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A Study of the Mechanical Behavior Of Nanocrystalline Metals Using Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS)

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The study of the mechanical behavior of nanocrystalline metals using microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) devices lies at the intersection of nanotechnology, mechanical engineering and material science. The extremely small grains that make up nanocrystalline metals lead to higher strength but lower

The study of the mechanical behavior of nanocrystalline metals using microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) devices lies at the intersection of nanotechnology, mechanical engineering and material science. The extremely small grains that make up nanocrystalline metals lead to higher strength but lower ductility as compared to bulk metals. Effects of strain-rate dependence on the mechanical behavior of nanocrystalline metals are explored. Knowing the strain rate dependence of mechanical properties would enable optimization of material selection for different applications and lead to lighter structural components and enhanced sustainability.

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2014-05

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1-dimensional zinc oxide nanomaterial growth and solar cell applications

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Zinc oxide (ZnO) has attracted much interest during last decades as a functional material. Furthermore, ZnO is a potential material for transparent conducting oxide material competing with indium tin oxide (ITO), graphene, and carbon nanotube film. It has been known

Zinc oxide (ZnO) has attracted much interest during last decades as a functional material. Furthermore, ZnO is a potential material for transparent conducting oxide material competing with indium tin oxide (ITO), graphene, and carbon nanotube film. It has been known as a conductive material when doped with elements such as indium, gallium and aluminum. The solubility of those dopant elements in ZnO is still debatable; but, it is necessary to find alternative conducting materials when their form is film or nanostructure for display devices. This is a consequence of the ever increasing price of indium. In addition, a new generation solar cell (nanostructured or hybrid photovoltaics) requires compatible materials which are capable of free standing on substrates without seed or buffer layers and have the ability introduce electrons or holes pathway without blocking towards electrodes. The nanostructures for solar cells using inorganic materials such as silicon (Si), titanium oxide (TiO2), and ZnO have been an interesting topic for research in solar cell community in order to overcome the limitation of efficiency for organic solar cells. This dissertation is a study of the rational solution-based synthesis of 1-dimentional ZnO nanomaterial and its solar cell applications. These results have implications in cost effective and uniform nanomanufacturing for the next generation solar cells application by controlling growth condition and by doping transition metal element in solution.

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Date Created
2012

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Estimation of complex permittivity of silicon at 2.45 GHz microwave frequency

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Estimation of complex permittivity of arsenic-doped silicon is the primary topic of discussion in this thesis presentation. The frequency that is of interest is 2.45 GHz, frequency typically used in conventional microwave ovens. The analysis is based on closed-form analytical

Estimation of complex permittivity of arsenic-doped silicon is the primary topic of discussion in this thesis presentation. The frequency that is of interest is 2.45 GHz, frequency typically used in conventional microwave ovens. The analysis is based on closed-form analytical expressions of cylindrical symmetry. A coaxial/radial line junction with the central conductor sheathed in dielectric material, which is As-doped silicon in this case, are analyzed. Electrical and magnetic field equations governing the wave propagation in this setup are formulated by applying the necessary boundary conditions. Input admittance is computed using the fields in the device and reflection coefficient is calculated at the input. This analytical solution is matched to the reflection coefficient acquired by experiments conducted, using VNA as the input source. The contemplation is backed by simulation using High Frequency Structural Simulator, HFSS. Susceptor-assisted microwave heating has been shown to be a faster and easier method of annealing arsenic-doped silicon samples. In that study, it was noticed that the microwave power absorbed by the sample can directly be linked to the heat power required for the annealing process. It probes the validity of the statement that for arsenic-doped silicon the heating curve depends only on its sheet properties and not on the bulk as such and the results presented here gives more insight to it as to why this assumption is true. The results obtained here can be accepted as accurate since it is known that this material is highly conductive and electromagnetic waves do not penetrate in to the material beyond a certain depth, which is given by the skin depth of the material. Hall measurements and four-point-probe measurements are performed on the material in support of the above contemplation.

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2014

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Interfacial and electrode modifications in P₃HT:PC₆₁BM based organic solar cells: devices, processing and characterization

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The inexorable upsurge in world’s energy demand has steered the search for newer renewable energy sources and photovoltaics seemed to be one of the best alternatives for energy production. Among the various photovoltaic technologies that emerged, organic/polymer photovoltaics based on

The inexorable upsurge in world’s energy demand has steered the search for newer renewable energy sources and photovoltaics seemed to be one of the best alternatives for energy production. Among the various photovoltaic technologies that emerged, organic/polymer photovoltaics based on solution processed bulk-heterojunctions (BHJ) of semiconducting polymers has gained serious attention owing to the use of inexpensive light-weight materials, exhibiting high mechanical flexibility and compatibility with low temperature roll-to-roll manufacturing techniques on flexible substrates. The most widely studied material to date is the blend of regioregular P3HT and PC61BM used as donor and acceptor materials. The object of this study was to investigate and improve the performance/stability of the organic solar cells by use of inexpensive materials. In an attempt to enhance the efficiency of organic solar cells, we have demonstrated the use of hexamethyldisilazane (HMDS) modified indium tin oxide (ITO) electrode in bulk heterojunction solar cell structure The device studies showed a significant enhancement in the short-circuit current as well as in the shunt resistance on use of the hexamethyldisilazane (HMDS) layer. In another approach a p-type CuI hole-transport layer was utilized that could possibly replace the acidic PEDOT:PSS layer in the fabrication of high-efficiency solar cells. The device optimization was done by varying the concentration of CuI in the precursor solution which played an important role in the efficiency of the solar cell devices. Recently a substantial amount of research has been focused on identifying suitable interfacial layers in organic solar cells which has efficient charge transport properties. It was illustrated that a thin layer of silver oxide interfacial layer showed a 28% increase in power conversion efficiency in comparison to that of the control cell. The optoelectronic properties and morphological features of indium-free ZnO/Ag/MoOx electrodes was also studied. Organic solar cells on these composite electrodes revealed good optical and electrical properties, making them a promising alternative indium free and PEDOT:PSS-free organic solar cells. Lastly, inverted solar cells utilizing zinc oxide and yttrium doped zinc oxide electron transport was also created and their device properties revealed that optimum annealing conditions and yttrium doping was essential to obtain high efficiency solar cells.

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2015

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Mechanisms responsible for microwave properties in high performance dielectric materials

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Microwave properties of low-loss commercial dielectric materials are optimized by adding transition-metal dopants or alloying agents (i.e. Ni, Co, Mn) to tune the temperature coefficient of resonant frequency (τf) to zero. This occurs as a result of the temperature dependence

Microwave properties of low-loss commercial dielectric materials are optimized by adding transition-metal dopants or alloying agents (i.e. Ni, Co, Mn) to tune the temperature coefficient of resonant frequency (τf) to zero. This occurs as a result of the temperature dependence of dielectric constant offsetting the thermal expansion. At cryogenic temperatures, the microwave loss in these dielectric materials is dominated by electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) loss, which results from the spin-excitations of d-shell electron spins in exchange-coupled clusters. We show that the origin of the observed magnetically-induced shifts in the dielectric resonator frequency originates from the same mechanism, as described by the Kramers-Kronig relations. The temperature coefficient of resonator frequency, τf, is related to three material parameters according to the equation, τf = - (½ τε + ½ τµ + αL), where τε, τµ, and αL are the temperature coefficient of dielectric constant, magnetic permeability, and lattice constant, respectively. Each of these parameters for dielectric materials of interest are measured experimentally. These results, in combination with density functional simulations, developed a much improved understanding of the fundamental mechanisms responsible for τf. The same experimental methods have been used to characterize in-situ the physical nature and concentration of performance-degrading point defects in the dielectrics of superconducting planar microwave resonators.

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Date Created
2016

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Fabrication and characterization of carbon nanotubes-zinc oxide structure by drop-drying and ink jet printing

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This thesis elaborates the application of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and it is discussed in two parts. In the first part of the thesis, two types of CNTs inks for inkjet materials printer are prepared. They are both chemical stable and

This thesis elaborates the application of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and it is discussed in two parts. In the first part of the thesis, two types of CNTs inks for inkjet materials printer are prepared. They are both chemical stable and printable, effective and easily made. The sheet resistance of printed films decreases exponentially as the number of layers increases. In the second part of this study, CNTs/ZnO composite structures are fabricated to understand the electronic and optical properties. The materials were deposited by two different methods: drop-drying and RF magnetic sputtering system on flexible polymer substrates. To further increase the conductivity of the various layers of deposited CNTs films, electrical and optical characterizations are also done. This study establishes CNTs as a multi-functional semitransparent conductor, which can be deposited at room-temperature with other transparent conductive oxide (TCO) composites for application in flexible electronics and printed circuit and sensors.

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2012

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Response of metal structures on chalcogenide thin films to thermal, ultraviolet and microwave processing

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Microwave (MW), thermal, and ultraviolet (UV) annealing were used to explore the response of Ag structures on a Ge-Se chalcogenide glass (ChG) thin film as flexible radiation sensors, and Te-Ti chalcogenide thin films as a material for diffusion barriers in

Microwave (MW), thermal, and ultraviolet (UV) annealing were used to explore the response of Ag structures on a Ge-Se chalcogenide glass (ChG) thin film as flexible radiation sensors, and Te-Ti chalcogenide thin films as a material for diffusion barriers in microelectronics devices and processing of metallized Cu. Flexible resistive radiation sensors consisting of Ag electrodes on a Ge20Se80 ChG thin film and polyethylene naphthalate substrate were exposed to UV radiation. The sensors were mounted on PVC tubes of varying radii to induce bending strains and annealed under ambient conditions up to 150 oC. Initial sensor resistance was measured to be ~1012 Ω; after exposure to UV radiation, the resistance was ~104 Ω. Bending strain and low temperature annealing had no significant effect on the resistance of the sensors. Samples of Cu on Te-Ti thin films were annealed in vacuum for up to 30 minutes and were stable up to 500 oC as revealed using Rutherford backscattering spectrometry (RBS) and four-point-probe analysis. X-ray diffractometry (XRD) indicates Cu grain growth up to 500 oC and phase instability of the Te-Ti barrier at 600 oC. MW processing was performed in a 2.45-GHz microwave cavity on Cu/Te-Ti films for up to 30 seconds to induce oxide growth. Using a calibrated pyrometer above the sample, the temperature of the MW process was measured to be below a maximum of 186 oC. Four-point-probe analysis shows an increase in resistance with an increase in MW time. XRD indicates growth of CuO on the sample surface. RBS suggests oxidation throughout the Te-Ti film. Additional samples were exposed to 907 J/cm2 UV radiation in order to ensure other possible electromagnetically induced mechanisms were not active. There were no changes observed using XRD, RBS or four point probing.

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Date Created
2013

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Susceptor assisted microwave annealing of ion implanted silicon

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This thesis discusses the use of low temperature microwave anneal as an alternative technique to recrystallize materials damaged or amorphized due to implantation techniques. The work focuses on the annealing of high-Z doped Si wafers that are incapable of attaining

This thesis discusses the use of low temperature microwave anneal as an alternative technique to recrystallize materials damaged or amorphized due to implantation techniques. The work focuses on the annealing of high-Z doped Si wafers that are incapable of attaining high temperatures required for recrystallizing the damaged implanted layers by microwave absorption The increasing necessity for quicker and more efficient processing techniques motivates study of the use of a single frequency applicator microwave cavity along with a Fe2O3 infused SiC-alumina susceptor/applicator as an alternative post implantation process. Arsenic implanted Si samples of different dopant concentrations and implantation energies were studied pre and post microwave annealing. A set of as-implanted Si samples were also used to assess the effect of inactive dopants against presence of electrically active dopants on the recrystallization mechanisms. The extent of damage repair and Si recrystallization of the damage caused by arsenic and Si implantation of Si is determined by cross-section transmission electron microscopy and Raman spectroscopy. Dopant activation is evaluated for the As implanted Si by sheet resistance measurements. For the same, secondary ion mass spectroscopy analysis is used to compare the extent of diffusion that results from such microwave annealing with that experienced when using conventional rapid thermal annealing (RTA). Results show that compared to susceptor assisted microwave annealing, RTA caused undesired dopant diffusion. The SiC-alumina susceptor plays a predominant role in supplying heat to the Si substrate, and acts as an assistor that helps a high-Z dopant like arsenic to absorb the microwave energy using a microwave loss mechanism which is a combination of ionic and dipole losses. Comparisons of annealing of the samples were done with and without the use of the susceptor, and confirm the role played by the susceptor, since the samples donot recrystallize when the surface heating mechanism provided by the susceptor is not incorporated. Variable frequency microwave annealing was also performed over the as-implanted Si samples for durations and temperatures higher than the single frequency microwave anneal, but only partial recrystallization of the damaged layer was achieved.

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Date Created
2011

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Programmable metallization cell devices for flexible electronics

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Programmable metallization cell (PMC) technology is based on an electrochemical phenomenon in which a metallic electrodeposit can be grown or dissolved between two electrodes depending on the voltage applied between them. Devices based on this phenomenon exhibit a unique, self-healing

Programmable metallization cell (PMC) technology is based on an electrochemical phenomenon in which a metallic electrodeposit can be grown or dissolved between two electrodes depending on the voltage applied between them. Devices based on this phenomenon exhibit a unique, self-healing property, as a broken metallic structure can be healed by applying an appropriate voltage between the two broken ends. This work explores methods of fabricating interconnects and switches based on PMC technology on flexible substrates. The objective was the evaluation of the feasibility of using this technology in flexible electronics applications in which reliability is a primary concern. The re-healable property of the interconnect is characterized for the silver doped germanium selenide (Ag-Ge-Se) solid electrolyte system. This property was evaluated by measuring the resistances of the healed interconnect structures and comparing these to the resistances of the unbroken structures. The reliability of the interconnects in both unbroken and healed states is studied by investigating the resistances of the structures to DC voltages, AC voltages and different temperatures as a function of time. This work also explores replacing silver with copper for these interconnects to enhance their reliability. A model for PMC-based switches on flexible substrates is proposed and compared to the observed device behavior with the objective of developing a formal design methodology for these devices. The switches were subjected to voltage sweeps and their resistance was investigated as a function of sweep voltage. The resistance of the switches as a function of voltage pulse magnitude when placed in series with a resistance was also investigated. A model was then developed to explain the behavior of these devices. All observations were based on statistical measurements to account for random errors. The results of this work demonstrate that solid electrolyte based interconnects display self-healing capability, which depends on the applied healing voltage and the current limit. However, they fail at lower current densities than metal interconnects due to an ion-drift induced failure mechanism. The results on the PMC based switches demonstrate that a model comprising a Schottky diode in parallel with a variable resistor predicts the behavior of the device.

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Date Created
2011

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Resistivity and optical transmittance simulation on metal embedded transparent conducting oxide thin films

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This work focuses on simulation of electrical resistivity and optical behaviors of thin films, where an Ag or Au thin layer is embedded in zinc oxide. Enhanced conductivity and transparency were earlier achieved with multilayer structured transparent conducting oxide (TCO)

This work focuses on simulation of electrical resistivity and optical behaviors of thin films, where an Ag or Au thin layer is embedded in zinc oxide. Enhanced conductivity and transparency were earlier achieved with multilayer structured transparent conducting oxide (TCO) sandwich layer with metal (TCO/metal/TCO). Sputtering pattern of metal layer is simulated to obtain the morphology, covered area fraction, and the percolation strength. The resistivity as a function of the metal layer thickness fits the modeled trend of covered area fraction beyond the percolation threshold. This result not only presents the robustness of the simulation, but also demonstrates the influence of metal morphology in multilayer structure. Effective medium coefficients are defined from the coverage and percolation strength to obtain simulated optical transmittance which matches experimental observation. The coherence of resistivity and optical transmittance validates the simulation of the sputtered pattern and the incorporation of percolation theory in the model.

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Date Created
2012