPP) was utilized as a compatibilizer between the MLS and non-polar PP. Analysis of transmission electron micrographs and X-ray diffraction patterns on the surface and below the surface of our samples revealed a unique skin-core effect induced by the presence of clay. Differential scanning calorimetric and polarized optical microscopic examination of spherulites sizes showed changes in nucleation and growth resulting from both the maleated PP compatibilizer and the MLS. These structural changes resulted in a tough nanocomposite, a concept not reported before in the PP literature. Nonlinear creep analysis of the materials showed two concentrations 3 and 5 % wt of PP, which reduced the compliance in the base PP. The use of thermal wave imaging allowed the identification of ductile failure among materials, but more important, aided the mapping of the elastic and plastic contributions. These are essential concepts in fracture analysis. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4213/
Characterization of methyltrimethoxysilane sol-gel polymerization and the resulting aerogels.
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Methyl-functionalized porous silica is of considerable interest as a low dielectric constant film for semiconductor devices. The structural development of these materials appears to affect their gelation behaviors and impact their mechanical properties and shrinkage during processing. 29Si solution NMR was used to follow the structural evolution of MTMS (methyltrimethoxysilane) polymerization to gelation or precipitation, and thus to better understand the species that affect these properties and gelation behaviors. The effects of pH, water concentration, type of solvents, and synthesis procedures (single step acid catalysis and two-step acid/base catalysis) on MTMS polymerization were discussed. The reactivity of silicon species with different connectivity and the extent of cyclization were found to depend appreciably on the pH value of the sol. A kinetic model is presented to treat the reactivity of both silicon species involved in condensations separately based on the inductive and steric effects of these silicon species. Extensive cyclization in the presence of acid, which was attributed to the steric effects among numerous reaction pathways for the first time, prevents MTMS gelation, whereas gels were obtained from the two-step method with nearly random condensations. The experimental degree of condensation (DC) at the gel point using the two-step procedure was determined to be 0.86, which is considerably higher than that predicted by the current accepted theories. Both chemical and physical origins of this high value were suggested. Aerogels dried by supercritical CO2 extraction were characterized by FTIR, 13C and 29Si solid-state NMR and nitrogen sorption. The existence of three residual groups (Si-OH, Si-OCH3, and Si-OC2H5) was confirmed, but their concentrations are very low compared to silica aerogels. The low concentrations of the residual groups, along with the presence of Si-CH3, make MTMS aerogels permanently hydrophobic. To enhance applicability, MTMS aerogels were successfully prepared that demonstrated shrinkage less than 10% after supercritical drying; proving that the rigidity of the gel network is not the sole factor, suggesting in the literature, to cause the huge shrinkage in many hybrid aerogels reported. An important finding of this work is that MTMS aerogels can be prepared without tedious solvent exchange and surface modification if the molar ratio of water/MTMS increases to 8, substantially reducing the cost of aerogel production. This result was attributed to MTMS's fully condensation and low concentrations of ring species. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4266/
Mechanical behavior and performance of injection molded semi-crystalline polymers.
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I have used computer simulations to investigate the behavior of polymeric materials at the molecular level. The simulations were performed using the molecular dynamics method with Lennard-Jones potentials defining the interactions between particles in the system. Significant effort was put into the creation of realistic materials on the computer. For this purpose, an algorithm was developed based on the step-wise polymerization process. The resulting computer-generated materials (CGMs) exhibit several features of real materials, such as molecular weight distribution and presence of chain entanglements. The effect of the addition of a liquid crystalline (LC) phase to the flexible matrix was also studied. The concentration and distribution of the second phase (2P) were found to influence the mechanical and tribological properties of the CGMs. The size of the 2P agglomerates was found to have negligible influence on the properties within the studied range. Moreover, although the 2P reinforcement increases the modulus, it favors crack formation and propagation. Regions of high LC concentration exhibit high probability of becoming part of the crack propagation path. Simulations of the tensile deformation under a uniaxial force have shown that the molecular deformation mechanisms developing in the material depend on several variables, such as the magnitude of the force, the force increase rate, and the level of orientation of the chains. Three-dimensional (3D) graphical visualization tools were developed for representation and analysis of the simulation results. These also present interesting educational possibilities. Computer simulations provide us information which is inaccessible experimentally. From the concomitant use of simulations and experiments, a better understanding of the molecular phenomena that take place during deformation of polymers has been established. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5528/
Study of Gate Electrode Materials on High K Dielectrics
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 the electrical behavior. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4273/
Materials properties of ruthenium and ruthenium oxides thin films for advanced electronic applications.
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Ruthenium and ruthenium dioxide thin films have shown great promise in various applications, such as thick film resistors, buffer layers for yttrium barium copper oxide (YBCO) superconducting thin films, and as electrodes in ferroelectric memories. Other potential applications in Si based complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) devices are currently being studied. The search for alternative metal-based gate electrodes as a replacement of poly-Si gates has intensified during the last few years. Metal gates are required to maintain scaling and performance of future CMOS devices. Ru based materials have many desirable properties and are good gate electrode candidates for future metal-oxide-semiconductor (MOS) device applications. Moreover, Ru and RuO2 are promising candidates as diffusion barriers for copper interconnects. In this thesis, the thermal stability and interfacial diffusion and reaction of both Ru and RuO2 thin films on HfO2 gate dielectrics were investigated using Rutherford backscattering spectrometry (RBS), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). An overview of Ru and RuO2/HfO2 interface integrity issues will be presented. In addition, the effects of C ion modification of RuO2 thin films on the physico-chemical and electrical properties are evaluated. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5592/
Characterization and mechanical properties of nanoscale precipitates in modified Al-Si-Cu alloys using transmission electron microscopy and 3D atom probe tomography.
Among the commercial aluminum alloys, aluminum 319 (Al-7wt%Si-4wt%Cu) type alloys are popularly used in automobile engine parts. These alloys have good casting characteristics and excellent mechanical properties resulting from a suitable heat treatment. To get a high strength in the 319 type alloys, grain refining, reducing the porosity, solid solution hardening, and precipitation hardening are preferred. All experimental variables such as solidification condition, composition, and heat treatment are influence on the precipitation behavior; however, precipitation hardening is the most significant because excess alloying elements from supersaturated solid solution form fine particles which act as obstacles to dislocation movement. The challenges of the 319 type alloys arise due to small size of precipitate and complex aging response caused by multi components. It is important to determine the chemical composition, crystal structure, and orientation relationship as well as precipitate morphology in order to understand the precipitation behavior and strengthening mechanism. In this study, the mechanical properties and microstructure were investigated using transmission electron microscopy and three dimensional atom probe tomography. The Mn and Mg effects on the microstructure and mechanical properties are discussed with crystallographic study on the iron intermetallic phases. The microstructural evolution and nucleation study on the precipitates in the low-Si 319 type aluminum alloys are also presented with sample preparation and analysis condition of TEM and 3DAP tomography. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3661/
Formation and Quantification of Corrosion Deposits in the Power Industry
The presence of deposits on the secondary side of pressurized water reactor (PWR) steam generator systems is one of the main contributors to the high maintenance costs of these generators. Formation and transport of corrosion products formed due to the presence of impurities, metals and metallic oxides in the secondary side of the steam generator units result in formation of deposits. This research deals with understanding the deposit formation and characterization of deposits by studying the samples collected from different units in secondary side system at Comanche Peak Steam Electric Station (CPSES). Fourier transform infrared spectrophotometry (FTIR), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) have been used for studying the phases, morphologies and compositions of the iron oxides formed at Unit 1 and Unit 2 of secondary side of steamgenerator systems. Hematite and magnetite were found to be the dominant phases of iron oxides present in the units. Fe, Cr, O, Ni, Si, Cl and Cu were found in samples collected from both the units. A qualitative method was developed to differentiate iron oxides using laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) based on temporal response of iron oxides to a high power laser beam. A quantitative FTIR technique was developed to identify and quantify iron oxides present in the different components of the secondary side of the steam generator of CPSES. Amines are used in water treatment to control corrosion and fouling in pressurized water reactors. CPSES presently uses an amine combination of dimethylamine (DMA), hydrazine and morpholine to control the water chemistry. Along with the abovementioned amines, this study also focuses on corrosion inhibition mechanismsof a new amine DBU (1, 8-diazabicyclo [5.4.0] undec-7-ene). Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy and polarization curves were used to study the interaction mechanism between DBU solution and inconel alloys 600 and 690 at steamgenerator operating temperatures and pressures. Of all the amines used in this study (DMA, DBU, ETA, and morpholine), DMA was more effective at keeping the passive film formed on the alloy 600 surface from failing at both ambient and high temperatures. Morpholine was found result in higher corrosion resistance compared to the other amines in case of alloy 690. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3635/