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Barrier and Long Term Creep Properties of Polymer Nanocomposites.

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

Device Engineering for Enhanced Efficiency from Platinum(II) Phosphorescent OLEDs

Description: Phosphorescent organic light emitting diodes (PHOLEDs) based on efficient electrophosphorescent dopant, platinum(II)-pyridyltriazolate complex, bis[3,5-bis(2-pyridyl)-1,2,4-triazolato]platinum(II) (Pt(ptp)2) have been studied and improved with respect to power efficiency, external efficiency, chromacity and efficiency roll-off. By studying the electrical and optical behavior of the doped devices and functionality of the various constituent layers, devices with a maximum EQE of 20.8±0.2 % and power efficiency of 45.1±0.9 lm/W (77lm/W with luminaries) have been engineered. This improvement compares to devices whose emission initially could only be detected by a photomultiplier tube in a darkened environment. These devices consisted of a 65 % bis[3,5-bis(2-pyridyl)-1,2,4-triazolato]platinum(II) (Pt(ptp)2) doped into 4,4'-bis(carbazol-9-yl)triphenylamine (CBP) an EML layer, a hole transporting layer/electron blocker of 1,1-bis[(di-4-tolylamino)phenyl]cyclohexane (TAPC), an electron transport layer of 1,3,5-tris(phenyl-2-benzimidazolyl)-benzene (TPBI), and a LiF/Al cathode. These devices show the acceptable range for warm white light quadrants and qualify to be called "warm white" even w/o adding another emissive layer. Dual EML devices composed of neat Pt(ptp)2 films emitting orange and CBP: Pt(ptp)2 film emitting blue-green produced a color rendering index (CRI) of 59 and color coordinates (CIE) of (0.47,0.49) at 1000Cd/m² with power efficiency of 12.6±0.2 lm/W and EQE of 10.8±0.2 %. Devices with two blue fluorescent emission layers as singlet filters and one broad yellow emission layer from CBP: Pt(ptp)2 displayed a CRI of 78 and CIE of (0.28,0.31) at 100Cd/m² with maximum power efficiency of 6.7±0.3 lm/W and EQE of 5.7±0.2 %.
Date: August 2010
Creator: Li, Minghang

Fatigue Behavior of A356 Aluminum Alloy

Description: 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 ...
Date: May 2016
Creator: Nelaturu, Phalgun

Friction Stir Welding of High Strength Precipitation Strengthened Aluminum Alloys

Description: 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.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Sidhar, Harpreet

Friction Stir Welding of Precipitation Strengthened Aluminum 7449 Alloys

Description: 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.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Martinez, Nelson Y

Functionalization and characterization of porous low-κ dielectrics.

Description: 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 ...
Date: May 2005
Creator: Orozco-Teran, Rosa Amelia

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

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

Microstructure for Enhanced Plasticity and Toughness

Description: 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.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Das, Shamiparna

Reactions and Interfacial Behaviors of the Water–Amorphous Silica System from Classical and Ab Initio Molecular Dynamics Simulations

Description: Due to the wide application of silica based systems ranging from microelectronics to nuclear waste disposal, detailed knowledge of water-silica interactions plays an important role in understanding fundamental processes, such as glass corrosion and the long term reliability of devices. In this dissertation, atomistic computer simulation methods have been used to explore and identify the mechanisms of water-silica reactions and the detailed processes that control the properties of the water-silica interfaces due to their ability to provide atomic level details of the structure and reaction pathways. The main challenges of the amorphous nature of the silica based systems and nano-porosity of the structures were overcome by a combination of simulation methodologies based on classical molecular dynamics (MD) simulations with Reactive Force Field (ReaxFF) and density functional theory (DFT) based ab initio MD simulations. Through the development of nanoporous amorphous silica structure models, the interactions between water and the complex unhydroxylated internal surfaces identified the unusual stability of strained siloxane bonds in high energy ring structure defects, as well as the hydroxylation reaction kinetics, which suggests the difficulty in using DFT methods to simulate Si-O bond breakage with reasonable efficiency. Another important problem addressed is the development of silica gel structures and their interfaces, which is considered to control the long term residual dissolution rate in borosilicate glasses. Through application of the ReaxFF classical MD potential, silica gel structures which mimic the development of interfacial layers during silica dissolution were created A structural model, consisting of dense silica, silica gel, and bulk water, and the related interfaces was generated, to represent the dissolution gel structure. High temperature evolution of the silica-gel-water (SGW) structure was performed through classical MD simulation of the system, and growth of the gel into the water region occurred, as well as the formation of intermediate range structural ...
Date: May 2016
Creator: Rimsza, Jessica M

Stable Nanocrystalline Au Film Structures for Sliding Electrical Contacts

Description: Hard gold thin films and coatings are widely used in electronics as an effective material to reduce the friction and wear of relatively less expensive electrically conductive materials while simultaneously seeking to provide oxidation resistance and stable sliding electrical contact resistance (ECR). The main focus of this dissertation was to synthesize nanocrystalline Au films with grain structures capable of remaining stable during thermal exposure and under sliding electrical contact stress and the passing of electrical current. Here we have utilized a physical vapor deposition (PVD) technique, electron beam evaporation, to synthesize Au films modified by ion implantation and codeposited ZnO hardened Au nanocomposites. Simultaneous friction and ECR experiments of low fluence (< 1x10^17 cm^-2) He and Ar ion implanted Au films showed reduction in friction coefficients from ~1.5 to ~0.5 and specific wear rates from ~4x10^-3 to ~6x10^-5 mm^3/N·m versus as-deposited Au films without significant change in sliding ECR (~16 mΩ). Subsurface microstructural changes of He implanted films due to tribological stress were analyzed via site-specific cross-sectional transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and revealed the formation of nanocrystalline grains for low energy (22.5 keV) implantation conditions as well as the growth and redistribution of cavities. Nanoindentation hardness results revealed an increase from 0.84 GPa for as-deposited Au to ~1.77 GPa for Au uniformly implanted with 1 at% He. These strength increases are correlated with an Orowan hardening mechanism that increases proportionally to (He concentration)1/3. Au-ZnO nanocomposite films in the oxide dilute regime (< 5 vol% ZnO) were investigated for low temperature aging stability in friction and ECR. Annealing at 250 °C for 24 hours Au-(2 vol%)ZnO retained a friction coefficient comparable to commercial Ni hardened Au of ~ 0.3 and sliding ECR values of ~35 mΩ. Nanoindentation hardness increases of these films (~2.6 GPa for 5 vol% ZnO) are correlated to ...
Date: May 2016
Creator: Mogonye, Jon-Erik

Structural, Thermal and Acoustic Performance of Polyurethane Foams for Green Buildings

Description: Decreasing the carbon footprint through use of renewable materials has environmental and societal impact. Foams are a valuable constituent in buildings by themselves or as a core in sandwich composites. Kenaf is a Southeast USA plant that provides renewable filler. The core of the kenaf is porous with a cell size in a 5-10 micrometer range. The use of kenaf core in foams represents a novel multiscalar cellular structural composite. Rigid polyurethane foams were made using free foaming expansion with kenaf core as filler with loadings of 5, 10 and 15 %. Free foaming was found to negatively affect the mechanical properties. An innovative process was developed to introduce a constraint to expansion during foaming. Two expansion ratios were examined: 40 and 60 % (decreasing expansion ratio). MicroCT and SEM analysis showed a varying structure of open and closed cell pores. The mechanical, thermal insulation, acoustic properties were measured. Pure PU foam showed improved cell size uniformity. Introducing kenaf core resulted in decreasing the PU performance in the free expansion case. This was reversed by introducing constraints. To understand the combined impact of having a mixed close cell and open cell architecture, finite element modeling was done using ANSYS. Models were created with varying percentages of open, closed, and bulk cells to encompass entire range of foam porosities. Net zero energy building information modelling was conducted using EnergyPlus was conducted using natural fiber composite skins. Environmental impacts for instance global warming potential, acidification, eutrophication, fossil fuel consumption, ozone depletion, and smog potential of the materials used in construction was studied using life cycle assessment. The results showed improvement on energy consumption and carbon footprint.
Date: December 2014
Creator: Nar, Mangesh

Synthesis and Characterization of Crystalline Assemblies of Functionalized Hydrogel Nanoparticles

Description: Two series monodispersed nanoparticles of hydroxylpropyl cellulose (HPC) and functionalized poly-N-isopropylamide (PNIPAM) particles have been synthesized and used as building blocks for creating three-dimensional networks, with two levels of structural hierarchy. The first level is HPC nanoparticles were made from methacrylated or degradable cross-linker attached HPC. These nanoparticles could be stabilized at room temperature by residual methacrylate or degradable groups are present both within and on the exterior of HPC nanoparticles. Controlled release studies have been performed on the particle and networks .The nearly monodispersed nanoparticles have been synthesized on the basis of a natural polymer of hydropropylcellulose (HPC) with a high molecular weight using the precipitation polymerization method and self-assembly of these particles in water results in bright colors. The HPC nanoparticles can be potential using as crosslinkers to increase the hydrogels mechanical properties, such as high transparency and rapid swelling/de-swelling kinetics. The central idea is to prepare colloidal particles containing C=C bonds and to use them as monomers - vinylparticles, to form stable particle assemblies with various architectures. This is accomplished by mixing an aqueous suspension of hydrogel nanoparticles (PNIPAM-co-allylamine) with the organic solvent (dichloromethane) to grow columnar crystals. The hydrogels with such a unique crystal structure behavior not only like the hydrogel opals, but also have a unique property: anisotropy.
Date: December 2005
Creator: Cai, Tong

Thermomechanical Processing, Additive Manufacturing and Alloy Design of High Strength Mg Alloys

Description: The recent emphasis on magnesium alloys can be appreciated by following the research push from several agencies, universities and editorial efforts. With a density equal to two-thirds of Al and one-thirds of steel, Mg provides the best opportunity for lightweighting of metallic components. However, one key bottleneck restricting its insertion into industrial applications is low strength values. In this respect, Mg-Y-Nd alloys have been promising due to their ability to form strengthening precipitates on the prismatic plane. However, if the strength is compared to Al alloys, these alloys are not attractive. The primary reason for low structural performance in Mg is related to low alloying and microstructural efficiency. In this dissertation, these terminologies are discussed in detail. A simple calculation showed that the microstructural efficiency in Mg-4Y-3Nd alloy is 30% of its maximum potential. Guided by the definitions of alloying and microstructural efficiency, the two prime objectives of this thesis were to: (i) to use thermomechanical processing routes to tailor the microstructure and achieve high strength in an Mg-4Y-3Nd alloy, and (ii) optimize the alloy chemistry of the Mg-rare earth alloy and design a novel rare—earth free Mg alloy by Calphad approach to achieve a strength of 500 MPa. Experimental, theoretical and computational approaches have been used to establish the process-structure-property relationships in an Mg-4Y-3Nd alloy. For example, increase in strength was observed after post aging of the friction stir processed/additive manufactured microstructure. This was attributed to the dissolution of Mg2Y particles which increased the alloying and microstructural efficiency. Further quantification by numerical modeling showed that the effective diffusivity during friction stir processing and friction stir welding is 60 times faster than in the absence of concurrent deformation leading to the dissolution of thermally stable particles. In addition, the investigation on the interaction between dislocations and strengthening precipitate revealed that, ...
Date: May 2016
Creator: Palanivel, Sivanesh