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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
Partner: UNT Libraries

Growth, Structure and Tribological Properties of Atomic Layer Deposited Lubricious Oxide Nanolaminates

Description: Friction and wear mitigation is typically accomplished by introducing a shear accommodating layer (e.g., a thin film of liquid) between surfaces in sliding and/or rolling contacts. When the operating conditions are beyond the liquid realm, attention turns to solid coatings. Solid lubricants have been widely used in governmental and industrial applications for mitigation of wear and friction (tribological properties). Conventional examples of solid lubricants are MoS2, WS2, h-BN, and graphite; however, these and some others mostly perform best only for a limited range of operating conditions, e.g. ambient air versus dry nitrogen and room temperature versus high temperatures. Conversely, lubricious oxides have been studied lately as good potential candidates for solid lubricants because they are thermodynamically stable and environmentally robust. Oxide surfaces are generally inert and typically do not form strong adhesive bonds like metals/alloys in tribological contacts. Typical of these oxides is ZnO. The interest in ZnO is due to its potential for utility in a variety of applications. To this end, nanolaminates of ZnO, Al2O3, ZrO2 thin films have been deposited at varying sequences and thicknesses on silicon substrates and high temperature (M50) bearing steels by atomic layer deposition (ALD). The top lubricious, nanocrystalline ZnO layer was structurally-engineered to achieve low surface energy {0002}-orientated grain that provided low sliding friction coefficients (0.2 to 0.3), wear factors (range of 10-7 to 10-8 mm3/Nm) and good rolling contact fatigue resistance. The Al2O3 was intentionally made amorphous to achieve the {0002} preferred orientation while {101}-orientated tetragonal ZrO2 acted as a high toughness/load bearing layer. It was determined that the ZnO defective structure (oxygen sub-stoichiometric with growth stacking faults) aided in shear accommodation by re-orientating the nanocrystalline grains where they realigned to create new friction-reducing surfaces. Specifically, high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) inside the wear surfaces revealed in an increase in ...
Date: December 2010
Creator: Mensah, Benedict Anyamesem
Partner: UNT Libraries

Micro and nano composites composed of a polymer matrix and a metal disperse phase.

Description: Low density polyethylene (LDPE) and Hytrel (a thermoplastic elastomer) were used as polymeric matrices in polymer + metal composites. The concentration of micrometric (Al, Ag and Ni) as well as nanometric particles (Al and Ag) was varied from 0 to 10 %. Composites were prepared by blending followed by injection molding. The resulting samples were analyzed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and focused ion beam (FIB) in order to determine their microstructure. Certain mechanical properties of the composites were also determined. Static and dynamic friction was measured. The scratch resistance of the specimens was determined. A study of the wear mechanisms in the samples was performed. The Al micro- and nanoparticles as well as Ni microparticles are well dispersed throughout the material while Ag micro and nanoparticles tend to form agglomerates. Generally the presence of microcomposites affects negatively the mechanical properties. For the nanoparticles, composites with a higher elastic modulus than that of the neat materials are achievable. For both micro- and nanocomposites it is feasible to lower the friction values with respective to the neat polymers. The addition of metal particles to polymers also improves the scratch resistance of the composites, particularly so for microcomposites. The inclusion of Ag and Ni particles causes an increase in the wear loss volume while Al can reduce the wear for both polymeric matrices.
Date: December 2007
Creator: Olea Mejia, Oscar Fernando
Partner: UNT Libraries

Polyamide-imide and Montmorillonite Nanocomposites

Description: Solvent suspensions of a high performance polymer, Polyamide-imide (PAI) are widely used in magnetic wire coatings. Here we investigate the effect that the introduction of montmorillonite (MMT) has on PAI. MMT was introduced into an uncured PAI suspension; the sample was then cured by step-wise heat treatment. Polarized optical microscopy was used to choose the best suitable MMT for PAI matrix and to study the distribution of MMT in PAI matrix. Concentration dependent dispersion effect was studied by x-ray diffraction (XRD) and was confirmed by Transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Differential scanning Calorimetry (DSC) and Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) was used to study impact of MMT on glass transition temperature (Tg) and degradation properties of PAI respectively. Micro-hardness testing of PAI nanocomposites was also performed. A concentration dependent state of dispersion was obtained. The glass transition (Tg), degradation and mechanical properties were found to correlate to the state of dispersion.
Date: August 2001
Creator: Ranade, Ajit
Partner: UNT Libraries

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.
Partner: UNT Libraries

FEM of nanoindentation on micro- and nanocrystalline Ni: Analysis of factors affecting hardness and modulus values.

Description: Nanoindentation is a widely used technique to measure the mechanical properties of films with thickness ranging from nanometers to micrometers. A much better understanding of the contact mechanics is obtained mostly through finite element modeling. The experiments were modeled using the software package Nano SP1 that is based on COSMOSM™ (Structural Research & Analysis Corp, www.cosmosm.com), a finite element code. The fundamental material properties affecting pile-up are the ratio of the effective modulus to yield stress Eeff/σ and the work hardening behavior. Two separate cases of work hardening rates were considered; one with no work hardening rate and other with a linear work hardening rate. Specifically, it is observed that pile up is large only when hf/hmax is close to one and degree of work hardening rate is small. It should also be noted that when hf/hmax < 0.7 very little pile-up is observed no matter what the work-hardening behavior of the material. When pile-up occurs the contact area is greater than that predicted by the experimental methods and both the hardness and modulus are overestimated. In this report the amount by which these properties are overestimated are studied and got to be around 22% approx. Bluntness of the tip often leads to the misinterpretation of the load-displacement data. Further analysis was done in order to find out the amount of deviation from the ideal tip due to tip bluntness. Radius of the tips were also calculated for cubecorner (41.35 nm) and conical indenter (986.05 nm).
Date: August 2005
Creator: Pothapragada, Raja Mahesh
Partner: UNT Libraries

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
Partner: UNT Libraries

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
Partner: UNT Libraries

Structure property and deformation analysis of polypropylene montmorillonite nanocomposites.

Description: Nanocomposites with expandable smectites such as montmorillonite layered silicates (MLS) in polymer matrices have attracted extensive application interest. Numerous MLS concentrations have been used with no particular justification. Here, we investigate the effects of MLS dispersion within the matrix and on mechanical performance. The latter is resolved through a three-prong investigation on rate dependent tensile results, time dependent creep results and the influence of a sharp notch in polypropylene (PP) nanocomposites. A fixed concentration of maleated polypropylene (mPP) was utilized as a compatibilizer between the MLS and non-polar PP. Analysis of transmission electron micrographs and X-ray diffraction patterns on the surface and below the surface of our samples revealed a unique skin-core effect induced by the presence of clay. Differential scanning calorimetric and polarized optical microscopic examination of spherulites sizes showed changes in nucleation and growth resulting from both the maleated PP compatibilizer and the MLS. These structural changes resulted in a tough nanocomposite, a concept not reported before in the PP literature. Nonlinear creep analysis of the materials showed two concentrations 3 and 5 % wt of PP, which reduced the compliance in the base PP. The use of thermal wave imaging allowed the identification of ductile failure among materials, but more important, aided the mapping of the elastic and plastic contributions. These are essential concepts in fracture analysis.
Date: May 2003
Creator: Hernandez-Luna, Alejandro
Partner: UNT Libraries

Studying Interactions of Gas Molecules with Nanomaterials Loaded in a Microwave Resonant Cavity

Description: A resonant cavity operating in TE011 mode was used to study the adsorption response of single walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) and other nanomaterials for different types of gas molecules. The range of the frequency signal as a probe was chosen as geometry dependent range between 9.1 -9.8 GHz. A highly specific range can be studied for further experiments dependent on the type of molecule being investigated. It was found that for different pressures of gases and for different types of nanomaterials, there was a different response in the shifts of the probe signal for each cycle of gassing and degassing of the cavity. This dissertation suggests that microwave spectroscopy of a complex medium of gases and carbon nanotubes can be used as a highly sensitive technique to determine the complex dielectric response of different polar as well as non-polar gases when subjected to intense electromagnetic fields within the cavity. Also, as part of the experimental work, a range of other micro-porous materials was tested using the residual gas analysis (RGA) technique to determine their intrinsic absorption/adsorption characteristics when under an ultra-high vacuum environment. The scientific results obtained from this investigation, led to the development of a chemical biological sensor prototype. The method proposed is to develop operational sensors to detect toxin gases for homeland security applications and also develop sniffers to detect toxin drugs for law enforcement agency personnel.
Date: August 2007
Creator: Anand, Aman
Partner: UNT Libraries

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
Partner: UNT Libraries

Characterization, Properties and Applications of Novel Nanostructured Hydrogels.

Description: The characterization, properties and applications of the novel nanostructured microgel (nanoparticle network and microgel crystal) composed of poly-N-isopropylacrylanmide-co-allylamine (PNIPAM-co-allylamine) and PNIPAM-co-acrylic acid(AA) have been investigated. For the novel nanostructured hydrogels with the two levels of structure: the primary network inside each individual particle and the secondary network of the crosslinked nanoparticles, the new shear modulus, drug release law from hydrogel with heterogeneous structure have been studied. The successful method for calculating the volume fraction related the phase transition of colloid have been obtained. The kinetics of crystallization in an aqueous dispersion of PNIPAM particles has been explored using UV-visible transmission spectroscopy. This dissertation also includes the initial research on the melting behavior of colloidal crystals composed of PNIPAM microgels. Many new findings in this study area have never been reported before. The theoretical model for the columnar crystal growth from the top to bottom of PNIPAM microgel has been built, which explains the growth mechanism of the novel columnar hydrogel colloidal crystals. Since the unique structure of the novel nanostructured hydrogels, their properties are different with the conventional hydrogels and the hard-sphere-like system. The studies and results in this dissertation have the important significant for theoretical study and valuable application of these novel nanostructured hydrogels.
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Date: December 2006
Creator: Tang, Shijun
Partner: UNT Libraries

Processing, Structure and Tribological Property Relations of Ternary Zn-Ti-O and Quaternary Zn-Ti-Zr-O Nanocrystalline Coatings

Description: Conventional liquid lubricants are faced with limitations under extreme cyclic operating conditions, such as in applications that require lubrication when changing from atmospheric pressure to ultrahigh vacuum and ambient air to dry nitrogen (e.g., satellite components), and room to elevated (>500°C) temperatures (e.g., aerospace bearings). Alternatively, solid lubricant coatings can be used in conditions where synthetic liquid lubricants and greases are not applicable; however, individual solid lubricant phases usually perform best only for a limited range of operating conditions. Therefore, solid lubricants that can adequately perform over a wider range of environmental conditions are needed, especially during thermal cycling with temperatures exceeding 500°C. One potential material class investigated in this dissertation is lubricious oxides, because unlike other solid lubricant coatings they are typically thermodynamically stable in air and at elevated temperatures. While past studies have been focused on binary metal oxide coatings, such as ZnO, there have been very few ternary oxide and no reported quaternary oxide investigations. The premise behind the addition of the third and fourth refractory metals Ti and Zr is to increase the number of hard and wear resistant phases while maintaining solid lubrication with ZnO. Therefore, the major focus of this dissertation is to investigate the processing-structure-tribological property relations of composite ZnO, TiO2 and ZrO2 phases that form ternary (ZnTi)xOy and quaternary (ZnTiZr)xOy nanocrystalline coatings. The coatings were processed by atomic layer deposition (ALD) using a selective variation of ALD parameters. The growth structure and chemical composition of as-deposited and ex situ annealed ternary and quaternary oxide coatings were studied by combined x-ray diffraction/focused ion beam microscopy/cross-sectional transmission electron microscopy, and x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy/Auger electron spectroscopy, respectively. It was determined that the structure varied from purely nanocrystalline (ternary oxides) to composite amorphous/nanocrystalline (quaternary oxides) depending on ALD parameters and annealing temperatures. In particular, the ZnTiO3 ...
Date: August 2014
Creator: Ageh, Victor
Partner: UNT Libraries

Acceptor-sensitizers for Nanostructured Oxide Semiconductor in Excitonic Solar Cells

Description: Organic dyes are examined in photoelectrochemical systems wherein they engage in thermal (rather than photoexcited) electron donation into metal oxide semiconductors. These studies are intended to elucidate fundamental parameters of electron transfer in photoelectrochemical cells. Development of novel methods for the structure/property tuning of electroactive dyes and the preparation of nanostructured semiconductors have also been discovered in the course of the presented work. Acceptor sensitized polymer oxide solar cell devices were assembled and the impact of the acceptor dyes were studied. The optoelectronic tuning of boron-chelated azadipyrromethene dyes has been explored by the substitution of carbon substituents in place of fluoride atoms at boron. Stability of singlet exited state and level of reduction potential of these series of aza-BODIPY coumpounds were studied in order to employ them as electron-accepting sensitizers in solid state dye sensitized solar cells.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Berhe, Seare Ahferom
Partner: UNT Libraries

Laser Surface Treatment of Amorphous Metals

Description: Amorphous materials are used as soft magnetic materials and also as surface coatings to improve the surface properties. Furthermore, the nanocrystalline materials derived from their amorphous precursors show superior soft magnetic properties than amorphous counter parts for transformer core applications. In the present work, laser based processing of amorphous materials will be presented. Conventionally, the nanocrystalline materials are synthesized by furnace heat treatment of amorphous precursors. Fe-based amorphous/nanocrystalline materials due to their low cost and superior magnetic properties are the most widely used soft magnetic materials. However, achieving nanocrystalline microstructure in Fe-Si-B ternary system becomes very difficult owing its rapid growth rate at higher temperatures and sluggish diffusion at low temperature annealing. Hence, nanocrystallization in this system is achieved by using alloying additions (Cu and Nb) in the ternary Fe-Si-B system. Thus, increasing the cost and also resulting in reduction of saturation magnetization. laser processing technique is used to achieve extremely fine nanocrystalline microstructure in Fe-Si-B amorphous precursor. Microstructure-magnetic Property-laser processing co-relationship has been established for Fe-Si-B ternary system using analytical techniques. Laser processing improved the magnetic properties with significant increase in saturation magnetization and near zero coercivity values. Amorphous materials exhibit excellent corrosion resistance by virtue of their atomic structure. Fe-based amorphous materials are economical and due to their ease of processing are of potential interest to synthesize as coatings materials for wear and corrosion resistance applications. Fe-Cr-Mo-Y-C-B amorphous system was used to develop thick coatings on 4130 Steel substrate and the corrosion resistance of the amorphous coatings was improved. It is also shown that the mode of corrosion depends on the laser processing conditions. The microstructure evolution and the corrosion mechanisms operating are evaluated using post processing and post corrosion analysis.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Katakam, Shravana K.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Fabrication and light scattering study of multi-responsive nanostructured hydrogels and water-soluble polymers.

Description: Monodispersed microgels composed of poly-acrylic acid (PAAc) and poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAM) interpenetrating networks were synthesized by 2-step method with first preparing PNIPAM microgel and then polymerizing acrylic acid that interpenetrates into the PNIPAM network. The semi-dilute aqueous solutions of the PNIPAM-PAAc IPN microgels exhibit an inverse thermo-reversible gelation. Furthermore, IPN microgels undergo the reversible volume phase transitions in response to both pH and temperature changes associated to PAAc and PNIPAM, respectively. Three applications based on this novel hydrogel system are presented: a rich phase diagram that opens a door for fundamental study of phase behavior of colloidal systems, a thermally induced viscosity change, and in situ hydrogel formation for controlled drug release. Clay-polymer hydrogel composites have been synthesized based on PNIPAM gels containing 0.25 to 4 wt% of the expandable smectic clay Na-montmorillonite layered silicates (Na-MLS). For Na-MLS concentrations ranging from 2.0 to 3.2 wt%, the composite gels have larger swelling ratio and stronger mechanical strength than those for a pure PNIPAM. The presence of Na-MLS does not affect the value of the lower critical solution temperature (LCST) of the PNIPAM. Surfactant-free hydroxypropyl cellulose (HPC) microgels have been synthesized in salt solution. In a narrow sodium chloride concentration range from 1.3 to 1.4 M, HPC chains can self-associate into colloidal particles at room temperature. The microgel particles were then obtained in situ by bonding self-associated HPC chains at 23 0C using divinyl sulfone as a cross-linker. The volume phase transition of the resultant HPC microgels has been studied as a function of temperature at various salt concentrations. A theoretical model based on Flory-Huggins free energy consideration has been used to explain the experimental results. Self-association behavior and conformation variation of long chain branched (LCB) poly (2-ethyloxazoline) (PEOx) with a CH3-(CH2)17 (C18) modified surface are investigated using light scattering techniques in various ...
Date: December 2003
Creator: Xia, Xiaohu
Partner: UNT Libraries

Synthesis and Characterization of Ion Beam Assisted Silver Nanosystems in Silicon Based Materials for Enhanced Photocurrent Collection Efficiency

Description: In recent years a great deal of interest has been focused on the synthesis of transitional metal (e.g. Ag, Cu, Fe, Au) nanosystems at the surface to sub-surface regions of Si and SiO2 matrices for fundamental understanding of their structures as well as for development of technological applications with enhanced electronic and optical properties. The applications of the metal nanoparticle or nanocluster (NC) systems range from plasmonics, photovoltaic devices, medical, and biosensors. In all of these applications; the size, shape and distribution of the metallic NCs in the silicon matrix play a key role. Low energy ion implantation followed by thermal annealing (in vacuum or gas environment) is one of the most suitable methods for synthesis of NCs at near surfaces to buried layers below the surfaces of the substrates. This technique can provide control over depth and concentration of the implanted ions in the host matrix. The implanted low energy metal ions initially amorphizes the Si substrates while being distributed at a shallow depth near the substrate surface. When subject to thermal annealing, the implanted ions agglomerate to form clusters of different sizes at different depths depending upon the fluence. However, for the heavier ions implanted with high fluences (~1×1016 - 1×1017 atoms/cm2), there lies challenges for accurately predicting the distribution of the implanted ions due to sputtering of the surface as well as redistribution of the implants within the host matrix. In this dissertation, we report the investigation of the saturation of the concentration of the implanted ion species in the depth profiles with low energies (< 80 keV) metal ions (Ag and Au) in Si (100), while studying the dynamic changes during the ion implantation. Multiple low energies (30-80 keV) Ag ions with different fluences were sequentially implanted into commercially available Si wafers in order to facilitate ...
Date: May 2015
Creator: Dhoubhadel, Mangal S.
Partner: UNT Libraries