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 Degree Discipline: Materials Science and Engineering
Effect of Friction-stir Processing on the Wear Behavior of Titanium (Ti-1al-8v-5fe) and Stainless Steel (A-286) Alloys
The effect of friction stir processing (FSP) on the mechanical wear behavior was investigated for Ti-1Al-8V-5Fe (Ti-185) and stainless steel (Incoloy® A-286) alloys. The Ti-185 and A-286 alloys were tested in different processing conditions, including as rolled (AR), AR+FSP, and AR+FSP+aged. A high frequency reciprocating rig was used to simulate fretting-type wear of these alloys at room temperature. The Vickers micro-hardness and wear rates were calculated and compared for each processing condition. It was determined that along with increasing hardness in the stir zones, FSP resulted in improved wear resistance for both alloys. Specifically, wear rates in the stir zones were reduced to lowest values of 1.6 x 10-5 and 5.8 x 10-7 mm3/N·m for the AR+FSP+aged Ti-185 and A-286 alloys, respectively, despite lower hardness for A-286 alloy. Mechanistic studies were conducted to determine the reason behind these improvements in wear resistance and the effect of FSP on the microstructural evolution during wear. For the Ti-185 alloy, x-ray diffraction revealed that there was a phase transformation from β-Ti (AR+FSP) to α-Ti (AR+FSP+aged). This phase decomposition resulted in the harder and stiffer Ti phase responsible for lowering of wear rate in Ti-185. While x-ray diffraction confirmed the A-286 alloy retains its austenitic structure for all conditions, scanning electron microscopy revealed completely different wear track morphology structures. There was increased coarse abrasion (galling) with the AR+aged A-286 alloy compared to the much finer-scale abrasion with the AR+FSP+aged alloy, which was responsible for smaller and less abrasive wear debris, and hence lower wear rate. Furthermore, cross-sectional focused ion beam microscopy studies inside the stir zone of AR+FSP+aged A-286 alloy determined that a) increased micro-hardness was due to FSP-induced microscopic grain refinement, and b) the corresponding wear rate decrease was due to even finer wear-induced grain refinement. With both effects combined, the level of damage and surface fatigue wear was suppressed resulting in lowering of the wear rate. In contrast, the absence of FSP-induced grain refinement in the AR+aged A-286 alloy resulted in lower hardness and increasing wear rate. In addition, micro-Raman spectroscopy inside the stir wear zone determined that the wear debris contained metal oxides of Fe3O4, Cr2O3, and NiO, but were a consequence and not the cause of low wear. Overall, FSP of titanium and stainless steel alloys resulted in lowering of wear rates suggesting it is a viable surface engineering technique to target and mitigate site-specific wear. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc801955/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271883/
Effect of Silyation on Organosilcate Glass Films
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Photoresist stripping with oxygen plasma ashing destroys the functional groups in organosilicate glass films and induce moisture uptake, causing low-k dielectric degradation. In this study, hexamethyldisilazane (HMDS), triethylchlorosilane and tripropylchlorosilane are used to repair the damage to organosilicate glass by the O2 plasma ashing process. The optimization of the surface functionalization of the organosilicate glass by the silanes and the thermal stability of the functionalized surfaces are investigated. These experimental results show that HMDS is a promising technique to repair the damage to OSG during the photoresist removal processing and that the heat treatment of the functionalized surfaces causes degradation of the silanes deteriorating the hydrophobicity of the films. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4549/
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). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33192/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84233/
Evaluation of hydrogen trapping in HfO2 high-κ dielectric thin films.
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Hafnium based high-κ dielectrics are considered potential candidates to replace SiO2 or SiON as the gate dielectric in complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) devices. Hydrogen is one of the most significant elements in semiconductor technology because of its pervasiveness in various deposition and optimization processes of electronic structures. Therefore, it is important to understand the properties and behavior of hydrogen in semiconductors with the final aim of controlling and using hydrogen to improve electronic performance of electronic structures. Trap transformations under annealing treatments in hydrogen ambient normally involve passivation of traps at thermal SiO2/Si interfaces by hydrogen. High-κ dielectric films are believed to exhibit significantly higher charge trapping affinity than SiO2. In this thesis, study of hydrogen trapping in alternate gate dielectric candidates such as HfO2 during annealing in hydrogen ambient is presented. Rutherford backscattering spectroscopy (RBS), elastic recoil detection analysis (ERDA) and nuclear reaction analysis (NRA) were used to characterize these thin dielectric materials. It was demonstrated that hydrogen trapping in bulk HfO2 is significantly reduced for pre-oxidized HfO2 prior to forming gas anneals. This strong dependence on oxygen pre-processing is believed to be due to oxygen vacancies/deficiencies and hydrogen-carbon impurity complexes that originate from organic precursors used in chemical vapor depositions (CVD) of these dielectrics. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5596/
Fatigue Behavior of A356 Aluminum Alloy
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Metal fatigue is a recurring problem for metallurgists and materials engineers, especially in structural applications. It has been responsible for many disastrous accidents and tragedies in history. Understanding the micro-mechanisms during cyclic deformation and combating fatigue failure has remained a grand challenge. Environmental effects, like temperature or a corrosive medium, further worsen and complicate the problem. Ultimate design against fatigue must come from a materials perspective with a fundamental understanding of the interaction of microstructural features with dislocations, under the influence of stress, temperature, and other factors. This research endeavors to contribute to the current understanding of the fatigue failure mechanisms. Cast aluminum alloys are susceptible to fatigue failure due to the presence of defects in the microstructure like casting porosities, non-metallic inclusions, non-uniform distribution of secondary phases, etc. Friction stir processing (FSP), an emerging solid state processing technique, is an effective tool to refine and homogenize the cast microstructure of an alloy. In this work, the effect of FSP on the microstructure of an A356 cast aluminum alloy, and the resulting effect on its tensile and fatigue behavior have been studied. The main focus is on crack initiation and propagation mechanisms, and how stage I and stage II cracks interact with the different microstructural features. Three unique microstructural conditions have been tested for fatigue performance at room temperature, 150 °C and 200 °C. Detailed fractography has been performed using optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and electron back scattered diffraction (EBSD). These tools have also been utilized to characterize microstructural aspects like grain size, eutectic silicon particle size and distribution. Cyclic deformation at low temperatures is very sensitive to the microstructural distribution in this alloy. The findings from the room temperature fatigue tests highlight the important role played by persistent slip bands (PSBs) in fatigue crack initiation. At room temperature, cracks initiate along PSBs in the absence of other defects/stress risers, and grow transgranularly. Their propagation is retarded when they encounter grain boundaries. Another major finding is the complete transition of the mode of fatigue cracking from transgranular to intergranular, at 200 °C. This occurs when PSBs form in adjacent grains and impinge on grain boundaries, raising the stress concentration at these locations. This initiates cracks along the grain boundaries. At these temperatures, cyclic deformation is no longer microstructure- dependent. Grain boundaries don’t impede the progress of cracks, instead aid in their propagation. This work has extended the current understanding of fatigue cracking mechanisms in A356 Al alloys to elevated temperatures. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc849720/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc149571/
First Principles Study of Metastable Beta Titanium Alloys
The high temperature BCC phase (b) of titanium undergoes a martensitic transformation to HCP phase (a) upon cooling, but can be stabilized at room temperature by alloying with BCC transition metals such as Mo. There exists a metastable composition range within which the alloyed b phase separates into a + b upon equilibrium cooling but not when rapidly quenched. Compositional partitioning of the stabilizing element in as-quenched b microstructure creates nanoscale precipitates of a new simple hexagonal w phase, which considerably reduces ductility. These phase transformation reactions have been extensively studied experimentally, yet several significant questions remain: (i) The mechanism by which the alloying element stabilizes the b phase, thwarts its transformation to w, and how these processes vary as a function of the concentration of the stabilizing element is unclear. (ii) What is the atomistic mechanism responsible for the non-Arrhenius, anomalous diffusion widely observed in experiments, and how does it extend to low temperatures? How does the concentration of the stabilizing elements alter this behavior? There are many other w forming alloys that such exhibit anomalous diffusion behavior. (iii) A lack of clarity remains on whether w can transform to a -phase in the crystal bulk or if it occurs only at high-energy regions such as grain boundaries. Furthermore, what is the nature of the a phase embryo? (iv) Although previous computational results discovered a new wa transformation mechanism in pure Ti with activation energy lower than the classical Silcock pathway, it is at odds with the a / b / w orientation relationship seen in experiments. First principles calculations based on density functional theory provide an accurate approach to study such nanoscale behavior with full atomistic resolution, allowing investigation of the complex structural and chemical effects inherent in the alloyed state. In the present work, a model Ti-Mo system is investigated to resolve these fundamental questions. Particular attention is paid to how Mo- (i) influences the bonding in Ti, (ii) distorts the local structure in the Ti lattice, (iii) impacts the point and interfacial defect formation and migration energies, and (iv) affects the mechanism and energetics of b w and wa transformations. Our results are correlated with appropriate experimental results of our collaborators and those in open literature. The modification of Ti bonding by Mo solutes and the attendant distortion of the lattice hold the key to answering the diverse questions listed above. The solutes enhance electron charge density in the <111> directions and, consequently, stiffen the lattice against the displacements necessary for b w transformation. However, Ti atoms uncoordinated by Mo remain relatively mobile, and locally displace towards w lattice positions. This effect was further studied in a metastable Ti-8.3 at.% Mo system with an alternate cell geometry which allows for either b w or $\betaa transformation, and it was found that after minimization Ti atoms possessed either a or w coordination environments. The creation of this microstructure is attributed to both the disruption of uniform b w transformation by the Mo atoms and the overlap of Ti-Mo bond contractions facilitating atomic displacements to the relatively stable a or w structures in Mo-free regions. The vacancy migration behavior in such a microstructure was then explored. Additionally, several minimized configurations were created with planar interfaces between Mo-stabilized b region and its adjacent a- or w- phases, and it was found that the positioning of Mo at the interface strongly dictates the structure of the adjacent Mo depleted region. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc804949/
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/
Friction Stir Welding of High Strength Precipitation Strengthened Aluminum Alloys
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Rising demand for improved fuel economy and structural efficiency are the key factors for use of aluminum alloys for light weighting in aerospace industries. Precipitation strengthened 2XXX and 7XXX aluminum alloys are the key aluminum alloys used extensively in aerospace industry. Welding and joining is the critical step in manufacturing of integrated structures. Joining of precipitation strengthened aluminum alloys using conventional fusion welding techniques is difficult and rather undesirable in as it produces dendritic microstructure and porosities which can undermine the structural integrity of weldments. Friction stir welding, invented in 1991, is a solid state joining technique inherently benefitted to reduces the possibility of common defects associated with fusion based welding techniques. Weldability of various 2XXX and 7XXX aluminum alloys via friction stir welding was investigated. Microstructural and mechanical property evolution during welding and after post weld heat treatment was studied using experimental techniques such as transmission electron microscopy, differential scanning calorimetry, hardness testing, and tensile testing. Various factors such as peak welding temperature, cooling rate, external cooling methods (thermal management) which affects the strength of the weldment were studied. Post weld heat treatment of AL-Mg-Li alloy produced joint as strong as the parent material. Modified post weld heat treatment in case of welding of Al-Zn-Mg alloy also resulted in near 100% joint efficiency whereas the maximum weld strength achieved in case of welds of Al-Cu-Li alloys was around 80-85% of parent material strength. Low dislocation density and high nucleation barrier for the precipitates was observed to be responsible for relatively low strength recovery in Al-Cu-Li alloys as compared to Al-Mg-Li and Al-Zn-Mg alloys. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862787/
Friction Stir Welding of Precipitation Strengthened Aluminum 7449 Alloys
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The Al-Zn-Mg-Cu (7XXX series) alloys are amongst the strongest aluminum available. However, they are considered unweldable with conventional fusion techniques due to the negative effects that arise with conventional welding, including hydrogen porosity, hot cracking, and stress corrosion cracking. For this reason, friction stir welding has emerged as the preferred technique to weld 7XXX series alloys. Aluminum 7449 is one of the highest strength 7XXX series aluminum alloy. This is due to its higher zinc content, which leads to a higher volume fraction of eta' precipitates. It is typically used in a slight overaged condition since it exhibits better corrosion resistance. In this work, the welds of friction stir welded aluminum 7449 were studied extensively. Specific focus was placed in the heat affected zone (HAZ) and nugget. Thermocouples were used in the heat affected zone for three different depths to obtain thermal profiles as well as cooling/heating profiles. Vicker microhardness testing, transmission electron microscope (TEM), and differential scanning calorimeter (DSC) were used to characterize the welds. Two different tempers of the alloy were used, a low overaged temper and a high overaged temper. A thorough comparison of the two different tempers was done. It was found that highly overaged aluminum 7449 tempers show better properties for friction stir welding. A heat gradient along with a high conducting plate (Cu) used at the bottom of the run, resulted in welds with two separate microstructures in the nugget. Due to the microstructure at the bottom of the nugget, higher strength than the base metal is observed. Furthermore, the effects of natural aging and artificial aging were studied to understand re-precipitation. Large improvements in strength are observed after natural aging throughout the welds, including improvements in the HAZ. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862775/
Functionalization and characterization of porous low-κ dielectrics.
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The incorporation of fluorine into SiO2 has been shown to reduce the dielectric constant of the existing materials by reducing the electrical polarizability. However, the incorporation of fluorine has also been shown to decrease film stability. Therefore, new efforts have been made to find different ways to further decrease the relative dielectric constant value of the existing low-k materials. One way to reduce the dielectric constant is by decreasing its density. This reduces the amount of polarizable materials. A good approach is increasing porosity of the film. Recently, fluorinated silica xerogel films have been identified as potential candidates for applications such as interlayer dielectric materials in CMOS technology. In addition to their low dielectric constants, these films present properties such as low refractive indices, low thermal conductivities, and high surface areas. Another approach to lower k is incorporating lighter atoms such as hydrogen or carbon. Silsesquioxane based materials are among them. However, additional integration issues such as damage to these materials caused by plasma etch, plasma ash, and wet etch processes are yet to be overcome. This dissertation reports the effects of triethoxyfluorosilane-based (TEFS) xerogel films when reacted with silylation agents. TEFS films were employed because they form robust silica networks and exhibit low dielectric constants. However, these films readily absorb moisture. Employing silylation reactions enhances film hydrophobicity and permits possible introduction of this film as an interlayer dielectric material. Also, this work describes the effects of SC-CO2 in combination with silylating agents used to functionalize the damaged surface of the ash-damaged MSQ films. Ashed MSQ films exhibit increased water adsorption and dielectric constants due to the carbon depletion and modification of the properties of the low-k material caused by interaction with plasma species. CO2 is widely used as a supercritical solvent, because of its easily accessible critical point, low cost, and non-hazardous nature. Its unique diffusion and surface tension properties make SC-CO2 a good candidate for treatment of porous ultra low-k materials. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5570/
Gamma Prime Precipitation Mechanisms and Solute Partitioning in Ni-base Alloys
Nickel-base superalloys have been emerged as materials for gas turbines used for jet propulsion and electricity generation. The strength of the superalloys depends mainly from an ordered precipitates of L12 structure, so called gamma prime (γ’) dispersed within the disorder γ matrix. The Ni-base alloys investigated in this dissertation comprise both model alloy systems based on Ni-Al-Cr and Ni-Al-Co as well as the commercial alloy Rene N5. Classical nucleation and growth mechanism dominates the γ’ precipitation process in slowed-cooled Ni-Al-Cr alloys. The effect of Al and Cr additions on γ’ precipitate size distribution as well as morphological and compositional development of γ’ precipitates were characterized by coupling transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and 3D atom probe (3DAP) techniques. Rapid quenching Ni-Al-Cr alloy experiences a non-classical precipitation mechanism. Structural evolution of the γ’ precipitates formed and subsequent isothermal annealing at 600 °C were investigated by coupling TEM and synchrotron-based high-energy x-ray diffraction (XRD). Compositional evolution of the non-classically formed γ’ precipitates was determined by 3DAP and Langer, Bar-on and Miller (LBM) method. Besides homogeneous nucleation, the mechanism of heterogeneous γ’ precipitation involving a discontinuous precipitation mechanism, as a function of temperature, was the primary focus of study in case of the Ni-Al-Co alloy. This investigation coupled SEM, SEM-EBSD, TEM and 3DAP techniques. Lastly, solute partitioning and enrichment of minor refractory elements across/at the γ/ γ’ interfaces in the commercially used single crystal Rene N5 superalloy was investigated by using an advantage of nano-scale composition investigation of 3DAP technique. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700080/
Growth Mechanisms, and Mechanical and Thermal Properties of Junctions in 3D Carbon Nanotube-Graphene Nano-Architectures
Junctions are the key component for 3D carbon nanotube (CNT)-graphene seamless hybrid nanostructures. Growth mechanism of junctions of vertical CNTs growing from graphene in the presence of iron catalysts was simulated via quantum mechanical molecular dynamics (QM/MD) methods. CNTs growth from graphene with iron catalysts is based on a ‘‘base-growth’’ mechanism, and the junctions were the mixture of C-C and Fe-C covalent bonds. Pure C-C bonded junctions could be obtained by moving the catalyst during CNT growth or etching and annealing after growth. The growth process of 3D CNT-graphene junctions on copper templates with nanoholes was simulated with molecular dynamic (MD) simulation. There are two mechanisms of junction formation: (i) CNT growth over the holes that are smaller than 3 nm, and (ii) CNT growth inside the holes that are larger than 3 nm. The growth process of multi-layer filleted CNT-graphene junctions on the Al2O3 template was also simulated with MD simulation. A simple analytical model is developed to explain that the fillet takes the particular angle (135°). MD calculations show that 135° filleted junction has the largest fracture strength and thermal conductivity at room temperature compared to junctions with 90°,120°, 150°, and 180° fillets. The tensile strengths of the as-grown C–C junctions, as well as the junctions embedded with metal nanoparticles (catalysts), were determined by a QM/MD method. Metal catalysts remaining in the junctions significantly reduce the fracture strength and fracture energy. Moreover, the thermal conductivities of the junctions were also calculated by MD method. Metal catalysts remaining in the junctions considerably lower the thermal conductivity of the 3D junctions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700065/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33186/
Hydrophobic, fluorinated silica xerogel for low-k applications.
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. DMDES incorporation affected the dielectric constant, but showed little enhancement of mechanical properties. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4472/
In Vitro Behavior of AZ31B Mg-Hydroxyapatite Metallic Matrix Composite Surface Fabricated via Friction Stir Processing
Magnesium and its alloys have been considered for load-bearing implant materials due to their similar mechanical properties to the natural bone, excellent biocompatibility, good bioactivity, and biodegradation. Nevertheless, the uncontrollable corrosion rate in biological environment restrains their application. Hydroxyapatite (HA, Ca10(PO4)6(OH)2) is a widely used bio-ceramic which has bone-like mineral structure for bone fixation. Poor fracture toughness of HA makes it not suitable for load-bearing application as a bulk. Thus, HA is introduced into metallic surface in various forms for improving biocompatibility. Recently friction stir processing (FSP) has emerged as a surface modification tool for surface/substrate grain refinement and homogenization of microstructure in biomaterial. In the pressent efforts, Mg-nHA composite surface on with 5-20 wt% HA on Mg substrate were fabricated by FSP for biodegradation and bioactivity study. The results of electrochemical measurement indicated that lower amount (~5% wt%) of Ca in Mg matrix can enhance surface localized corrosion resistance. The effects of microstructure,the presence of HA particle and Mg-Ca intermetallic phase precipitates on in vitro behavior of Mg alloy were investigated by TEM, SEM, EDX,XRD ,and XPS. The detailed observations will be discussed during presentation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862762/
Indentation induced deformation in metallic materials.
Nanoindentation has brought in many features of research over the past decade. This novel technique is capable of producing insights into the small ranges of deformation. This special point has brought a lot of focus in understanding the deformation behavior under the indenter. Nickel, iron, tungsten and copper-niobium alloy system were considered for a surface deformation study. All the samples exhibited a spectrum of residual deformation. The change in behavior with indentation and the materials responses to deformation at low and high loads is addressed in this study. A study on indenter geometry, which has a huge influence on the contact area and subsequently the hardness and modulus value, has been attempted. Deformation mechanisms that govern the plastic flow in materials at low loads of indentation and their sensitivity to the rate of strain imparted has been studied. A transition to elastic, plastic kind of a tendency to an elasto-plastic tendency was seen with an increase in the strain rate. All samples exhibited the same kind of behavior and a special focus is drawn in comparing the FCC nickel with BCC tungsten and iron where the persistence of the elastic, plastic response was addressed. However there is no absolute reason for the inconsistencies in the mechanical properties observed in preliminary testing, more insights can be provided with advanced microscopy techniques where the study can be focused more to understand the deformation behavior under the indenter. These experiments demonstrate that there is a wealth of information in the initial stages of indentation and has led to much more insights into the incipient stages of plasticity. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4904/
Influence of High Strain Rate Compression on Microstructure and Phase Transformation of NiTi Shape Memory Alloys
Since NiTi shape memory alloy (SMA) was discovered in the early 1960s, great progress has been made in understanding the properties and mechanisms of NiTi SMA and in developing associated products. For several decades, most of the scientific research and industrial interests on NiTi SMA has focused on its superelastic applications in the biomedical field and shape memory based “smart” devices, which involves the low strain rate (around 0.001 s^-1) response of NiTi SMA. Due to either stress-induced martensite phase transformation or stress induced martensite variant reorientation under the applied load, NiTi SMA has exhibited a high damping capacity in both austenitic and martensitic phase. Recently, there has been an increasing interest in exploitation of the high damping capacity of NiTi SMA to develop high strain rate related applications such as seismic damping elements and energy absorbing devices. However, a systematic study on the influence of strain, strain rate and temperature on the mechanical properties, phase transformation, microstructure and crystal structure is still limited, which leads to the difficulties in the design of products being subjected to high strain rate loading conditions. The four main objectives of the current research are: (1) achieve the single loading and the control of strain, constant strain rate and temperature in high strain rate compression tests of NiTi SMA specimens using Kolsky (split Hopkinson) compression bar; (2) explore the high strain rate compressive responses of NiTi SMA specimens as a function of strain (1.4%, 1.8%, 3.0%, 4.8%, and 9.6%), strain rate (400, 800 and 1200 s^-1), and temperature (room temperature (294 K) and 373 K); (3) characterize and compare the microstructure, phase transformation and crystal structure of NiTi SMAs before and after high strain rate compression; and (4) correlate high strain rate deformation with the changes of microstructure, phase transformation characteristics and crystal structure. Based on the results from this study, it was found that: (1) the compressive stress strain curves of martensitic NiTi SMAs under quasi-static loading conditions are different from those under high strain rate loading conditions, where higher strain hardening was observed; (2) the critical stress and stress plateau of martensitic NiTi SMAs are sensitive to the strain rate and temperature, especially at 373K, which results from the interplay between strain hardening and thermal softening; (3) the microstructure of martensitic NiTi SMA has changed with increasing strain rate at room temperature (294 K), resulting in the reduction in the area of ordered martensite region, while that area increases after deformation at elevated temperature (373K); (4) the phase transformation characteristic temperatures are more sensitive to deformation strain than strain rate; (5) the preferred crystal plane of martensitic NiTi SMA has changed from (11 ̅1)M before compression to (111)M after compression at room temperature (294 K), while the preferred plane remains exactly the same for martensitic NiTi SMA before and after compression at 373 K. Lastly, dynamic recovery and recrystallization are also observed after deformation of martensitic NiTi SMA at 373K. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc849732/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc68009/
An Initial Study of Binary and Ternary Ti-based Alloys Manufactured Using Laser Engineered Net Shaping (Lenstm)
In this study an initial assessment of the composition – microstructure – property relationships in binary and ternary Ti – based systems are made possible using LENSTM technology. Laser Engineering Net Shaping (LENSTM), a rapid prototyping, directed laser deposition methodology of additive manufacturing (AM) was used to create bulk homogenous specimens that are compositionally graded. Compositionally graded specimens were made possible by incorporating elemental blends of powder during the LENSTM process. While there have been numerous studies assessing the influence of common elements (e.g., V, Mo, Al, and Cr) on the resulting microstructure in titanium alloys, other elements have been neglected. A systematic study of the Ti – Fe – Al ternary system based upon varying compositions of the eutectoid former, Fe with Al to stabilize the a and b phases respectively has also been neglected. This research effort focuses on exploiting the LENSTM process by rapidly assessing the composition – microstructure – property relationships in a combinatorial approach for the Ti – W, Ti – Fe, and Ti – Fe – Al systems. Compositionally graded specimens of Ti – xW (0<x<40wt.%(14.79at.%)), Ti – xFe (0<x<35wt.%(36.37at.%)), and Ti – xFe – yAl (0<x<40wt.%(36.37at.%)), y=5,10, 15wt.%) have been heat treated to also assess the influence of thermal history on microstructural features such as phase composition and volume fraction. Lastly, a Ti – xMo (0<x<40wt.%(24.96at.%)) compositionally graded specimen was deposited to re-assess the Mo-equivalency nature of W, as well as assess the role of phase separation in microstructural evolution at temperatures above and below the invariant point (~695°C) of the Ti – W binary system. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822823/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc177199/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc407758/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc500159/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc500073/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc177232/
Laser Surface Alloying of Refractory Metals on Aluminum for Enhanced Corrosion Resistance: Experimental and Computational Approaches
Aluminum (Al) and its alloys are widely used in various technological applications, mainly due to the excellent thermal conductivity, non-magnetic, ecofriendly, easy formability and good recyclability. However due to the inferior corrosion resistance its applications are hampered in various engineering sectors. Besides, the corrosion related failures such as leakage of gas from pipeline, catastrophic breakdown of bridges and fire accidents in processing plants further puts the human life in jeopardy. Within the United States over $ 400 billion dollars per year are spent over research to understand and prevent the corrosion related failures. Recently, the development of transition metal(TM) aluminides (AlxTMy, where, TM = Mo, W, Ta, Nb, Cr, Zr and V) has received the global attention mainly due to high strength at elevated temperatures, light-weight, excellent corrosion and wear resistance. In light of this, surface modification via laser surface alloying (LSA) is a promising engineering approach to mitigate the corrosion and wear problems. In the present study the attempts are made to study the Al-Mo, Al-W, Al-Nb, and Al-Ta systems as a potential corrosion resistant coatings on aluminum. The refractory metal (Mo, W, Nb, Ta) precursor deposit was spray coated separately on aluminum substrate and was subsequently surface alloyed using a continuous wave diode-pumped ytterbium laser at varying laser energy densities. Microstructural analysis was conducted using scanning electron microscopy and further X-ray diffractometry was carried out to evaluate the various phases evolved during laser surface alloying. Corrosion resistance of laser alloyed coatings were evaluated using open circuit potential, cyclic potentiodynamic polarization, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy measurements were performed in 0.6 M NaCl solution (pH:6.9±0.2, 23˚C). Open circuit potential measurements indicate the more stable (steady state) potential values over long periods after laser surface alloying. Cyclic polarization results indicated reduction in the corrosion current density, enhancement in the polarization resistance, and increase in coating/protective efficiency with increase in laser energy density compared to untreated aluminum. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy measurements also indicated an increase in charge transfer resistance after laser surface alloying of refractory metals on aluminum. Additionally, first principle calculations of thermodynamic, electronic and elastic properties of intermetallics evolved during LSA were also thoroughly investigated to correlate the corrosion performance of intermetallic coatings with these properties. The present study indicates that novel Al-Mo, Al-W, Al-Nb, and Al-Ta intermetallics has a great potential for light weight structural applications with enhanced corrosion resistance. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700029/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc407788/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc500194/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc9738/
Low Temperature Polymeric Precursor Derived Zinc Oxide Thin Films
Zinc oxide (ZnO) is a versatile environmentally benign II-VI direct wide band gap semiconductor with several technologically plausible applications such as transparent conducting oxide in flat panel and flexible displays. Hence, ZnO thin films have to be processed below the glass transition temperatures of polymeric substrates used in flexible displays. ZnO thin films were synthesized via aqueous polymeric precursor process by different metallic salt routes using ethylene glycol, glycerol, citric acid, and ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid (EDTA) as chelating agents. ZnO thin films, derived from ethylene glycol based polymeric precursor, exhibit flower-like morphology whereas thin films derived of other precursors illustrate crack free nanocrystalline films. ZnO thin films on sapphire substrates show an increase in preferential orientation along the (002) plane with increase in annealing temperature. The polymeric precursors have also been used in fabricating maskless patterned ZnO thin films in a single step using the commercial Maskless Mesoscale Materials Deposition system. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5504/
A magnetorheological study of single-walled and multi-walled carbon nanotube dispersions in mineral oil and epoxy resin.
Single wall carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) and multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) were dispersed in mineral oil and epoxy resin. The magnetorheological properties of these dispersions were studied using a parallel plate rheometer. Strain sweeps, frequency sweeps, magneto sweeps and steady shear tests were conducted in various magnetic fields. G', G", h* and ty increased with increasing magnetic field, which was partially attributed to the increasing degree of the alignment of nanotubes in a stronger magnetic field. The SWNT/mo dispersions exhibited more pronounced magnetic field dependence than SWNT/ep and MWNT/mo counterparts due to their much lower viscosity. The alignment of SWNTs in mineral oil increased with rising nanotube concentration up to 2.5vol% but were significantly restricted at 6.41vol% due to nanotube flocculation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4742/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc28452/
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/
Measurement of Lattice Strain and Relaxation Effects in Strained Silicon Using X-ray Diffraction and Convergent Beam Electron Diffraction
The semiconductor industry has decreased silicon-based device feature sizes dramatically over the last two decades for improved performance. However, current technology has approached the limit of achievable enhancement via this method. Therefore, other techniques, including introducing stress into the silicon structure, are being used to further advance device performance. While these methods produce successful results, there is not a proven reliable method for stress and strain measurements on the nanometer scale characteristic of these devices. The ability to correlate local strain values with processing parameters and device performance would allow for more rapid improvements and better process control. In this research, x-ray diffraction and convergent beam electron diffraction have been utilized to quantify the strain behavior of simple and complex strained silicon-based systems. While the stress relaxation caused by thinning of the strained structures to electron transparency complicates these measurements, it has been quantified and shows reasonable agreement with expected values. The relaxation values have been incorporated into the strain determination from relative shifts in the higher order Laue zone lines visible in convergent beam electron diffraction patterns. The local strain values determined using three incident electron beam directions with different degrees of tilt relative to the device structure have been compared and exhibit excellent agreement. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3978/
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/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc67949/
Micro and nano composites composed of a polymer matrix and a metal disperse phase.
Low density polyethylene (LDPE) and Hytrel (a thermoplastic elastomer) were used as polymeric matrices in polymer + metal composites. The concentration of micrometric (Al, Ag and Ni) as well as nanometric particles (Al and Ag) was varied from 0 to 10 %. Composites were prepared by blending followed by injection molding. The resulting samples were analyzed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and focused ion beam (FIB) in order to determine their microstructure. Certain mechanical properties of the composites were also determined. Static and dynamic friction was measured. The scratch resistance of the specimens was determined. A study of the wear mechanisms in the samples was performed. The Al micro- and nanoparticles as well as Ni microparticles are well dispersed throughout the material while Ag micro and nanoparticles tend to form agglomerates. Generally the presence of microcomposites affects negatively the mechanical properties. For the nanoparticles, composites with a higher elastic modulus than that of the neat materials are achievable. For both micro- and nanocomposites it is feasible to lower the friction values with respective to the neat polymers. The addition of metal particles to polymers also improves the scratch resistance of the composites, particularly so for microcomposites. The inclusion of Ag and Ni particles causes an increase in the wear loss volume while Al can reduce the wear for both polymeric matrices. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5135/
Microstructural Phase Evolution In Laser Deposited Compositionally Graded Titanium-Chromium Alloys
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A compositionally graded Ti-xCr (10≤x≤30 wt%) alloy has been fabricated using Laser Engineered Net Shaping (LENSTM) to study the microstructural phase evolution along a compositional gradient in both as-deposited and heat treated conditions (1000°C followed by furnace cooling or air cooling). The alloys were characterized by SEM BSE imaging, XRD, EBSD, TEM and micro-hardness measurements to determine processing-structure-property relations. For the as-deposited alloy, α-Ti, β-Ti, and TiCr2 (C15 Laves) phases exist in varying phase fractions, which were influential in determining hardness values. With the furnace cooled alloy, there was more homogeneous nucleation of α phase throughout the sample with a larger phase fraction of TiCr2 resulting in increased hardness values. When compared to the air cooled alloy, there was absence of wide scale nucleation of α phase and formation of ω phase within the β phase due to the quicker cooling from elevated temperature. At lower concentrations of Cr, the kinetics resulted in a diffusionless phase transformation of ω phase with increased hardness and a lower phase fraction of TiCr2. In contrast at higher Cr concentrations, α phase separation reaction occurs where the β phase is spinodally decomposed to Cr solute-lean β1 and solute-rich β2 resulting in reduced hardness. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc849610/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33154/
Microstructure for Enhanced Plasticity and Toughness
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Magnesium is the lightest metal with a very high specific strength. However, its practical applicability is limited by its toughness and reliability. Mg, being HCP has low ductility. This makes the improvement of toughness a grand challenge in Mg alloys. Friction stir processing (FSP) is a thermomechanical technique used to effect microstructural modification. Here, FSP was utilized to affect the toughness of WE43 sheets through microstructural modification. Room temperature Kahn-type tests were conducted to measure the toughness of WE43 sheets. Microscopic techniques (SEM, TEM) was utilized to study the effect of various microstructural factors like grain size, texture, constituent particles, precipitates on crack initiation and propagation. Tensile properties were evaluated by mini-tensile tests. Crack growth in WE43 sheets was also affected by mechanics and digital image correlation (DIC) was utilized to study the plastic zone size. The underlying mechanisms affecting toughness of these sheets were understood which will help in formulating ways in improving it. WE43 nanocomposites were fabricated via FSP. Uniform distribution of reinforcements was obtained in the composites. Improved mechanical properties like that of enhanced strength, increased hardness and stiffness were obtained. But contrary to other metal matrix composites which show reduction in ductility with incorporation of ceramic reinforcements, the nanocomposites showed good strength-ductility combination. The composites were precisely characterized and mechanisms governing this property were studied. The nano-length of the reinforcements was observed to be the main criteria and the dislocation-particle interaction, the main reason behind the strength-ductility property. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc862825/
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). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc283858/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc12119/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc149624/
Morphological properties of poly (ethylene terephthalate) (PET) nanocomposites in relation to fracture toughness.
The effect of incorporation of montmorillonite layered silicate (MLS) on poly (ethylene terephthalate) (PET) matrix was investigated. MLS was added in varying concentration of 1 to 5 weight percent in the PET matrix. DSC and polarized optical microscopy were used to determine the crystallization effects of MLS addition. Non isothermal crystallization kinetics showed that the melting temperature and crystallization temperature decrease as the MLS percent increases. This delayed crystallization along with the irregular spherulitic shape indicates hindered crystallization in the presence of MLS platelets. The influence of this morphology was related with the fracture toughness of PET nanocomposites using essential work of fracture coupled with the infra red (IR) thermography. Both the essential as well as non essential work of fracture decreased on addition of MLS with nanocomposite showing reduced toughness. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4845/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc407743/
Nanohybrids Based on Solid and Foam Polyurethanes
Polymer nanocomposites are a going part of Materials Science and Engineering. These new composite materials exhibit dimensional and thermal stability of inorganic materials and toughness and dielectric properties of polymers. Development of nanocomposites become an important approach to create high-performance composite materials. In this study silica, fly ash, silica nanotubes and carbon black particles have been added to modify polyurethane foam and thermoplastic polyurethanes. It has been found that the addition of silica can diminish the size of foam bubbles, resulting in an increased stiffness of the material, increase of the compressive strength, and greater resistance to deformation. However, the uniformity of bubbles is reduced, resulting in increased friction of the material. Fly ash added to the foam can make bubbles smaller and improve uniformity of cells. Therefore, the material stiffness and compressive strength, resistance to deformation, and has little impact on the dynamic friction of the material. Adding nanotubes make bubble size unequal, and the arrangement of the bubble uneven, resulting in decreased strength of the material, while the friction increases. After the addition of carbon black to the polyurethane foam, due to the special surface structure of the carbon black, the foam generates more bubbles during the foaming process changing the foam structure. Therefore, the material becomes soft, we obtain a flexible polyurethane foam. The results of mechanical properties determination of the thermoplastic polyurethane that adding particles may increase the stiffness and wear resistance of the thermoplastic polyurethane, while the tensile properties of the material are reduced. This phenomenon may be due to agglomeration of particles during the mixing process. Possibly the particles cannot be uniformly dispersed in the thermoplastic polyurethane. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc799520/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc67975/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc68059/