In the nano-regime many materials exhibit properties that are quite different from their bulk counterparts. These nano-properties have been shown to be useful in a wide range of applications with nanomaterials being used for catalysts, in energy production, as protective…
In the nano-regime many materials exhibit properties that are quite different from their bulk counterparts. These nano-properties have been shown to be useful in a wide range of applications with nanomaterials being used for catalysts, in energy production, as protective coatings, and in medical treatment. While there is no shortage of exciting and novel applications, the world of nanomaterials suffers from a lack of large scale manufacturing techniques. The current methods and equipment used for manufacturing nanomaterials are generally slow, expensive, potentially dangerous, and material specific. The research and widespread use of nanomaterials has undoubtedly been hindered by this lack of appropriate tooling. This work details the effort to create a novel nanomaterial synthesis and deposition platform capable of operating at industrial level rates and reliability.
The tool, referred to as Deppy, deposits material via hypersonic impaction, a two chamber process that takes advantage of compressible fluids operating in the choked flow regime to accelerate particles to up several thousand meters per second before they impact and stick to the substrate. This allows for the energetic separation of the synthesis and deposition processes while still behaving as a continuous flow reactor giving Deppy the unique ability to independently control the particle properties and the deposited film properties. While the ultimate goal is to design a tool capable of producing a broad range of nanomaterial films, this work will showcase Deppy's ability to produce silicon nano-particle films as a proof of concept.
By adjusting parameters in the upstream chamber the particle composition was varied from completely amorphous to highly crystalline as confirmed by Raman spectroscopy. By adjusting parameters in the downstream chamber significant variation of the film's density was achieved. Further it was shown that the system is capable of making these adjustments in each chamber without affecting the operation of the other.