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Chemical and Electronic Structure of Aromatic/Carborane Composite Films by PECVD for Neutron Detection

Description: Boron carbide-aromatic composites, formed by plasma-enhanced co-deposition of carboranes and aromatic precursors, present enhanced electron-hole separation as neutron detector. This is achieved by aromatic coordination to the carborane icosahedra and results in improved neutron detection efficiency. Photoemission (XPS) and FTIR suggest that chemical bonding between B atoms in icosahedra and aromatic contents with preservation of π system during plasma process. XPS, UPS, density functional theory (DFT) calculations, and variable angle spectroscopic ellipsometery (VASE) demonstrate that for orthocarborane/pyridine and orthocarborane/aniline films, states near the valence band maximum are aromatic in character, while states near the conduction band minimum include those of either carborane or aromatic character. Thus, excitation across the band gap results in electrons and holes on carboranes and aromatics, respectively. Further such aromatic-carborane interaction dramatically shrinks the indirect band gap from 3 eV (PECVD orthocarborane) to ~ 1.6 eV (PECVD orthocarborane/pyridine) to ~1.0 eV (PECVD orthocarborane/aniline), with little variation in such properties with aromatic/orthocarborane stoichiometry. The narrowed band gap indicate the potential for greatly enhanced charge generation relative to PECVD orthocarborane films, as confirmed by zero-bias neutron voltaic studies. The results indicate that the enhanced electron-hole separation and band gap narrowing observed for aromatic/orthocarborane films relative to PECVD orthocarborane, has significant potential for a range of applications, including neutron detection, photovoltaics, and photocatalysis. Acknowledgements: This work was supported by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (Grant No.HDTRA1-14-1-0041). James Hilfiker is also gratefully acknowledged for stimulating discussions.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Dong, Bin
Partner: UNT Libraries

Determination of Solute Descriptors for Illicit Drugs Using Gas Chromatographic Retention Data and Abraham Solvation Model

Description: In this experiment, more than one hundred volatile organic compounds were analyzed with the gas chromatograph. Six capillary columns ZB wax plus, ZB 35, TR1MS, TR5, TG5MS and TG1301MS with different polarities have been used for separation of compounds and illicit drugs. The Abraham solvation model has five solute descriptors. The solute descriptors are E, S, A, B, L (or V). Based on the six stationary phases, six equations were constructed as a training set for each of the six columns. The six equations served to calculate the solute descriptors for a set of illicit drugs. Drugs studied are nicotine (S= 0.870, A= 0.000, B= 1.073), oxycodone(S= 2.564. A= 0.286, B= 1.706), methamphetamine (S= 0.297, A= 1.570, B= 1.009), heroin (S=2.224, A= 0.000, B= 2.136) and ketamine (S= 1.005, A= 0.000, B= 1.126). The solute property of Abraham solvation model is represented as a logarithm of retention time, thus the logarithm of experimental and calculated retention times is compared.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Mitheo, Yannick K.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Direct Atomic Level Controlled Growth and Characterization of h-BN and Graphene Heterostructures on Magnetic Substrates for Spintronic Applications

Description: Epitaxial multilayer h-BN(0001) heterostructures and graphene/h-BN heterostructures have many potential applications in spintronics. The use of h-BN and graphene require atomically precise control and azimuthal alignment of the individual layers in the structure. These in turn require fabrication of devices by direct scalable methods rather than physical transfer of BN and graphene flakes, and such scalable methods are also critical for industrially compatible development of 2D devices. The growth of h-BN(0001) multilayers on Co and Ni, and graphene/h-BN(0001) heterostructures on Co have been studied which meet these criteria. Atomic Layer Epitaxy (ALE) of BN was carried out resulting in the formation of macroscopically continuous h-BN(0001) multilayers using BCl3 and NH3 as precursors. X-ray photoemission spectra (XPS) show that the films are stoichiometric with an average film thickness linearly proportional to the number of BCl3/NH3 cycles. Molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) of C yielded few layer graphene in azimuthal registry with BN/Co(0001) substrate. Low energy electron diffraction (LEED) measurements indicate azimuthally oriented growth of both BN and graphene layers in registry with the substrate lattice. Photoemission data indicate B:N atomic ratios of 1:1. Direct growth temperatures of 600 K for BN and 800 to 900 K for graphene MBE indicate multiple integration schemes for applications in spintronics.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Beatty, John D.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Direct Inject Mass Spectrometry for Illicit Chemistry Detection and Characterization

Description: The field of direct inject mass spectrometry includes a massive host of ambient ionization techniques that are especially useful for forensic analysts. Whether the sample is trace amounts of drugs or explosives or bulk amounts of synthetic drugs from a clandestine laboratory, the analysis of forensic evidence requires minimal sample preparation, evidence preservation, and high sensitivity. Direct inject mass spectrometry techniques can rarely provide all of these. Direct analyte-probed nanoextraction coupled to nanospray ionization mass spectrometry, however, is certainly capable of achieving these goals. As a multifaceted tool developed in the Verbeck laboratory, many forensic applications have since been investigated (trace drug and explosives analysis). Direct inject mass spectrometry can also be easily coupled to assays to obtain additional information about the analytes in question. By performing a parallel artificial membrane assay or a cell membrane stationary phase extraction prior to direct infusion of the sample, membrane permeability data and receptor activity data can be obtained in addition to the mass spectral data that was already being collected. This is particularly useful for characterizing illicit drugs and their analogues for a biologically relevant way to schedule new psychoactive substances.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Williams, Kristina
Partner: UNT Libraries

Experimental Determination of L, Ostwald Solubility Solute Descriptor for Illegal Drugs By Gas Chromatography and Analysis By the Abraham Model

Description: The experiment successfully established the mathematical correlations between the logarithm of retention time of illegal drugs with GC system and the solute descriptor L from the Abraham model. the experiment used the method of Gas Chromatography to analyze the samples of illegal drugs and obtain the retention time of each one. Using the Abraham model to calculate and analyze the sorption coefficient of illegal drugs is an effective way to estimate the drugs. Comparison of the experimental data and calculated data shows that the Abraham linear free energy relationship (LFER) model predicts retention behavior reasonably well for most compounds. It can calculate the solute descriptors of illegal drugs from the retention time of GC system. However, the illegal drugs chosen for this experiment were not all ideal for GC analysis. HPLC is the optimal instrument and will be used for future work. HPLC analysis of the illegal drug compounds will allow for the determination of all the solute descriptors allowing one to predict the illegal drugs behavior in various Abraham biological and medical equations. the results can be applied to predict the properties in biological and medical research which the data is difficult to measure. the Abraham model will predict more accurate results by increasing the samples with effective functional groups.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Wang, Zhouxing
Partner: UNT Libraries

Fundamental Studies of Copper Corrosion in Interconnect Fabrication Process and Spectroscopic Investigation of Low-k Structures

Description: In the first part of this dissertation, copper bimetallic corrosion and its inhibition in cleaning processes involved in interconnect fabrication is explored. In microelectronics fabrication, post chemical mechanical polishing (CMP) cleaning is required to remove organic contaminants and particles left on copper interconnects after the CMP process. Use of cleaning solutions, however, causes serious reliability issues due to corrosion and recession of the interconnects. In this study, different azole compounds are explored and pyrazole is found out to be a potentially superior Cu corrosion inhibitor, compared to the most widely used benzotriazole (BTA), for tetramethyl ammonium hydroxide (TMAH)-based post CMP cleaning solutions at pH 14. Micropattern corrosion screening results and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) revealed that 1 mM Pyrazole in 8 wt% TMAH solution inhibits Cu corrosion more effectively than 10 mM benzotriazole (BTA) under same conditions. Moreover, water contact angle measurement results also showed that Pyrazole-treated Cu surfaces are relatively hydrophilic compared to those treated with BTA/TMAH. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) analysis supports Cu-Pyrazole complex formation on the Cu surface. Overall Cu corrosion rate in TMAH-based highly alkaline post CMP cleaning solution is shown to be considerably reduced to less than 1Å/min by addition of 1 mM Pyrazole. In the second part, a novel technique built in-house called multiple internal Reflection Infrared Spectroscopy (MIR-IR) was explored as a characterization tool for characterization of different low-k structures.In leading edge integrated circuit manufacturing, reduction of RC time delay by incorporation of porous ultra low-k interlayer dielectrics into Cu interconnect nanostructure continues to pose major integration challenges. The main challenge is that porous structure renders interlayer dielectrics mechanically weak, chemically unstable and more susceptible to the RIE plasma etching damages. Besides the challenge of handling weak porous ultra low-k materials, a lack of sensitive metrology to guide systematic development of plasma etching, ...
Date: December 2015
Creator: Goswami, Arindom
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Study of Silver: an Alternative Maldi Matrix for Low Weight Compounds and Mass Spectrometry Imaging

Description: Soft-landing ion mobility has applicability in a variety of areas. The ability to produce material and collect a sufficient amount for further analysis and applications is the key goal of this technique. Soft-landing ion mobility has provided a way to deposit material in a controllable fashion, and can be tailored to specific applications. Changing the conditions at which soft-landing ion mobility occurs effects the characteristics of the resulting particles (size, distribution/coverage on the surface). Longer deposition times generated more material on the surface; however, higher pressures increased material loss due to diffusion. Larger particles were landed when using higher pressures, and increased laser energy at ablation. The utilization of this technique for the deposition of silver clusters has provided a solvent free matrix application technique for MALDI-MS. The low kinetic energy of incident ions along with the solvent free nature of soft-landing ion mobility lead to a technique capable of imaging sensitive samples and low mass analysis. The lack of significant interference as seen by traditional organic matrices is avoided with the use of metallic particles, providing a major enhancement in the ability to analyze low mass compounds by MALDI.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Walton, Barbara Lynn
Partner: UNT Libraries