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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

Study of Conductance Quantization by Cross-Wire Junction

Description: The thesis studied quantized conductance in nanocontacts formed between two thin gold wires with one of the wires coated by alkainthiol self assembly monolayers (SAM), by using the cross-wire junction. Using the Lorenz force as the driving force, we can bring the two wires in contact in a controlled manner. We observed conductance with steps of 2e2 / h. The conductance plateaus last several seconds. The stability of the junction is attributed to the fact that the coating of SAM improves the stability and capability of the formed contact.
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Date: May 2004
Creator: Zheng, Tao

Study of lead sorption on magnetite at high temperatures.

Description: Lead's uptake on magnetite has been quantitatively evaluated in the present study at a temperature of 200°C and pH of 8.5 with lead concentrations ranging from 5 ppm to175 ppm by equilibrium adsorption isotherms. The pH independent sorption behavior suggested lead sorption due to pH independent permanent charge through weak electrostatic, non-specific attraction where cations are sorbed on the cation exchange sites. The permanent negative charge could be a consequence of lead substitution which is supported by increase in the lattice parameter values from the X-ray diffraction (XRD) results. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC/TGA) results showed an increase of exothermic (magnetite to maghemite transformation) peak indicating substitution of lead ions due to which there is retardation in the phase transformation. Presence of outer sphere complexes and physical sorption is further supported by Fourier transformed infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). None of the results suggested chemisorption of lead on magnetite.
Date: December 2006
Creator: Paliwal, Vaishali

Supercritical CO2 foamed biodegradable polymer blends of polycaprolactone and Mater-Bi.

Description: Supercritical CO2 foam processing of biopolymers represents a green processing route to environmentally friendly media and packaging foams. Mater-Bi, a multiconstituent biopolymer of polyester, starch and vegetable oils has shown much promise for biodegradation. The polymer, however, is not foamable with CO2 so blended with another polymer which is. Polycaprolactone is a biopolymer with potential of 4000% change in volume with CO2. Thus we investigate blends of Mater-Bi (MB) and polycaprolactone (PCL) foamed in supercritical CO2 using the batch process. Characterization of the foamed and unfoamed samples were done using X-ray diffraction (XRD), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Micrographs of the samples from the SEM revealed that the cell size of the foams reduced and increased with increase in MB concentration and increase in the foaming temperature respectively. Mechanical tests; tensile, compression, shear and impact were performed on the foamed samples. It was noted that between the 20-25% wt. MB, there was an improvement in the mechanical properties. This suggests that at these compositions, there is a high interaction between PCL and MB at the molecular level compared to other compositions. The results indicate that green processing of polymer blends is viable.
Date: December 2007
Creator: Ogunsona, Emmanuel Olusegun

Supercritical Silylation and Stability of Silyl Groups

Description: Methylsilsesquioxane (MSQ) and organosilicate glass (OSG) are the materials under this study because they exhibit the dielectric constant values necessary for future IC technology requirements. Obtaining a low-k dielectric value is critical for the IC industry in order to cope time delay and cross talking issues. These materials exhibit attractive dielectric value, but there are problems replacing conventional SiO2, because of their chemical, mechanical and electrical instability after plasma processing. Several techniques have been suggested to mitigate process damage but supercritical silylation offers a rapid single repair step solution to this problem. Different ash and etch damaged samples were employed in this study to optimize an effective method to repair the low-k dielectric material and seal the surface pores via supercritical fluid processing with various trialkylchlorosilanes. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), contact angle, capacitance- voltage measurements, and x-ray photoemission spectroscopy, dynamic secondary ion mass spectroscopy (DSIMS), characterized the films. The hydrophobicity and dielectric constant after exposure to elevated temperatures and ambient conditions were monitored and shown to be stable. The samples were treated with a series of silylating agents of the form R3-Si-Cl where R is an alkyl groups (e.g. ethyl, propyl, isopropyl). Reactivity with the surface hydroxyls was inversely proportional to the length of the alkyl group, perhaps due to steric effects. Contact angle measurements revealed that heating the films in ambient diminished hydrophobicity. Depth and surface profiling using (DSIMS) and (XPS) were utilized to develop a model for surface coverage.
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Date: May 2006
Creator: Nerusu, Pawan Kumar

Surface Engineering and Characterization of Laser Deposited Metallic Biomaterials

Description: Novel net shaping technique Laser Engineered Net shaping™ (LENS) laser based manufacturing solution (Sandia Corp., Albuquerque, NM); Laser can be used to deposit orthopedic implant alloys. Ti-35Nb-7Zr-5Ta (TNZT) alloy system was deposited using LENS. The corrosion resistance being an important prerequisite was tested electrochemically and was found that the LENS deposited TNZT was better than conventionally used Ti-6Al-4V in 0.1N HCl and a simulated body solution. A detailed analysis of the corrosion product exhibited the presence of complex oxides which are responsible for the excellent corrosion resistance. In addition, the in vitro tests done on LENS deposited TNZT showed that they have excellent biocompatibility. In order to improve the wear resistance of the TNZT system boride reinforcements were carried out in the matrix using LENS processing. The tribological response of the metal matrix composites was studied under different conditions and compared with Ti-6Al-4V. Usage of Si3N4 balls as a counterpart in the wear studies showed that there is boride pullout resulting in third body abrasive wear with higher coefficient of friction (COF). Using 440C stainless steel balls drastically improved the COF of as deposited TNZT+2B and seemed to eliminate the effect of “three body abrasive wear,” and also exhibited superior wear resistance than Ti-6Al-4V.
Date: May 2007
Creator: Samuel, Sonia

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

Wettability of Silicon, Silicon Dioxide, and Organosilicate Glass

Description: Wetting of a substance has been widely investigated since it has many applications to many different fields. Wetting principles can be applied to better select cleans for front end of line (FEOL) and back end of line (BEOL) cleaning processes. These principles can also be used to help determine processes that best repel water from a semiconductor device. It is known that the value of the dielectric constant in an insulator increases when water is absorbed. These contact angle experiments will determine which processes can eliminate water absorption. Wetting is measured by the contact angle between a solid and a liquid. It is known that roughness plays a crucial role on the wetting of a substance. Different surface groups also affect the wetting of a surface. In this work, it was investigated how wetting was affected by different solid surfaces with different chemistries and different roughness. Four different materials were used: silicon; thermally grown silicon dioxide on silicon; chemically vapor deposited (CVD) silicon dioxide on silicon made from tetraethyl orthosilicate (TEOS); and organosilicate glass (OSG) on silicon. The contact angle of each of the samples was measured using a goniometer. The roughness of the samples was measured by atomic force microscopy (AFM). The chemistry of each of the samples were characterized by using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and grazing angle total attenuated total reflection Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR/GATR). Also, the contact angle was measured at the micro scale by using an environmental scanning electron microscope (ESEM).
Date: December 2009
Creator: Martinez, Nelson