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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

A magnetorheological study of single-walled and multi-walled carbon nanotube dispersions in mineral oil and epoxy resin.

Description: Single wall carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) and multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) were dispersed in mineral oil and epoxy resin. The magnetorheological properties of these dispersions were studied using a parallel plate rheometer. Strain sweeps, frequency sweeps, magneto sweeps and steady shear tests were conducted in various magnetic fields. G', G", h* and ty increased with increasing magnetic field, which was partially attributed to the increasing degree of the alignment of nanotubes in a stronger magnetic field. The SWNT/mo dispersions exhibited more pronounced magnetic field dependence than SWNT/ep and MWNT/mo counterparts due to their much lower viscosity. The alignment of SWNTs in mineral oil increased with rising nanotube concentration up to 2.5vol% but were significantly restricted at 6.41vol% due to nanotube flocculation.
Date: May 2005
Creator: Yang, Zhengtao

Saturation and foaming of thermoplastic nanocomposites using supercritical CO2.

Description: Polystyrene (PS) nanocomposite foams were prepared using supercritical fluid (SCF) CO2 as a solvent and blowing agent. PS was first in-situ polymerized with a range of concentrations of montmorillonite layered silicate (MLS). The polymerized samples were then compression molded into 1 to 2mm thick laminates. The laminates were foamed in a batch supercritical CO2 process at various temperatures and pressures from 60°-85°C and 7.6-12MPa. The resulting foams were analyzed by scanning electron microscopy to determine effect of MLS on cellular morphology. Differential scanning calorimetry was used to determine the impact of nanocomposite microstructure on glass transition of the foamed polymer. X-ray diffraction spectra suggested that the PS/MLS composite had an intercalated structure at both the 1% and 3% mixtures, and that the intercalation may be enhanced by the foaming process.
Date: May 2005
Creator: Strauss, William C.

Morphological properties of poly (ethylene terephthalate) (PET) nanocomposites in relation to fracture toughness.

Description: The effect of incorporation of montmorillonite layered silicate (MLS) on poly (ethylene terephthalate) (PET) matrix was investigated. MLS was added in varying concentration of 1 to 5 weight percent in the PET matrix. DSC and polarized optical microscopy were used to determine the crystallization effects of MLS addition. Non isothermal crystallization kinetics showed that the melting temperature and crystallization temperature decrease as the MLS percent increases. This delayed crystallization along with the irregular spherulitic shape indicates hindered crystallization in the presence of MLS platelets. The influence of this morphology was related with the fracture toughness of PET nanocomposites using essential work of fracture coupled with the infra red (IR) thermography. Both the essential as well as non essential work of fracture decreased on addition of MLS with nanocomposite showing reduced toughness.
Date: August 2005
Creator: Pendse, Siddhi

Indentation induced deformation in metallic materials.

Description: Nanoindentation has brought in many features of research over the past decade. This novel technique is capable of producing insights into the small ranges of deformation. This special point has brought a lot of focus in understanding the deformation behavior under the indenter. Nickel, iron, tungsten and copper-niobium alloy system were considered for a surface deformation study. All the samples exhibited a spectrum of residual deformation. The change in behavior with indentation and the materials responses to deformation at low and high loads is addressed in this study. A study on indenter geometry, which has a huge influence on the contact area and subsequently the hardness and modulus value, has been attempted. Deformation mechanisms that govern the plastic flow in materials at low loads of indentation and their sensitivity to the rate of strain imparted has been studied. A transition to elastic, plastic kind of a tendency to an elasto-plastic tendency was seen with an increase in the strain rate. All samples exhibited the same kind of behavior and a special focus is drawn in comparing the FCC nickel with BCC tungsten and iron where the persistence of the elastic, plastic response was addressed. However there is no absolute reason for the inconsistencies in the mechanical properties observed in preliminary testing, more insights can be provided with advanced microscopy techniques where the study can be focused more to understand the deformation behavior under the indenter. These experiments demonstrate that there is a wealth of information in the initial stages of indentation and has led to much more insights into the incipient stages of plasticity.
Date: December 2005
Creator: Vadlakonda, Suman

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