Matching Items (11)

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Computational Modeling for Phononic Crystal Property Discovery and Design – From Eigenvalue Analysis to Machine Learning

Description

Phononic crystals are artificially engineered materials that can forbid phonon propagation in a specific frequency range that is referred to as a “phononic band gap.” Phononic crystals that have band

Phononic crystals are artificially engineered materials that can forbid phonon propagation in a specific frequency range that is referred to as a “phononic band gap.” Phononic crystals that have band gaps in the GHz to THz range can potentially enable sophisticated control over thermal transport with “phononic devices”. Calculations of the phononic band diagram are the standard method of determining if a given phononic crystal structure has a band gap. However, calculating the phononic band diagram is a computationally expensive and time-consuming process that can require sophisticated modeling and coding. In addition to this computational burden, the inverse process of designing a phononic crystal with a specific band gap center frequency and width is a challenging problem that requires extensive trial-and-error work.

In this dissertation, I first present colloidal nanocrystal superlattices as a new class of three-dimensional phononic crystals with periodicity in the sub-20 nm size regime using the plane wave expansion method. These calculations show that colloidal nanocrystal superlattices possess phononic band gaps with center frequencies in the 102 GHz range and widths in the 101 GHz range. Varying the colloidal nanocrystal size and composition provides additional opportunities to fine-tune the phononic band gap. This suggests that colloidal nanocrystal superlattices are a promising platform for the creation of high frequency phononic crystals.

For the next topic, I explore opportunities to use supervised machine learning for expedited discovery of phononic band gap presence, center frequency and width for over 14,000 two-dimensional phononic crystal structures. The best trained model predicts band gap formation, center frequencies and band gap widths, with 94% accuracy and coefficients of determination (R2) values of 0.66 and 0.83, respectively.

Lastly, I expand the above machine learning approach to use machine learning to design a phononic crystal for a given set of phononic band gap properties. The best model could predict elastic modulus of host and inclusion, density of host and inclusion, and diameter-to-lattice constant ratio for target center and width frequencies with coefficients of determinations of 0.94, 0.98, 0.94, 0.71, and 0.94 respectively. The high values coefficients of determination represents great opportunity for phononic crystal design.

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  • 2020

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Synthesis, Characterization, and Optimization of Superconductor-Dielectric Interfaces

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The chemical, structural, and electrical properties of niobium-silicon, niobium-germanium, and YBCO-dielectric interfaces are characterized. Reduction in the concentration of interfacial defects in these structures can improve the performance of (i)

The chemical, structural, and electrical properties of niobium-silicon, niobium-germanium, and YBCO-dielectric interfaces are characterized. Reduction in the concentration of interfacial defects in these structures can improve the performance of (i) many devices including low-loss coplanar, microstrip, and stripline microwave resonators used in next-generation cryogenic communication, sensor, and quantum information technologies and (ii) layers used in device isolation, inter-wiring dielectrics, and passivation in microwave and Josephson junction circuit fabrication.

Methods were developed to synthesize amorphous-Ge (a-Ge) and homoepitaxial-Si dielectric thin-films with loss tangents of 1–2×10 -6 and 0.6–2×10 -5 at near single-photon powers and sub-Kelvin temperatures (≈40 mK), making them potentially a better choice over undoped silicon and sapphire substrates used in quantum devices. The Nb/Ge interface has 20 nm of chemical intermixing, which is reduced by a factor of four using 10 nm Ta diffusion layers. Niobium coplanar resonators using this structure exhibit reduced microwave losses.

The nature and concentration of defects near Nb-Si interfaces prepared with commonly-used Si surface treatments were characterized. All samples have H, C, O, F, and Cl in the Si within 50 nm of the interface, and electrically active defects with activation energies of 0.147, 0.194, 0.247, 0.339, and 0.556 eV above the valence band maximum (E vbm ), with concentrations dominated by a hole trap at E vbm +0.556 eV (presumably Nb Si ). The optimum surface treatment is an HF etch followed by an in-situ 100 eV Ar ion mill. RCA etches, and higher energy ion milling processes increase the concentration of electrically active defects.

A thin SrTiO 3 buffer layer used in YBa 2 Cu 3 O 7-δ superconductor/high-performance Ba(Zn 1/3 Ta 2/3 )O 3 and Ba(Cd 1/3 Ta 2/3 )O 3 microwave dielectric trilayers improves the structural quality of the layers and results in 90 K superconductor critical temperatures. This advance enables the production of more compact high-temperature superconductor capacitors, inductors, and microwave microstrip and stripline devices.

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  • 2020

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Aerodynamic Characterization of a Tethered Rotor

Description

An airborne, tethered, multi-rotor wind turbine, effectively a rotorcraft kite, provides one platform for accessing the energy in high altitude winds. The craft is maintained at altitude by its rotors

An airborne, tethered, multi-rotor wind turbine, effectively a rotorcraft kite, provides one platform for accessing the energy in high altitude winds. The craft is maintained at altitude by its rotors operating in autorotation, and its equilibrium attitude and dynamic performance are affected by the aerodynamic rotor forces, which in turn are affected by the orientation and motion of the craft. The aerodynamic performance of such rotors can vary significantly depending on orientation, influencing the efficiency of the system. This thesis analyzes the aerodynamic performance of an autorotating rotor through a range of angles of attack covering those experienced by a typical autogyro through that of a horizontal-axis wind turbine. To study the behavior of such rotors, an analytical model using the blade element theory coupled with momentum theory was developed. The model uses a rigid-rotor assumption and is nominally limited to cases of small induced inflow angle and constant induced velocity. The model allows for linear twist. In order to validate the model, several rotors -- off-the-shelf model-aircraft propellers -- were tested in a low speed wind tunnel. Custom built mounts allowed rotor angles of attack from 0 to 90 degrees in the test section, providing data for lift, drag, thrust, horizontal force, and angular velocity. Experimental results showed increasing thrust and angular velocity with rising pitch angles, whereas the in-plane horizontal force peaked and dropped after a certain value. The analytical results revealed a disagreement with the experimental trends, especially at high pitch angles. The discrepancy was attributed to the rotor operating in turbulent wake and vortex ring states at high pitch angles, where momentum theory has proven to be invalid. Also, aerodynamic design constants, which are not precisely known for the test propellers, have an underlying effect on the analytical model. The developments of the thesis suggest that a different analytical model may be needed for high rotor angles of attack. However, adding a term for resisting torque to the model gives analytical results that are similar to the experimental values.

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  • 2019

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Development of dose verification detectors towards improving proton therapy outcomes

Description

The challenge of radiation therapy is to maximize the dose to the tumor while simultaneously minimizing the dose elsewhere. Proton therapy is well suited to this challenge due to the

The challenge of radiation therapy is to maximize the dose to the tumor while simultaneously minimizing the dose elsewhere. Proton therapy is well suited to this challenge due to the way protons slow down in matter. As the proton slows down, the rate of energy loss per unit path length continuously increases leading to a sharp dose near the end of range. Unlike conventional radiation therapy, protons stop inside the patient, sparing tissue beyond the tumor. Proton therapy should be superior to existing modalities, however, because protons stop inside the patient, there is uncertainty in the range. “Range uncertainty” causes doctors to take a conservative approach in treatment planning, counteracting the advantages offered by proton therapy. Range uncertainty prevents proton therapy from reaching its full potential.

A new method of delivering protons, pencil-beam scanning (PBS), has become the new standard for treatment over the past few years. PBS utilizes magnets to raster scan a thin proton beam across the tumor at discrete locations and using many discrete pulses of typically 10 ms duration each. The depth is controlled by changing the beam energy. The discretization in time of the proton delivery allows for new methods of dose verification, however few devices have been developed which can meet the bandwidth demands of PBS.

In this work, two devices have been developed to perform dose verification and monitoring with an emphasis placed on fast response times. Measurements were performed at the Mayo Clinic. One detector addresses range uncertainty by measuring prompt gamma-rays emitted during treatment. The range detector presented in this work is able to measure the proton range in-vivo to within 1.1 mm at depths up to 11 cm in less than 500 ms and up to 7.5 cm in less than 200 ms. A beam fluence detector presented in this work is able to measure the position and shape of each beam spot. It is hoped that this work may lead to a further maturation of detection techniques in proton therapy, helping the treatment to reach its full potential to improve the outcomes in patients.

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  • 2019

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Microstructure of BAlN and InGaN epilayers for optoelectronic applications

Description

In this dissertation, various characterization techniques have been used to investigate many aspects of the properties of III-nitride materials and devices for optoelectronic applications.

The first part of this work

In this dissertation, various characterization techniques have been used to investigate many aspects of the properties of III-nitride materials and devices for optoelectronic applications.

The first part of this work is focused on the evolution of microstructures of BAlN thin films. The films were grown by flow-modulated epitaxy at 1010 oC, with B/(B+Al) gas-flow ratios ranging from 0.06 to 0.18. The boron content obtained from X-ray diffraction (XRD) patterns ranges from x = 0.02 to 0.09, while Rutherford backscattering spectrometry (RBS) measures x = 0.06 to 0.16. Transmission electron microscopy indicates the sole presence of the wurtzite crystal structure in the BAlN films, and a tendency towards twin formation and finer microstructure for B/(B+Al) gas-flow ratios greater than 0.15. The RBS data suggest that the incorporation of B is highly efficient, while the XRD data indicate that the epitaxial growth may be limited by a solubility limit in the crystal phase at about 9%. Electron energy loss spectroscopy has been used to profile spatial variations in the composition of the films. It has also located point defects in the films with nanometer resolution. The defects are identified as B and Al interstitials and N vacancies by comparison of the observed energy thresholds with results of density functional theory calculations.

The second part of this work investigates dislocation clusters observed in thick InxGa1-xN films with 0.07 ≤ x ≤ 0.12. The clusters resemble baskets with a higher indium content at their interior. Threading dislocations at the basket boundaries are of the misfit edge type, and their separation is consistent with misfit strain relaxation due the difference in indium content between the baskets and the surrounding matrix. The base of the baskets exhibits no observable misfit dislocations connected to the threading dislocations, and often no net displacements like those due to stacking faults. It is argued that the origin of these threading dislocation arrays is associated with misfit dislocations at the basal plane that dissociate, forming stacking faults. When the stacking faults form simultaneously satisfying the crystal symmetry, the sum of their translation vectors does add up to zero, consistent with our experimental observations.

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  • 2018

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Multiscale modeling of silicon heterojunction solar cells

Description

Silicon photonic technology continues to dominate the solar industry driven by steady improvement in device and module efficiencies. Currently, the world record conversion efficiency (~26.6%) for single junction silicon solar

Silicon photonic technology continues to dominate the solar industry driven by steady improvement in device and module efficiencies. Currently, the world record conversion efficiency (~26.6%) for single junction silicon solar cell technologies is held by silicon heterojunction (SHJ) solar cells based on hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) and crystalline silicon (c-Si). These solar cells utilize the concept of carrier selective contacts to improve device efficiencies. A carrier selective contact is designed to optimize the collection of majority carriers while blocking the collection of minority carriers. In the case of SHJ cells, a thin intrinsic a-Si:H layer provides crucial passivation between doped a-Si:H and the c-Si absorber that is required to create a high efficiency cell. There has been much debate regarding the role of the intrinsic a-Si:H passivation layer on the transport of photogenerated carriers, and its role in optimizing device performance. In this work, a multiscale model is presented which utilizes different simulation methodologies to study interfacial transport across the intrinsic a-Si:H/c-Si heterointerface and through the a-Si:H passivation layer. In particular, an ensemble Monte Carlo simulator was developed to study high field behavior of photogenerated carriers at the intrinsic a-Si:H/c-Si heterointerface, a kinetic Monte Carlo program was used to study transport of photogenerated carriers across the intrinsic a-Si:H passivation layer, and a drift-diffusion model was developed to model the behavior in the quasi-neutral regions of the solar cell. This work reports de-coupled and self-consistent simulations to fully understand the role and effect of transport across the a-Si:H passivation layer in silicon heterojunction solar cells, and relates this to overall solar cell device performance.

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  • 2019

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Nanoscale Electronic Properties in GaN Based Structures for Power Electronics Using Electron Microscopy

Description

The availability of bulk gallium nitride (GaN) substrates has generated great interest in the development of vertical GaN-on-GaN power devices. The vertical devices made of GaN have not been able

The availability of bulk gallium nitride (GaN) substrates has generated great interest in the development of vertical GaN-on-GaN power devices. The vertical devices made of GaN have not been able to reach their true potential due to material growth related issues. Power devices typically have patterned p-n, and p-i junctions in lateral, and vertical direction relative to the substrate. Identifying the variations from the intended layer design is crucial for failure analysis of the devices. A most commonly used dopant profiling technique, secondary ion mass spectroscopy (SIMS), does not have the spatial resolution to identify the dopant distribution in patterned devices. The possibility of quantitative dopant profiling at a sub-micron scale for GaN in a scanning electron microscope (SEM) is discussed. The total electron yield in an SEM is shown to be a function of dopant concentration which can potentially be used for quantitative dopant profiling.

Etch-and-regrowth is a commonly employed strategy to generate the desired patterned p-n and p-i junctions. The devices involving etch-and-regrowth have poor performance characteristics like high leakage currents, and lower breakdown voltages. This is due to damage induced by the dry etching process, and the nature of the regrowth interface, which is important to understand in order to address the key issue of leakage currents in etched and regrown devices. Electron holography is used for electrostatic potential profiling across the regrowth interfaces to identify the charges introduced by the etching process. SIMS is used to identify the impurities introduced at the interfaces due to etch-and-regrowth process.

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  • 2019

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Investigation into a laser welded interconnection method for Interdigitated Back Contact (IBC) solar cell modules

Description

Interconnection methods for IBC photovoltaic (PV) module integration have widely been explored yet a concrete and cost-effective solution has yet to be found. Traditional methods of tabbing and stringing which

Interconnection methods for IBC photovoltaic (PV) module integration have widely been explored yet a concrete and cost-effective solution has yet to be found. Traditional methods of tabbing and stringing which are still being used today impart increased stress on the cells, not to mention the high temperatures induced during the soldering process as well. In this work and effective and economical interconnection method is demonstrated, by laser welding an embossed aluminum (Al) electrode layer to screen-printed silver (Ag) on the solar cell. Contact resistivity below 1mΩ.cm2 is measured with the proposed design. Cross-sectional analysis of interfaces is conducted via Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDXS) methods. Typical laser weld phenomenon observed involves Al ejection at the entrance of the weld, followed by Al and Ag fusing together mid-way through the weld spot, as revealed by cross-sectional depth analysis. The effects of voltage and lamp intensity are also tested on the welding process. With the range of voltages tested, 240V seems to show the least process variability and the most uniform contact between Al and Ag layers, upon using an Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate (EVA) encapsulant. Two lamp intensities were also explored with a Polyolefin (POE) encapsulant with Al and Ag layers seen welded together as well. Smaller effect sizes at lamp 2 intensity showed better contact. A process variability analysis was conducted to understand the effects of the two different lamps on welds being formed. Lamp 2 showed a bi-modal size distribution with a higher peak intensity, with more pulses coupling into the sample, as compared to lamp 1.

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  • 2019

Differential equation models for understanding phenomena beyond experimental capabilities

Description

Mathematical models are important tools for addressing problems that exceed experimental capabilities. In this work, I present ordinary and partial differential equation (ODE, PDE) models for two problems: Vicodin abuse

Mathematical models are important tools for addressing problems that exceed experimental capabilities. In this work, I present ordinary and partial differential equation (ODE, PDE) models for two problems: Vicodin abuse and impact cratering.

The prescription opioid Vicodin is the nation's most widely prescribed pain reliever. The majority of Vicodin abusers are first introduced via prescription, distinguishing it from other drugs in which the most common path to abuse begins with experimentation. I develop and analyze two mathematical models of Vicodin use and abuse, considering only those patients with an initial Vicodin prescription. Through adjoint sensitivity analysis, I show that focusing efforts on prevention rather than treatment has greater success at reducing the total population of abusers. I prove that solutions to each model exist, are unique, and are non-negative. I also derive conditions for which these solutions are asymptotically stable.

Verification and Validation (V&V) are necessary processes to ensure accuracy of computational methods. Simulations are essential for addressing impact cratering problems, because these problems often exceed experimental capabilities. I show that the Free Lagrange (FLAG) hydrocode, developed and maintained by Los Alamos National Laboratory, can be used for impact cratering simulations by verifying FLAG against two analytical models of aluminum-on-aluminum impacts at different impact velocities and validating FLAG against a glass-into-water laboratory impact experiment. My verification results show good agreement with the theoretical maximum pressures, and my mesh resolution study shows that FLAG converges at resolutions low enough to reduce the required computation time from about 28 hours to about 25 minutes.

Asteroid 16 Psyche is the largest M-type (metallic) asteroid in the Main Asteroid Belt. Radar albedo data indicate Psyche's surface is rich in metallic content, but estimates for Psyche's composition vary widely. Psyche has two large impact structures in its Southern hemisphere, with estimated diameters from 50 km to 70 km and estimated depths up to 6.4 km. I use the FLAG hydrocode to model the formation of the largest of these impact structures. My results indicate an oblique angle of impact rather than a vertical impact. These results also support previous claims that Psyche is metallic and porous.

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  • 2019

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Advancements in Kinetic Inductance Detector, Spectrometer, and Amplifier Technologies for Millimeter-Wave Astronomy

Description

The inductance of a conductor expresses its tendency to oppose a change in current flowing through it. For superconductors, in addition to the familiar magnetic inductance due to energy stored

The inductance of a conductor expresses its tendency to oppose a change in current flowing through it. For superconductors, in addition to the familiar magnetic inductance due to energy stored in the magnetic field generated by this current, kinetic inductance due to inertia of charge carriers is a significant and often dominant contribution to total inductance. Devices based on modifying the kinetic inductance of thin film superconductors have widespread application to millimeter-wave astronomy. Lithographically patterning such a film into a high quality factor resonator produces a high sensitivity photodetector known as a kinetic inductance detector (KID), which is sensitive to frequencies above the superconducting energy gap of the chosen material. Inherently multiplexable in the frequency domain and relatively simple to fabricate, KIDs pave the way to the large format focal plane array instruments necessary to conduct the next generation of cosmic microwave background (CMB), star formation, and galaxy evolution studies. In addition, non-linear kinetic inductance can be exploited to develop traveling wave kinetic inductance parametric amplifiers (TKIPs) based on superconducting delay lines to read out these instruments.

I present my contributions to both large and small scale collaborative efforts to develop KID arrays, spectrometers integrated with KIDs, and TKIPs. I optimize a dual polarization TiN KID absorber for the next generation Balloon-borne Large Aperture Submillimeter Telescope for Polarimetry, which is designed to investigate the role magnetic fields play in star formation. As part of an effort to demonstrate aluminum KIDs on sky for CMB polarimetry, I fabricate devices for three design variants. SuperSpec and WSpec are respectively the on-chip and waveguide implementations of a filter bank spectrometer concept designed for survey spectroscopy of high redshift galaxies. I provide a robust tool for characterizing the performance of all SuperSpec devices and demonstrate basic functionality of the first WSpec prototype. As part of an effort to develop the first W-Band (75-110 GHz) TKIP, I construct a cryogenic waveguide feedthrough, which enhances the Astronomical Instrumentation Laboratory’s capability to test W-Band devices in general. These efforts contribute to the continued maturation of these kinetic inductance technologies, which will usher in a new era of millimeter-wave astronomy.

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  • 2018