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Surface Mechanical Attrition Treatment (SMAT) of 7075 Aluminum Alloy to Induce a Protective Corrosion Resistant Layer

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This paper investigates Surface Mechanical Attrition Treatment (SMAT) and the influence of treatment temperature and initial sample surface finish on the corrosion resistance of 7075-T651 aluminum alloy. Ambient SMAT was performed on AA7075 samples polished to 80-grit initial surface roughness.

This paper investigates Surface Mechanical Attrition Treatment (SMAT) and the influence of treatment temperature and initial sample surface finish on the corrosion resistance of 7075-T651 aluminum alloy. Ambient SMAT was performed on AA7075 samples polished to 80-grit initial surface roughness. Potentiodynamic polarization and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) tests were used to characterize the corrosion behavior of samples before and after SMAT. Electrochemical tests indicated an improved corrosion resistance after application of SMAT process. The observed improvements in corrosion properties are potentially due to microstructural changes in the material surface induced by SMAT which encouraged the formation of a passive oxide layer. Further testing and research are required to understand the corrosion related effects of cryogenic SMAT and initial-surface finish as the COVID-19 pandemic inhibited experimentation plans.

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2020-05

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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Role of impurities on deformation of HCP crystal: a multiscale approach

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Commercially pure (CP) and extra low interstitial (ELI) grade Ti-alloys present excellent corrosion resistance, lightweight, and formability making them attractive materials for expanded use in transportation and medical applications. However, the strength and toughness of CP titanium are affected by

Commercially pure (CP) and extra low interstitial (ELI) grade Ti-alloys present excellent corrosion resistance, lightweight, and formability making them attractive materials for expanded use in transportation and medical applications. However, the strength and toughness of CP titanium are affected by relatively small variations in their impurity/solute content (IC), e.g., O, Al, and V. This increase in strength is due to the fact that the solute either increases the critical stress required for the prismatic slip systems ({10-10}<1-210>) or activates another slip system ((0001)<11-20>, {10-11}<11-20>). In particular, solute additions such as O can effectively strengthen the alloy but with an attendant loss in ductility by changing the behavior from wavy (cross slip) to planar nature. In order to understand the underlying behavior of strengthening by solutes, it is important to understand the atomic scale mechanism. This dissertation aims to address this knowledge gap through a synergistic combination of density functional theory (DFT) and molecular dynamics. Further, due to the long-range strain fields of the dislocations and the periodicity of the DFT simulation cells, it is difficult to apply ab initio simulations to study the dislocation core structure. To alleviate this issue we developed a multiscale quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics approach (QM/MM) to study the dislocation core. We use the developed QM/MM method to study the pipe diffusion along a prismatic edge dislocation core. Complementary to the atomistic simulations, the Semi-discrete Variational Peierls-Nabarro model (SVPN) was also used to analyze the dislocation core structure and mobility. The chemical interaction between the solute/impurity and the dislocation core is captured by the so-called generalized stacking fault energy (GSFE) surface which was determined from DFT-VASP calculations. By taking the chemical interaction into consideration the SVPN model can predict the dislocation core structure and mobility in the presence and absence of the solute/impurity and thus reveal the effect of impurity/solute on the softening/hardening behavior in alpha-Ti. Finally, to study the interaction of the dislocation core with other planar defects such as grain boundaries (GB), we develop an automated method to theoretically generate GBs in HCP type materials.

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2014

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An evaluation of the mechanical properties and microstructure in uranium dioxide doped with oxide additives

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The United States Department of Energy (DOE) has always held the safety and reliability of the nation's nuclear reactor fleet as a top priority. Continual improvements and advancements in nuclear fuels have been instrumental in maximizing energy generation from nuclear

The United States Department of Energy (DOE) has always held the safety and reliability of the nation's nuclear reactor fleet as a top priority. Continual improvements and advancements in nuclear fuels have been instrumental in maximizing energy generation from nuclear power plants and minimizing waste. One aspect of the DOE Fuel Cycle Research and Development Advanced Fuels Campaign is to improve the mechanical properties of uranium dioxide (UO2) for nuclear fuel applications.

In an effort to improve the performance of UO2, by increasing the fracture toughness and ductility, small quantities of oxide materials have been added to samples to act as dopants. The different dopants used in this study are: titanium dioxide, yttrium oxide, aluminum oxide, silicon dioxide, and chromium oxide. The effects of the individual dopants and some dopant combinations on the microstructure and mechanical properties are determined using indentation fracture experiments in tandem with scanning electron microscopy. Indentation fracture experiments are carried out at room temperature and at temperatures between 450 °C and 1160 °C.

The results of this work find that doping with aluminosilicate produces the largest favorable change in the mechanical properties of UO2. This sample exhibits an increase in fracture toughness at room temperature without showing a change in yield strength at elevated temperatures. The results also show that doping with Al2O3 and TiO2 produce stronger samples and it is hypothesized that this is a result of the sample containing dopant-rich secondary phase particles.

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2014

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Study on buckling of stiff thin films on soft substrates as functional materials

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In engineering, buckling is mechanical instability of walls or columns under compression and usually is a problem that engineers try to prevent. In everyday life buckles (wrinkles) on different substrates are ubiquitous -- from human skin to a rotten apple

In engineering, buckling is mechanical instability of walls or columns under compression and usually is a problem that engineers try to prevent. In everyday life buckles (wrinkles) on different substrates are ubiquitous -- from human skin to a rotten apple they are a commonly observed phenomenon. It seems that buckles with macroscopic wavelengths are not technologically useful; over the past decade or so, however, thanks to the widespread availability of soft polymers and silicone materials micro-buckles with wavelengths in submicron to micron scale have received increasing attention because it is useful for generating well-ordered periodic microstructures spontaneously without conventional lithographic techniques. This thesis investigates the buckling behavior of thin stiff films on soft polymeric substrates and explores a variety of applications, ranging from optical gratings, optical masks, energy harvest to energy storage. A laser scanning technique is proposed to detect micro-strain induced by thermomechanical loads and a periodic buckling microstructure is employed as a diffraction grating with broad wavelength tunability, which is spontaneously generated from a metallic thin film on polymer substrates. A mechanical strategy is also presented for quantitatively buckling nanoribbons of piezoelectric material on polymer substrates involving the combined use of lithographically patterning surface adhesion sites and transfer printing technique. The precisely engineered buckling configurations provide a route to energy harvesters with extremely high levels of stretchability. This stiff-thin-film/polymer hybrid structure is further employed into electrochemical field to circumvent the electrochemically-driven stress issue in silicon-anode-based lithium ion batteries. It shows that the initial flat silicon-nanoribbon-anode on a polymer substrate tends to buckle to mitigate the lithiation-induced stress so as to avoid the pulverization of silicon anode. Spontaneously generated submicron buckles of film/polymer are also used as an optical mask to produce submicron periodic patterns with large filling ratio in contrast to generating only ~100 nm edge submicron patterns in conventional near-field soft contact photolithography. This thesis aims to deepen understanding of buckling behavior of thin films on compliant substrates and, in turn, to harness the fundamental properties of such instability for diverse applications.

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2014

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Modeling and calibration of a MEMS tensile stage for elevated temperature experiments on freestanding metallic thin films

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Mechanical behavior of metallic thin films at room temperature (RT) is relatively well characterized. However, measuring the high temperature mechanical properties of thin films poses several challenges. These include ensuring uniformity in sample temperature and minimizing temporal fluctuations due to

Mechanical behavior of metallic thin films at room temperature (RT) is relatively well characterized. However, measuring the high temperature mechanical properties of thin films poses several challenges. These include ensuring uniformity in sample temperature and minimizing temporal fluctuations due to ambient heat loss, in addition to difficulties involved in mechanical testing of microscale samples. To address these issues, we designed and analyzed a MEMS-based high temperature tensile testing stage made from single crystal silicon. The freestanding thin film specimens were co-fabricated with the stage to ensure uniaxial loading. Multi-physics simulations of Joule heating, incorporating both radiation and convection heat transfer, were carried out using COMSOL to map the temperature distribution across the stage and the specimen. The simulations were validated using temperature measurements from a thermoreflectance microscope.

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2016

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Characterization of thermo-mechanical damage in tin and sintered nano-silver solders

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Increasing density of microelectronic packages, results in an increase in thermal and mechanical stresses within the various layers of the package. To accommodate the high-performance demands, the materials used in the electronic package would also require improvement. Specifically, the damage

Increasing density of microelectronic packages, results in an increase in thermal and mechanical stresses within the various layers of the package. To accommodate the high-performance demands, the materials used in the electronic package would also require improvement. Specifically, the damage that often occurs in solders that function as die-attachment and thermal interfaces need to be addressed. This work evaluates and characterizes thermo-mechanical damage in two material systems – Electroplated Tin and Sintered Nano-Silver solder.

Tin plated electrical contacts are prone to formation of single crystalline tin whiskers which can cause short circuiting. A mechanistic model of their formation, evolution and microstructural influence is still not fully understood. In this work, growth of mechanically induced tin whiskers/hillocks is studied using in situ Nano-indentation and Electron Backscatter Diffraction (EBSD). Electroplated tin was indented and monitored in vacuum to study growth of hillocks without the influence of atmosphere. Thermal aging was done to study the effect of intermetallic compounds. Grain orientation of the hillocks and the plastically deformed region surrounding the indent was studied using Focused Ion Beam (FIB) lift-out technique. In addition, micropillars were milled on the surface of electroplated Sn using FIB to evaluate the yield strength and its relation to Sn grain size.

High operating temperature power electronics use wide band-gap semiconductor devices (Silicon Carbide/Gallium Nitride). The operating temperature of these devices can exceed 250oC, preventing use of traditional Sn-solders as Thermal Interface materials (TIM). At high temperature, the thermomechanical stresses can severely degrade the reliability and life of the device. In this light, new non-destructive approach is needed to understand the damage mechanism when subjected to reliability tests such as thermal cycling. In this work, sintered nano-Silver was identified as a promising high temperature TIM. Sintered nano-Silver samples were fabricated and their shear strength was evaluated. Thermal cycling tests were conducted and damage evolution was characterized using a lab scale 3D X-ray system to periodically assess changes in the microstructure such as cracks, voids, and porosity in the TIM layer. The evolution of microstructure and the effect of cycling temperature during thermal cycling are discussed.

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2018

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Multiscale Modeling of Oxygen Impurity Effects on Macroscopic Deformation and Fatigue Behavior of Commercially Pure Titanium

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Interstitial impurity atoms can significantly alter the chemical and physical properties of the host material. Oxygen impurity in HCP titanium is known to have a considerable strengthening effect mainly through interactions with dislocations. To better understand such an effect, first

Interstitial impurity atoms can significantly alter the chemical and physical properties of the host material. Oxygen impurity in HCP titanium is known to have a considerable strengthening effect mainly through interactions with dislocations. To better understand such an effect, first the role of oxygen on various slip planes in titanium is examined using generalized stacking fault energies (GSFE) computed by the first principles calculations. It is shown that oxygen can significantly increase the energy barrier to dislocation motion on most of the studied slip planes. Then the Peierls-Nabbaro model is utilized in conjunction with the GSFE to estimate the Peierls stress ratios for different slip systems. Using such information along with a set of tension and compression experiments, the parameters of a continuum scale crystal plasticity model, namely CRSS values, are calibrated. Effect of oxygen content on the macroscopic stress-strain response is further investigated through experiments on oxygen-boosted samples at room temperature. It is demonstrated that the crystal plasticity model can very well capture the effect of oxygen content on the global response of the samples. It is also revealed that oxygen promotes the slip activity on the pyramidal planes.

The effect of oxygen impurity on titanium is further investigated under high cycle fatigue loading. For that purpose, a two-step hierarchical crystal plasticity for fatigue predictions is presented. Fatigue indicator parameter is used as the main driving force in an energy-based crack nucleation model. To calculate the FIPs, high-resolution full-field crystal plasticity simulations are carried out using a spectral solver. A nucleation model is proposed and calibrated by the fatigue experimental data for notched titanium samples with different oxygen contents and under two load ratios. Overall, it is shown that the presented approach is capable of predicting the high cycle fatigue nucleation time. Moreover, qualitative predictions of microstructurally small crack growth rates are provided. The multi-scale methodology presented here can be extended to other material systems to facilitate a better understanding of the fundamental deformation mechanisms, and to effectively implement such knowledge in mesoscale-macroscale investigations.

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2018

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Synthesis and Mechanical Behavior of NiTi Films with Controlled Microstructures

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Thin films are widely used for a variety of applications such as electrical interconnects, sensors, as well as optical, mechanical, and decorative coatings. Thin films made of NiTi, commonly referred to as nitinol, have generated recent interest as they are

Thin films are widely used for a variety of applications such as electrical interconnects, sensors, as well as optical, mechanical, and decorative coatings. Thin films made of NiTi, commonly referred to as nitinol, have generated recent interest as they are highly suitable for high frequency thermal actuation in microelectromechanical devices because of their small thermal mass and large surface-to-volume ratio. The functional properties of NiTi arise from a diffusionless phase transformation between two of its primary phases: austenite and martensite. This transformation leads to either the shape memory or pseudoelastic effect, where inelastic deformation is recovered with and without the application of heat, respectively. It is well known that the mechanical properties of NiTi are highly dependent on the microstructure, but few studies have been performed to examine the mechanical behavior of thin NiTi films (thickness below 200 nm), which are expected to have grain sizes in a similar range. The primary intent of this work is the synthesis of NiTi thin films with controlled microstructures, followed by characterization of their microstructure and its relationship to the mechanical properties. Microstructural control was achieved by utilizing a novel synthesis technique in which amorphous precursor films are seeded with nanocrystals, which serve as nucleation sites during subsequent crystallization via thermal annealing. This technique enables control of grain size, dispersion, and phase composition of thin films by varying the parameters of seed deposition as well as annealing conditions. The microstructures and composition of the NiTi thin films were characterized using X-ray Diffraction, Electron Microprobe Analysis, High-resolution Transmission Electron Microscopy, Secondary Ion Mass Spectroscopy, Differential Scanning Calorimetry, as well as other complementary techniques. Mechanical properties of the films were investigated using uniaxial tensile testing performed using a custom microfabricated tensile testing stage. The NiTi thin films exhibit mechanical behavior that is distinct from bulk NiTi, which is also highly sensitive to small changes in microstructure and phase composition. These findings are rationalized in terms of the changes in deformation mechanisms that occur at small grain sizes and sample dimensions.

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2021

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3D modeling of void nucleation and initial void growth due to tin diffusion as a result of electromigration in polycrystalline lead-free solders

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Electromigration (EM) has been a serious reliability concern in microelectronics packaging for close to half a century now. Whenever the challenges of EM are overcome newer complications arise such as the demand for better performance due to increased miniaturization of

Electromigration (EM) has been a serious reliability concern in microelectronics packaging for close to half a century now. Whenever the challenges of EM are overcome newer complications arise such as the demand for better performance due to increased miniaturization of semiconductor devices or the problems faced due to undesirable properties of lead-free solders. The motivation for the work is that there exists no fully computational modeling study on EM damage in lead-free solders (and also in lead-based solders). Modeling techniques such as one developed here can give new insights on effects of different grain features and offer high flexibility in varying parameters and study the corresponding effects. In this work, a new computational approach has been developed to study void nucleation and initial void growth in solders due to metal atom diffusion. It involves the creation of a 3D stochastic mesoscale model of the microstructure of a polycrystalline Tin structure. The next step was to identify regions of current crowding or ‘hot-spots’. This was done through solving a finite difference scheme on top of the 3D structure. The nucleation of voids due to atomic diffusion from the regions of current crowding was modeled by diffusion from the identified hot-spot through a rejection free kinetic Monte-Carlo scheme. This resulted in the net movement of atoms from the cathode to the anode. The above steps of identifying the hotspot and diffusing the atoms at the hot-spot were repeated and this lead to the initial growth of the void. This procedure was studied varying different grain parameters. In the future, the goal is to explore the effect of more grain parameters and consider other mechanisms of failure such as the formation of intermetallic compounds due to interstitial diffusion and dissolution of underbump metallurgy.

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2016