Matching Items (21)

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Electron Microscopy Study of the Phase Transformation and Metal Functionalization of Titanium Oxide Nanotubes

Description

Titanium oxide (TiO2), an abundant material with high photocatalytic activity and chemical stability is an important candidate for photocatalytic applications. The photocatalytic activity of the TiO2 varies with its phase. In the current project, phase and morphology changes in TiO2

Titanium oxide (TiO2), an abundant material with high photocatalytic activity and chemical stability is an important candidate for photocatalytic applications. The photocatalytic activity of the TiO2 varies with its phase. In the current project, phase and morphology changes in TiO2 nanotubes were studied using ex-situ and in-situ transmission electron microscopy (TEM). X-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy studies were also performed to understand the phase and morphology of the nanotubes. As prepared TiO2 nanotubes supported on Ti metal substrate were amorphous, during the heat treatment in the ex-situ furnace nanotubes transform to anatase at 450 oC and transformed to rutile when heated to 800 oC. TiO2 nanotubes that were heat treated in an in-situ environmental TEM, transformed to anatase at 400 oC and remain anatase even up to 800 oC. In both ex-situ an in-situ case, the morphology of the nanotubes drastically changed from a continuous tubular structure to aggregates of individual nanoparticles. The difference between the ex-situ an in-situ treatments and their effect on the phase transformation is discussed. Metal doping is one of the effective ways to improve the photocatalytic performance. Several approaches were performed to get metal loading on to the TiO2 nanotubes. Mono-dispersed platinum nanoparticles were deposited on the TiO2 nanopowder and nanotubes using photoreduction method. Photo reduction for Ag and Pt bimetallic nanoparticles were also performed on the TiO2 powders.

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2014

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Optical and crystal structure characterizations of nanowires for infrared applications

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Semiconductor nanowires (NWs) are one dimensional materials and have size quantization effect when the diameter is sufficiently small. They can serve as optical wave guides along the length direction and contain optically active gain at the same time. Due to

Semiconductor nanowires (NWs) are one dimensional materials and have size quantization effect when the diameter is sufficiently small. They can serve as optical wave guides along the length direction and contain optically active gain at the same time. Due to these unique properties, NWs are now very promising and extensively studied for nanoscale optoelectronic applications. A systematic and comprehensive optical and microstructural study of several important infrared semiconductor NWs is presented in this thesis, which includes InAs, PbS, InGaAs, erbium chloride silicate and erbium silicate. Micro-photoluminescence (PL) and transmission electron microscope (TEM) were utilized in conjunction to characterize the optical and microstructure of these wires. The focus of this thesis is on optical study of semiconductor NWs in the mid-infrared wavelengths. First, differently structured InAs NWs grown using various methods were characterized and compared. Three main PL peaks which are below, near and above InAs bandgap, respectively, were observed. The octadecylthiol self-assembled monolayer was employed to passivate the surface of InAs NWs to eliminate or reduce the effects of the surface states. The band-edge emission from wurtzite-structured NWs was completely recovered after passivatoin. The passivated NWs showed very good stability in air and under heat. In the second part, mid-infrared optical study was conducted on PbS wires of subwavelength diameter and lasing was demonstrated under optical pumping. The PbS wires were grown on Si substrate using chemical vapor deposition and have a rock-salt cubic structure. Single-mode lasing at the wavelength of ~3000-4000 nm was obtained from single as-grown PbS wire up to the temperature of 115 K. PL characterization was also utilized to demonstrate the highest crystallinity of the vertical arrays of InP and InGaAs/InP composition-graded heterostructure NWs made by a top-down fabrication method. TEM-related measurements were performed to study the crystal structures and elemental compositions of the Er-compound core-shell NWs. The core-shell NWs consist of an orthorhombic-structured erbium chloride silicate shell and a cubic-structured silicon core. These NWs provide unique Si-compatible materials with emission at 1530 nm for optical communications and solid state lasers.

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2011

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Structural characterization of II-VI and III-V compound semiconductor heterostructures and superlattices

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The research described in this dissertation has involved the use of transmission electron microcopy (TEM) to characterize the structural properties of II-VI and III-V compound semiconductor heterostructures and superlattices. The microstructure of thick ZnTe epilayers (~2.4 µm) grown by molecular

The research described in this dissertation has involved the use of transmission electron microcopy (TEM) to characterize the structural properties of II-VI and III-V compound semiconductor heterostructures and superlattices. The microstructure of thick ZnTe epilayers (~2.4 µm) grown by molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) under virtually identical conditions on GaSb, InAs, InP and GaAs (100) substrates were compared using TEM. High-resolution electron micrographs revealed a highly coherent interface for the ZnTe/GaSb sample, and showed extensive areas with well-separated interfacial misfit dislocations for the ZnTe/InAs sample. Lomer edge dislocations and 60o dislocations were commonly observed at the interfaces of the ZnTe/InP and ZnTe/GaAs samples. The amount of residual strain at the interfaces was estimated to be 0.01% for the ZnTe/InP sample and -0.09% for the ZnTe/GaAs sample. Strong PL spectra for all ZnTe samples were observed from 80 to 300 K. High quality GaSb grown by MBE on ZnTe/GaSb (001) virtual substrates with a temperature ramp at the beginning of the GaSb growth has been demonstrated. High-resolution X-ray diffraction (XRD) showed clear Pendellösung thickness fringes from both GaSb and ZnTe epilayers. Cross-section TEM images showed excellent crystallinity and smooth morphology for both ZnTe/GaSb and GaSb/ZnTe interfaces. Plan-view TEM image revealed the presence of Lomer dislocations at the interfaces and threading dislocations in the top GaSb layer. The defect density was estimated to be ~1 x107/cm2. The PL spectra showed improved optical properties when using the GaSb transition layer grown on ZnTe with a temperature ramp. The structural properties of strain-balanced InAs/InAs1-xSbx SLs grown on GaSb (001) substrates by metalorganic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) and MBE, have been studied using XRD and TEM. Excellent structural quality of the InAs/InAs1-xSbx SLs grown by MOCVD has been demonstrated. Well-defined ordered-alloy structures within individual InAs1-xSbx layers were observed for samples grown by modulated MBE. However, the ordering disappeared when defects propagating through the SL layers appeared during growth. For samples grown by conventional MBE, high-resolution images revealed that interfaces for InAs1-xSbx grown on InAs layers were sharper than for InAs grown on InAs1-xSbx layers, most likely due to a Sb surfactant segregation effect.

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2012

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Oxygen nanodistributions in cobalt-iron electrodeposited thin films: some effect on magnetic properties, high resolution analytical electron microscopy

Description

Soft magnetic alloys play a significant role for magnetic recording applications and highly sensitivity magnetic field sensors. In order to sustain the magnetic areal density growth, development of new synthesis techniques and materials is necessary. In this work, the effect

Soft magnetic alloys play a significant role for magnetic recording applications and highly sensitivity magnetic field sensors. In order to sustain the magnetic areal density growth, development of new synthesis techniques and materials is necessary. In this work, the effect of oxygen incorporation during electrodeposition of CoFe alloys on magnetic properties, magnetoresistance and structural properties has been studied. Understanding the magnetic properties often required knowledge of oxygen distribution and structural properties of the grown films. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) was a powerful tool in this study to correlate the oxygen-distribution nanostructure to the magnetic properties of deposited films. Off-axis electron holography in TEM was used to measure magnetic domain wall width in the deposited films. Elemental depth profiles of Fe, Co, O were investigated by secondary ion mass spectroscopy (SIMS). Magnetic properties have been determined by superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) measurements. Oxygen content in the CoFe deposited films was controlled by electrolyte composition. Films were deposited on Si 100 substrates and on other substrates such as Cu and Al. However, a good film quality was achieved on Si substrate. Electron energy loss and x-ray spectroscopies showed that the low oxygen films contained intragranular Fe2+ oxide (FeO) particles and that the high oxygen films contained intergranular Fe3+ (Fe2O3) along grain boundaries. The films with oxide present at the grain boundary had significantly increased coercivity, magnetoresistance and reduced saturation magnetization relative to the lower oxygen content films with intragranular oxide. The differences in magnetic properties between low oxygen and high oxygen concentration films were attributed to stronger mobile domain wall interactions with the grain boundary oxide layers. The very high magnetoresistance values were achieved for magnetic devices with nanocontact dimension < 100 nm and oxide incorporation in this nanoconfined geometry. The content of oxide phase in nanocontact was controlled by concentration of the Fe3+ ions in the electrodeposition solution. Magnetic device integrity was improved by varying amount of additive into plating solution. These results indicated that electrodeposited CoFe nanocontact is a novel class of materials with large application for magnetic field sensors.

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2012

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A metrology for comprehensive thermoelectric device characterization

Description

Thermoelectric devices (TED's) continue to be an area of high interest in both thermal management and energy harvesting applications. Due to their compact size, reliable performance, and their ability to accomplish sub-ambient cooling, much effort is being focused on optimized

Thermoelectric devices (TED's) continue to be an area of high interest in both thermal management and energy harvesting applications. Due to their compact size, reliable performance, and their ability to accomplish sub-ambient cooling, much effort is being focused on optimized methods for characterization and integration of TED's for future applications. Predictive modeling methods can only achieve accurate results with robust input physical parameters, therefore TED characterization methods are critical for future development of the field. Often times, physical properties of TED sub-components are very well known, however the "effective" properties of a TED module can be difficult to measure with certainty. The module-level properties must be included in predictive modeling, since these include electrical and thermal contact resistances which are difficult to analytically derive. A unique characterization method is proposed, which offers the ability to directly measure all device-level physical parameters required for accurate modeling. Among many other unique features, the metrology allows the capability to perform an independent validation of empirical parameters by measuring parasitic heat losses. As support for the accuracy of the measured parameters, the metrology output from an off-the-shelf TED is used in a system-level thermal model to predict and validate observed metrology temperatures. Finally, as an extension to the benefits of this metrology, it is shown that resulting data can be used to empirically validate a device-level dimensionless relationship. The output provides a powerful performance prediction tool, since all physical behavior in a performance domain is captured using a single analytical relationship and can be plotted on a singe graph.

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Date Created
2011

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TEM Image Simulations of Structural Dynamics on CeO2-supported Pt Catalysts

Description

Supported catalytic nanoparticles undergo rapid structural transformations faster than many transmission electron microscopes (TEMs) can track. This is the case with platinum nanoparticles supported on cerium oxide (Pt/CeO2) in a CO and O2 gaseous environment. By furthering our understanding of

Supported catalytic nanoparticles undergo rapid structural transformations faster than many transmission electron microscopes (TEMs) can track. This is the case with platinum nanoparticles supported on cerium oxide (Pt/CeO2) in a CO and O2 gaseous environment. By furthering our understanding of the structural dynamics of the Pt/CeO2 system, improved catalyst design principles may be derived to enhance the efficiency of this catalyst. Developing static models of a 2 nm Pt nanoparticle supported on CeO2 and simulating TEM images of the models was found to create similar images to those seen in experimental TEM time-resolved series of the system. Rotations of static models on a ceria support provides a way to understand the experimental samples in three dimensions, which is difficult in two dimensional TEM images. This project expands the possibilities of interpreting TEM images of catalytic systems.

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2021-05

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Pillar initiated growth of high indium content bulk InGaN to improve the material quality for photonic devices

Description

The goal of this research was to reduce dislocations and strain in high indium content bulk InGaN to improve quality for optical devices. In an attempt to achieve this goal, InGaN pillars were grown with compositions that matched the composition

The goal of this research was to reduce dislocations and strain in high indium content bulk InGaN to improve quality for optical devices. In an attempt to achieve this goal, InGaN pillars were grown with compositions that matched the composition of the bulk InGaN grown on top. Pillar height and density were optimized to facilitate coalescence on top of the pillars. It was expected that dislocations within the pillars would bend to side facets, thereby reducing the dislocation density in the bulk overgrowth, however this was not observed. It was also expected that pillars would be completely relaxed at the interface with the substrate. It was shown that pillars are mostly relaxed, but not completely. Mechanisms are proposed to explain why threading dislocations did not bend and how complete relaxation may have been achieved by mechanisms outside of interfacial misfit dislocation formation. Phase separation was not observed by TEM but may be related to the limitations of the sample or measurements. High indium observed at facets and stacking faults could be related to the extra photoluminescence peaks measured. This research focused on the InGaN pillars and first stages of coalescence on top of the pillars, saving bulk growth and device optimization for future research.

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Date Created
2011

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Characterization of HgCdTe and HgCdSe materials for third generation infrared detectors

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HgCdTe is the dominant material currently in use for infrared (IR) focal-plane-array (FPA) technology. In this dissertation, transmission electron microscopy (TEM) was used for the characterization of epitaxial HgCdTe epilayers and HgCdTe-based devices. The microstructure of CdTe surface passivation layers

HgCdTe is the dominant material currently in use for infrared (IR) focal-plane-array (FPA) technology. In this dissertation, transmission electron microscopy (TEM) was used for the characterization of epitaxial HgCdTe epilayers and HgCdTe-based devices. The microstructure of CdTe surface passivation layers deposited either by hot-wall epitaxy (HWE) or molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) on HgCdTe heterostructures was evaluated. The as-deposited CdTe passivation layers were polycrystalline and columnar. The CdTe grains were larger and more irregular when deposited by HWE, whereas those deposited by MBE were generally well-textured with mostly vertical grain boundaries. Observations and measurements using several TEM techniques showed that the CdTe/HgCdTe interface became considerably more abrupt after annealing, and the crystallinity of the CdTe layer was also improved. The microstructure and compositional profiles of CdTe(211)B/ZnTe/Si(211) heterostructures grown by MBE was investigated. Many inclined {111}-type stacking faults were present throughout the thin ZnTe layer, terminating near the point of initiation of CdTe growth. A rotation angle of about 3.5° was observed between lattice planes of the Si substrate and the final CdTe epilayer. Lattice parameter measurement and elemental profiles indicated that some local intermixing of Zn and Cd had taken place. The average widths of the ZnTe layer and the (Cd, Zn)Te transition region were found to be roughly 6.5 nm and 3.5 nm, respectively. Initial observations of CdTe(211)B/GaAs(211) heterostructures indicated much reduced defect densities near the vicinity of the substrate and within the CdTe epilayers. HgCdTe epilayers grown on CdTe(211)B/GaAs(211) composite substrate were generally of high quality, despite the presence of precipitates at the HgCdTe/CdTe interface. The microstructure of HgCdSe thin films grown by MBE on ZnTe/Si(112) and GaSb(112) substrates were investigated. The quality of the HgCdSe growth was dependent on the growth temperature and materials flux, independent of the substrate. The materials grown at 100°C were generally of high quality, while those grown at 140°C had {111}-type stacking defects and high dislocation densities. For epitaxial growth of HgCdSe on GaSb substrates, better preparation of the GaSb buffer layer will be essential in order to ensure that high-quality HgCdSe can be grown.

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Date Created
2011

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Characterization of MBE-grown semiconductor materials for photovoltaic applications

Description

The research described in this dissertation involved the use of transmission electron microscopy (TEM) to characterize II-VI and III-V compound semiconductor quantum dots (QDs) and dilute-nitride alloys grown by molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) and intended for photovoltaic applications. The morphology

The research described in this dissertation involved the use of transmission electron microscopy (TEM) to characterize II-VI and III-V compound semiconductor quantum dots (QDs) and dilute-nitride alloys grown by molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) and intended for photovoltaic applications. The morphology of CdTe QDs prepared by the post-annealing MBE method were characterized by various microscopy techniques including high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HR-TEM), and high-angle annular-dark-field scanning transmission electron microscopy (HAADF-STEM). Extensive observations revealed that the of QD shapes were not well-defined, and the QD size and spatial distribution were not determined by the amount of CdTe deposition. These results indicated that the formation of II-VI QDs using a post-annealing treatment did not follow the conventional growth mechanism for III-V and IV-IV materials. The structural properties of dilute-nitride GaAsNx films grown using plasma-assisted MBE were characterized by TEM and HAADF-STEM. A significant amount of the nitrogen incorporated into the dilute nitride films was found to be interstitial, and that fluctuations in local nitrogen composition also occurred during growth. Post-growth partial relaxation of strain resulted in the formation of {110}-oriented microcracks in the sample with the largest substitutional nitrogen composition. Single- and multi-layered InAs QDs grown on GaAsSb/GaAs composite substrates were investigated using HR-TEM and HAADF-STEM. Correlation between the structural and optoelectronic properties revealed that the GaAsSb barrier layers had played an important role in tuning the energy-band alignments but without affecting the overall structural morphology. However, according to both XRD measurement and electron microscopy the densities of dislocations increased as the number of QD layers built up. An investigation of near-wetting layer-free InAs QDs incorporated with AlAs/GaAs spacer layers was carried out. The microscopy observations revealed that both embedded and non-embedded near-wetting layer-free InAs QDs did not have well-defined shapes unlike conventional InAs QDs. According to AFM analysis and plan-view TEM characterization, the InAs QDs incorporated with spacer layers had smaller dot density and more symmetrical larger sizes with an apparent bimodal size distribution (two distinct families of large and small dots) in comparison with conventional InAs QDs grown without any spacer layer.

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2014

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Structural and optical properties of II-VI and III-V compound semiconductors

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This dissertation is on the study of structural and optical properties of some III-V and II-VI compound semiconductors. The first part of this dissertation is a study of the deformation mechanisms associated with nanoindentation and nanoscratching of InP, GaN, and

This dissertation is on the study of structural and optical properties of some III-V and II-VI compound semiconductors. The first part of this dissertation is a study of the deformation mechanisms associated with nanoindentation and nanoscratching of InP, GaN, and ZnO crystals. The second part is an investigation of some fundamental issues regarding compositional fluctuations and microstructure in GaInNAs and InAlN alloys. In the first part, the microstructure of (001) InP scratched in an atomic force microscope with a small diamond tip has been studied as a function of applied normal force and crystalline direction in order to understand at the nanometer scale the deformation mechanisms in the zinc-blende structure. TEM images show deeper dislocation propagation for scratches along <110> compared to <100>. High strain fields were observed in <100> scratches, indicating hardening due to locking of dislocations gliding on different slip planes. Reverse plastic flow have been observed in <110> scratches in the form of pop-up events that result from recovery of stored elastic strain. In a separate study, nanoindentation-induced plastic deformation has been studied in c-, a-, and m-plane ZnO single crystals and c-plane GaN respectively, to study the deformation mechanism in wurtzite hexagonal structures. TEM results reveal that the prime deformation mechanism is slip on basal planes and in some cases, on pyramidal planes, and strain built up along particular directions. No evidence of phase transformation or cracking was observed in both materials. CL imaging reveals quenching of near band-edge emission by dislocations. In the second part, compositional inhomogeneity in quaternary GaInNAs and ternary InAlN alloys has been studied using TEM. It is shown that exposure to antimony during growth of GaInNAs results in uniform chemical composition in the epilayer, as antimony suppresses the surface mobility of adatoms that otherwise leads to two-dimensional growth and elemental segregation. In a separate study, compositional instability is observed in lattice-matched InAlN films grown on GaN, for growth beyond a certain thickness. Beyond 200 nm of thickness, two sub-layers with different indium content are observed, the top one with lower indium content.

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Date Created
2013