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Growth, optical properties, and optimization of infrared optoelectronic materials

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High-performance III-V semiconductors based on ternary alloys and superlattice systems are fabricated, studied, and compared for infrared optoelectronic applications. InAsBi is a ternary alloy near the GaSb lattice constant that is not as thoroughly investigated as other III-V alloys

High-performance III-V semiconductors based on ternary alloys and superlattice systems are fabricated, studied, and compared for infrared optoelectronic applications. InAsBi is a ternary alloy near the GaSb lattice constant that is not as thoroughly investigated as other III-V alloys and that is challenging to produce as Bi has a tendency to surface segregate and form droplets during growth rather than incorporate. A growth window is identified within which high-quality droplet-free bulk InAsBi is produced and Bi mole fractions up to 6.4% are obtained. Photoluminescence with high internal quantum efficiency is observed from InAs/InAsBi quantum wells. The high structural and optical quality of the InAsBi materials examined demonstrates that bulk, quantum well, and superlattice structures utilizing InAsBi are an important design option for efficient infrared coverage.

Another important infrared material system is InAsSb and the strain-balanced InAs/InAsSb superlattice on GaSb. Detailed examination of X-ray diffraction, photoluminescence, and spectroscopic ellipsometry data provides the temperature and composition dependent bandgap of bulk InAsSb. The unintentional incorporation of approximately 1% Sb into the InAs layers of the superlattice is measured and found to significantly impact the analysis of the InAs/InAsSb band alignment. In the analysis of the absorption spectra, the ground state absorption coefficient and transition strength of the superlattice are proportional to the square of the electron-hole wavefunction overlap; wavefunction overlap is therefore a major design parameter in terms of optimizing absorption in these materials. Furthermore in addition to improvements through design optimization, the optical quality of the materials studied is found to be positively enhanced with the use of Bi as a surfactant during molecular beam epitaxy growth.

A software tool is developed that calculates and optimizes the miniband structure of semiconductor superlattices, including bismide-based designs. The software has the capability to limit results to designs that can be produced with high structural and optical quality, and optimized designs in terms of maximizing absorption are identified for several infrared superlattice systems at the GaSb lattice constant. The accuracy of the software predictions are tested with the design and growth of an optimized mid-wave infrared InAs/InAsSb superlattice which exhibits superior optical and absorption properties.

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Date Created
2016

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Synthesis and characterization of novel silicone graft copolymers

Description

Silicone compounds have a very low surface energy due to highly flexible Si-O-Si backbone and large number of –CH3 groups, but these compounds are extremely hydrophobic and thus have limited applications in aqueous formulations. Modification of such silicone compounds by

Silicone compounds have a very low surface energy due to highly flexible Si-O-Si backbone and large number of –CH3 groups, but these compounds are extremely hydrophobic and thus have limited applications in aqueous formulations. Modification of such silicone compounds by grafting hydrophilic chains provides a wide range of silicone products called "Silicone Surfactants". Silicone surfactants are surface active agents which get adsorbed at the air-water interface thereby, reducing the interfacial tension. Some of the larger applications of silicone surfactant are in the manufacture of plastic foams, in personal care products and as spreading and wetting agents (Hill, R.M, 2002).

In this thesis, a series of silicone surfactant graft copolymers were synthesized via hydrosilylation reaction. Poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) of different chain length was grafted to a hydrophobic Poly(methylhydrosiloxane) (PMHS) backbone to improve the final hydrophilicity. Also, a positively charged quaternary ammonium salt (allyltriethylammonium bromide) was grafted to the PMHS backbone. The objective of this thesis was to synthesize polymers in predefined ratios of the above mentioned side groups and utilize these polymers to-

1) Study the effect of PEG chain length and its composition on the hydrophilicity of the polymer.

2) Study the effect of PEG: ammonium salt ratio on the surface tension of aqueous systems.

Analysis of FT-IR and 1H NMR spectra of the polymers confirmed the predicted structure. The absence of characteristic Si-H absorbance peak at 2160 cm-1 in FT-IR spectra indicates consumption of silane groups along the polymer backbone. The actual moles of the side chain grafted on the backbone are calculated by 1H NMR peak integration. The results of contact angle studies indicated an increase in hydrophilicity with an increase in the composition of PEG in molecule. A 2*2 factorial DOE analysis reported that the fraction of Si-H bonds converted to PEG grafts was the critical factor towards increasing the hydrophilicity (p value of 0.015). Surface tension studies report that the air-water interfacial tension of the synthesized polymers is between 28mN/m – 45mN/m. The amount of Si-H was concluded to be the deciding factor in lowering the surface tension.

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Date Created
2016