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Advanced Technology for Source Drain Resistance Reduction in Nanoscale FinFETs

Description: Dual gate MOSFET structures such as FinFETs are widely regarded as the most promising option for continued scaling of silicon based transistors after 2010. This work examines key process modules that enable reduction of both device area and fin width beyond requirements for the 16nm node. Because aggressively scaled FinFET structures suffer significantly degraded device performance due to large source/drain series resistance (RS/D), several methods to mitigate RS/D such as maximizing contact area, silicide engineering, and epitaxially raised S/D have been evaluated.
Date: May 2008
Creator: Smith, Casey Eben

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.
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Date: December 2004
Creator: Ranade, Ajit

Bulk and Interfacial Effects on Density in Polymer Nanocomposites

Description: The barrier properties of polymers are a significant factor in determining the shelf or device lifetime in polymer packaging. Nanocomposites developed from the dispersion of nanometer thick platelets into a host polymer matrix have shown much promise. The magnitude of the benefit on permeability has been different depending on the polymer investigated or the degree of dispersion of the platelet in the polymer. In this dissertation, the effect of density changes in the bulk and at the polymer-platelet interface on permeability of polymer nanocomposites is investigated. Nanocomposites of nylon, PET, and PEN were processed by extrusion. Montmorillonite layered silicate (MLS) in a range of concentrations from 1 to 5% was blended with all three resins. Dispersion of the MLS in the matrix was investigated by using one or a combination of X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Variation in bulk density via crystallization was analyzed using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and polarized optical microscopy. Interfacial densification was investigated using force modulation atomic force microscopy (AFM) and ellipsometry. Mechanical properties are reported. Permeability of all films was measured in an in-house built permeability measurement system. The effect of polymer orientation and induced defects on permeability was investigated using biaxially stretched, small and large cycle fatigue samples of PET and nylon nanocomposites. The effect of annealing in nylon and nanocomposites was also investigated. The measured permeability was compared to predicted permeability by considering the MLS as an ideal dispersion and the matrix as a system with concentration dependent crystallinity.
Date: May 2007
Creator: Sahu, Laxmi Kumari

Characterization of Cure Kinetics and Physical Properties of a High Performance, Glass Fiber-Reinforced Epoxy Prepreg and a Novel Fluorine-Modified, Amine-Cured Commercial Epoxy.

Description: Kinetic equation parameters for the curing reaction of a commercial glass fiber reinforced high performance epoxy prepreg composed of the tetrafunctional epoxy tetraglycidyl 4,4-diaminodiphenyl methane (TGDDM), the tetrafunctional amine curing agent 4,4'-diaminodiphenylsulfone (DDS) and an ionic initiator/accelerator, are determined by various thermal analysis techniques and the results compared. The reaction is monitored by heat generated determined by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and by high speed DSC when the reaction rate is high. The changes in physical properties indicating increasing conversion are followed by shifts in glass transition temperature determined by DSC, temperature-modulated DSC (TMDSC), step scan DSC and high speed DSC, thermomechanical (TMA) and dynamic mechanical (DMA) analysis and thermally stimulated depolarization (TSD). Changes in viscosity, also indicative of degree of conversion, are monitored by DMA. Thermal stability as a function of degree of cure is monitored by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). The parameters of the general kinetic equations, including activation energy and rate constant, are explained and used to compare results of various techniques. The utilities of the kinetic descriptions are demonstrated in the construction of a useful time-temperature-transformation (TTT) diagram and a continuous heating transformation (CHT) diagram for rapid determination of processing parameters in the processing of prepregs. Shrinkage due to both resin consolidation and fiber rearrangement is measured as the linear expansion of the piston on a quartz dilatometry cell using TMA. The shrinkage of prepregs was determined to depend on the curing temperature, pressure applied and the fiber orientation. Chemical modification of an epoxy was done by mixing a fluorinated aromatic amine (aniline) with a standard aliphatic amine as a curing agent for a commercial Diglycidylether of Bisphenol-A (DGEBA) epoxy. The resulting cured network was tested for wear resistance using tribological techniques. Of the six anilines, 3-fluoroaniline and 4-fluoroaniline were determined to have lower wear than the ...
Date: December 2003
Creator: Bilyeu, Bryan

Charge Interaction Effects in Epoxy with Cation Exchanged Montmorillonite Clay and Carbon Nanotubes.

Description: The influence of charge heterogeneity in nanoparticles such as montmorillonite layered silicates (MLS) and hybrid systems of MLS + carbon nanotubes was investigated in cured and uncured epoxy. Epoxy nanocomposites made with cation-exchanged montmorillonite clay were found to form agglomerates near a critical concentration. Using differential scanning calorimetry it was determined that the mixing temperature of the epoxy + MLS mixture prior to the addition of the curing agent critically influenced the formation of the agglomerate. Cured epoxy samples showed evidence of the agglomerate being residual charge driven by maxima and minima in the concentration profiles of thermal conductivity and dielectric permittivity respectively. A hybrid nanocomposite of MLS and aniline functionalized multi walled nanotubes indicated no agglomerates. The influence of environmentally and process driven properties on the nanocomposites was investigated by examination of moisture, ultrasound, microwaves and mechanical fatigue on the properties of the hybrid systems. The results point to the importance of charge screening by adsorbed or reacted water and on nanoparticulates.
Date: May 2005
Creator: Butzloff, Peter Robert

Definition of Brittleness: Connections Between Mechanical and Tribological Properties of Polymers.

Description: The increasing use of polymer-based materials (PBMs) across all types of industry has not been matched by sufficient improvements in understanding of polymer tribology: friction, wear, and lubrication. Further, viscoelasticity of PBMs complicates characterization of their behavior. Using data from micro-scratch testing, it was determined that viscoelastic recovery (healing) in sliding wear is independent of the indenter force within a defined range of load values. Strain hardening in sliding wear was observed for all materials-including polymers and composites with a wide variety of chemical structures-with the exception of polystyrene (PS). The healing in sliding wear was connected to free volume in polymers by using pressure-volume-temperature (P-V-T) results and the Hartmann equation of state. A linear relationship was found for all polymers studied with again the exception of PS. The exceptional behavior of PS has been attributed qualitatively to brittleness. In pursuit of a precise description of such, a quantitative definition of brittleness has been defined in terms of the elongation at break and storage modulus-a combination of parameters derived from both static and dynamic mechanical testing. Furthermore, a relationship between sliding wear recovery and brittleness for all PBMs including PS is demonstrated. The definition of brittleness may be used as a design criterion in selecting PBMs for specific applications, while the connection to free volume improves also predictability of wear behavior.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Hagg Lobland, Haley E.

Electrochemical synthesis of CeO2 and CeO2/montmorillonite nanocomposites.

Description: Nanocrystalline cerium oxide thin films on metal and semiconductor substrates have been fabricated with a novel electrodeposition approach - anodic oxidation. X-ray diffraction analysis indicated that as-produced cerium oxide films are characteristic face-centered cubic fluorite structure with 5 ~ 20 nm crystal sizes. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy study probes the non-stoichiometry property of as-produced films. Raman spectroscopy and Scanning Electron Microscopy have been applied to analyze the films as well. Deposition mode, current density, reaction temperature and pH have also been investigated and the deposition condition has been optimized for preferred oriented film formation: galvanostatic deposition with current density of -0.06 mA/cm2, T > 50oC and 7 < pH < 10. Generally, potentiostatic deposition results in random structured cerium oxide films. Sintering of potentiostatic deposited cerium oxide films leads to crystal growth and reach nearly full density at 1100oC. It is demonstrated that in-air heating favors the 1:2 stoichiometry of CeO2. Nanocrystalline cerium oxide powders (4 ~ 10 nm) have been produced with anodic electrochemical synthesis. X-ray diffraction and Raman spectroscopy were employed to investigate lattice expansion phenomenon related to the nanoscale cerium oxide particles. The pH of reaction solution plays an important role in electrochemical synthesis of cerium oxide films and powder. Cyclic voltammetry and rotation disk electrode voltammetry have been used to study the reaction mechanisms. The results indicate that the film deposition and powder formation follow different reaction schemes. Ce(III)-L complexation is a reversible process, Ce3+ at medium basic pH region (7~10) is electrochemically oxidized to and then CeO2 film is deposited on the substrate. CE mechanism is suggested to be involved in the formation of films, free Ce3+ species is coordinated with OH- at high basic pH region (>10) to Ce2O3 immediately prior to electrochemically oxidation Ce2O3 to CeO2. CeO2 / montmorillonite nanocomposites were electrochemically produced. X-ray ...
Date: December 2003
Creator: Wang, Qi

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

Hydrophobic, fluorinated silica xerogel for low-k applications.

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

Long Term Property Prediction of Polyethylene Nanocomposites

Description: 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 ...
Date: December 2008
Creator: Shaito, Ali Al-Abed

Low Temperature Polymeric Precursor Derived Zinc Oxide Thin Films

Description: 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.
Date: December 2006
Creator: Choppali, Uma

Measurement of Lattice Strain and Relaxation Effects in Strained Silicon Using X-ray Diffraction and Convergent Beam Electron Diffraction

Description: 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.
Date: August 2007
Creator: Diercks, David Robert

Modifications of epoxy resins for improved mechanical and tribological performances and their effects on curing kinetics.

Description: A commercial epoxy, diglycidyl ether of bisphenol-A, was modified by two different routes. One was the addition of silica to produce epoxy composites. Three different silane coupling agents, glycidyloxypropyl trimethoxy silane (GPS), -methacryloxypropyl trimethoxy silane (MAMS) and 3-mercaptopropyltriethoxy silane (MPS), were used as silica-surface modifiers. The effects of silica content, together with the effects of chemical surface treatment of silica, were studied. The results indicate that epoxy composites with silica exhibit mechanical and tribological properties as well as curing kinetics different than the pure epoxy. The optimum silica content for improved mechanical and tribological properties (low friction coefficient and wear rate) was different for each type of silane coupling agent. An unequivocal correlation between good mechanical and improved tribological properties was not found. Activation energy of overall reactions was affected by the addition of silica modified with MAMS and MPS, but not with GPS. The second route was modification by fluorination. A new fluoro-epoxy oligomer was synthesized and incorporated into a commercial epoxy by a conventional blending method. The oligomer functioned as a catalyst in the curing of epoxy and polyamine. Thermal stability of the blends decreased slightly at a high oligomer content. Higher wear resistance, lower friction coefficient and higher toughness were found with increasing oligomer content; thus in this case there was a correlation between good mechanical and improved tribological properties. The results indicated that increasing toughness and formation of a transfer film contribute to improved tribological performances.
Date: May 2008
Creator: Chonkaew, Wunpen

Processing, structure property relationships in polymer layer double hydroxide multifunctional nanocomposites

Description: Dan Beaty (1937-2002) was a prolific composer, pianist, researcher, educator, and writer. His large compositional output included chamber works, choral works, songs, orchestral pieces, electronic music, and keyboard works. Beaty was well versed in traditional Western music as well as the more avant-garde and perplexing idioms of the twentieth century. Beaty's compositions reflect the many fascinating, if not always popular, musical trends of his time. His music encompasses styles from serial to jazz, shows compositional influences from Arnold Schoenberg to Indonesian music, and demonstrates thought-provoking and highly intellectual craftsmanship. This document explores several of Beaty's songs through a discussion of the composer's life and compositional process. Songs included in this document are Three Weeks Songs, October, November, A Sappho Lyric, Love Song, That Night When Joy Began, and War Lyrics. This document was written to accompany the author's DMA Lecture-Recital at the University of North Texas. Unfortunately, Beaty's vocal music was never published and is mostly unknown. One goal of the project was to initiate interest in Beaty's songs. Through this document, Lecture-Recital, and additional performances, considerable strides have been made to bring Beaty's songs to new audiences throughout the United States. In addition, the author has received permission from the Beaty family to publish Dan Beaty's songs.
Date: August 2009
Creator: Ogbomo, Sunny Minister

State accountability ratings as related to district size and diversity.

Description: All Texas school districts were examined to determine the relationship of district size and diversity to the accountability ratings of selected Texas school districts and the implications of including all data in the accountability rating system. Eight large districts and 12 small districts were matched demographically utilizing data from the 2003-2004 school year. Information from the Texas Education Agency was accessed over 2003-2004 and 2004-2005. The ratings were found to be lowered from Recognized to Academically Acceptable with the inclusion of these groups 6 out of 20 times. These findings indicate that the Texas accountability system, in its current structure, excludes certain students based upon race and economic status and is not in compliance with what the law intended. This study should be replicated on a larger scale to assess its validity for a larger sample of small districts. Equity among states should be examined to provide information for a nationwide accountability system.
Date: May 2008
Creator: Starrett, Teresa M.

Stimuli-responsive microgels for self-assembled crystalline structures and controlled drug release.

Description: Tissue response to PNIPAM and HPC nanoparticles has been studied by implantation method. The results suggest that both PNIAPM and HPC nanoparticles possess good biocompatibility and they may serve as a good carrier for the applications of controlled delivery. Rheological properties of dispersions of IPN microgels composed of PNIPAM and PAAc have been studied. It is found that the IPN microgel dispersion can undergo a sol-gel transition at temperature above 33°C. In vivo drug release experiments suggest that the gelation procedure creates a diffusion barrier and thus leads to slow release. An emulsion method has been used to grow columnar crystals by mixing PNIPAM microgel dispersions with organic solvents. Effect of both temperature and microgel concentration on formation of columnar crystals has been studied. PNIPAM-co-NMA microgels have been used for the fabrication of crystalline hydrogel films by self-crosslinking microgels. The hydrogel film exhibits an iridescent. The thermally responsive properties and mechanical properties of this film have been studied. Melting temperature (Tm) of colloidal crystals self-assembled with PNIPAM-co-AAc microgels has been investigated as a function of pH, salt concentration and microgel concentration. It is revealed that Tm increases as pH value increases; Tm decreases with increase of salt concentration; Tm increases as microgel concentration increases. Phase behavior of PNIPAM-co-HEAc microgel dispersions has been investigated. It is observed that these microgel dispersions exhibit liquid, crystal, and glass phase. As microgel size increases, crystal phase shifts to low concentration range. As temperature increases, crystal phase shifts to high concentration ranges. These colloidal crystals can be stabilized by NaOH-induced gelation. Effect of NaOH concentration on formation of physical gelation has been investigated.
Date: August 2009
Creator: Zhou, Jun

Structure and Low-temperature Tribology of Lubricious Nanocrystalline ZnO/Al2O3 Nanolaminates and ZrO2 Monofilms Grown by Atomic Layer Deposition

Description: Currently available solid lubricants only perform well under a limited range of environmental conditions. Unlike them, oxides are thermodynamically stable and relatively inert over a broad range of temperatures and environments. However, conventional oxides are brittle at normal temperatures; exhibiting significant plasticity only at high temperatures (>0.5Tmelting). This prevents oxides' use in tribological applications at low temperatures. If oxides can be made lubricious at low temperatures, they would be excellent solid lubricants for a wide range of conditions. Atomic layer deposition (ALD) is a growth technique capable of depositing highly uniform and conformal films in challenging applications that have buried surfaces and high-aspect-ratio features such as microelectromechanical (MEMS) devices where the need for robust solid lubricants is sometimes necessary. This dissertation investigates the surface and subsurface characteristics of ALD-grown ZnO/Al2O3 nanolaminates and ZrO2 monofilms before and after sliding at room temperature. Significant enhancement in friction and wear performance was observed for some films. HRSEM/FIB, HRTEM and ancillary techniques (i.e. SAED, EELS) were used to determine the mechanisms responsible for this enhancement. Contributory characteristics and energy dissipation modes were identified that promote low-temperature lubricity in both material systems.
Date: December 2008
Creator: Romanes, Maia Castillo

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.
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Date: December 2005
Creator: Cai, Tong

Synthesis and characterization of crystalline assembly of poly Nisopropylacry-lamide)-co-acrylic acid nanoparticles.

Description: In this study, crystalline poly(N-isopropylacrylamide-co-acrylic acid) (PNIPAm-co-AAc) nanoparticle network in organic solvents was obtained by self assembling precursor particles in acetone/epichlorohydrin mixture at room temperature followed by inter-sphere crosslinking at ~98 °C. The crystals thus formed can endure solvent exchanges or large distortions under a temporary compressing force with the reoccurrence of crystalline structures. In acetone, the crystals were stable, independent of temperature, while in water crystals could change their colors upon heating or changing pH values. By passing a focused white light beam through the crystals, different colors were displayed at different observation angles, indicating typical Bragg diffraction. Shear moduli of the gel nanoparticle crystals were measured in the linear stress-yield ranges for the same gel crystals in both acetone and water. Syntheses of particles of different sizes and the relationship between particle size and the color of the gel nanoparticle networks at a constant solid content were also presented. Temperature- and pH- sensitive crystalline PNIPAm-co-AAc hydrogel was prepared using osmosis crosslinking method. Not only the typical Bragg diffraction phenomenon was observed for the hydrogel but also apparent temperature- and pH- sensitive properties were performed. The phase behavior of PNIPAm nanoparticles dispersed in water was also investigated using a thermodynamic perturbation theory combined with lightscattering and spectrometer measurements. It was shown how the volume transition of PNIPAM particles affected the interaction potential and determined a novel phase diagram that had not been observed in conventional colloids. Because both particle size and attractive potential depended on temperature, PNIPAM aqueous dispersion exhibited phase transitions at a fixed particle number density by either increasing or decreasing temperature. The phase transition of PNIPAm-co-AAc colloids was also studied. The results from the comparison between pure PNIPAm and charged PNIPAm colloids showed that the introducing of carboxyl (-COOH) group not only contributed to the synthesis ...
Date: December 2004
Creator: Zhou, Bo

Thermophysical, Interfacial and Decomposition Analyses of Polyhydroxyalkanoates introduced against Organic and Inorganic Surfaces

Description: The development of a "cradle-to-cradle" mindset with both material performance during utilization and end of life disposal is a critical need for both ecological and economic considerations. The main limitation to the use of the biopolymers is their mechanical properties. Reinforcements are therefore a good alternative but disposal concerns then arise. Thus the objective of this dissertation is to investigate a biopolymer nanocomposite where the filler is a synthetically prepared layer double hydroxide (inorganic interface); and a biopolymer paper (organic interface) based coating or laminate. The underlying issues driving performance are the packing density of the biopolymer and the interaction with the reinforcement. Since the polyhydroxyalkanoates or PHAs (the biopolymers used for the manufacture of the nanocomposites and coatings) are semicrystalline materials, the glass transition was investigated using dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) and dielectric spectroscopy (DES), whereas the melt crystallization, cold crystallization and melting points were investigated using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy was used to estimate crystallinity in the coated material given the low thermal mass of the PHA in the PHA coating. The significant enhancement of the crystallization rate in the PHA nanocomposite was probed using DSC and polarized optical microscopy (POM) and analyzed using Avrami and Lauritzen-Hoffman models. Both composites showed a significant improvement in the mechanical performance obtained by DMA, tensile and impact testing. The degradation and decomposition of the two composites were investigated in low microbial activity soil for the cellulose paper (to slow down the degradation rate that occurs in compost) and in compost. An in-house system according to the American Society for Testing and Materials ASTM D-98 (2003) was engineered. Soil decomposition showed that PHA coating into and onto the cellulose paper can be considered to be a useful method for the assessment of the degradability of the biopolymer. ...
Date: December 2009
Creator: Dagnon, Koffi Leonard

Trapping of hydrogen in Hf-based high κ dielectric thin films for advanced CMOS applications.

Description: In recent years, advanced high κ gate dielectrics are under serious consideration to replace SiO2 and SiON in semiconductor industry. Hafnium-based dielectrics such as hafnium oxides, oxynitrides and Hf-based silicates/nitrided silicates are emerging as some of the most promising alternatives to SiO2/SiON gate dielectrics in complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) devices. Extensive efforts have been taken to understand the effects of hydrogen impurities in semiconductors and its behavior such as incorporation, diffusion, trapping and release with the aim of controlling and using it to optimize the performance of electronic device structures. In this dissertation, a systematic study of hydrogen trapping and the role of carbon impurities in various alternate gate dielectric candidates, HfO2/Si, HfxSi1-xO2/Si, HfON/Si and HfON(C)/Si is presented. It has been shown that processing of high κ dielectrics may lead to some crystallization issues. Rutherford backscattering spectroscopy (RBS) for measuring oxygen deficiencies, elastic recoil detection analysis (ERDA) for quantifying hydrogen and nuclear reaction analysis (NRA) for quantifying carbon, X-ray diffraction (XRD) for measuring degree of crystallinity and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) were used to characterize these thin dielectric materials. ERDA data are used to characterize the evolution of hydrogen during annealing in hydrogen ambient in combination with preprocessing in oxygen and nitrogen.
Date: December 2007
Creator: Ukirde, Vaishali