Matching Items (51)

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Synthesis and characterization of thionated reduced graphene oxides and their thin films

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Thiol functionalization is one potentially useful way to tailor physical and chemical properties of graphene oxides (GOs) and reduced graphene oxides (RGOs). Despite the ubiquitous presence of thiol functional groups in diverse chemical systems, efficient thiol functionalization has been challenging

Thiol functionalization is one potentially useful way to tailor physical and chemical properties of graphene oxides (GOs) and reduced graphene oxides (RGOs). Despite the ubiquitous presence of thiol functional groups in diverse chemical systems, efficient thiol functionalization has been challenging for GOs and RGOs, or for carbonaceous materials in general. In this work, thionation of GOs has been achieved in high yield through two new methods that also allow concomitant chemical reduction/thermal reduction of GOs; a solid-gas metathetical reaction method with boron sulfides (BxSy) gases and a solvothermal reaction method employing phosphorus decasulfide (P4S10). The thionation products, called "mercapto reduced graphene oxides (m-RGOs)", were characterized by employing X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, powder X-ray diffraction, UV-Vis spectroscopy, FT-IR spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, electron probe analysis, scanning electron microscopy, (scanning) transmission electron microscopy, nano secondary ion mass spectrometry, Ellman assay and atomic force microscopy. The excellent dispersibility of m-RGOs in various solvents including alcohols has allowed fabrication of thin films of m-RGOs. Deposition of m-RGOs on gold substrates was achieved through solution deposition and the m-RGOs were homogeneously distributed on gold surface shown by atomic force microscopy. Langmuir-Blodgett (LB) films of m-RGOs were obtained by transferring their Langmuir films, formed by simple drop casting of m-RGOs dispersion on water surface, onto various substrates including gold, glass and indium tin oxide. The m-RGO LB films showed low sheet resistances down to about 500 kΩ/sq at 92% optical transparency. The successful results make m-RGOs promising for applications in transparent conductive coatings, biosensing, etc.

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2013

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Study of charges present in silicon nitride thin films and their effect on silicon solar cell efficiencies

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As crystalline silicon solar cells continue to get thinner, the recombination of carriers at the surfaces of the cell plays an ever-important role in controlling the cell efficiency. One tool to minimize surface recombination is field effect passivation from the

As crystalline silicon solar cells continue to get thinner, the recombination of carriers at the surfaces of the cell plays an ever-important role in controlling the cell efficiency. One tool to minimize surface recombination is field effect passivation from the charges present in the thin films applied on the cell surfaces. The focus of this work is to understand the properties of charges present in the SiNx films and then to develop a mechanism to manipulate the polarity of charges to either negative or positive based on the end-application. Specific silicon-nitrogen dangling bonds (·Si-N), known as K center defects, are the primary charge trapping defects present in the SiNx films. A custom built corona charging tool was used to externally inject positive or negative charges in the SiNx film. Detailed Capacitance-Voltage (C-V) measurements taken on corona charged SiNx samples confirmed the presence of a net positive or negative charge density, as high as +/- 8 x 1012 cm-2, present in the SiNx film. High-energy (~ 4.9 eV) UV radiation was used to control and neutralize the charges in the SiNx films. Electron-Spin-Resonance (ESR) technique was used to detect and quantify the density of neutral K0 defects that are paramagnetically active. The density of the neutral K0 defects increased after UV treatment and decreased after high temperature annealing and charging treatments. Etch-back C-V measurements on SiNx films showed that the K centers are spread throughout the bulk of the SiNx film and not just near the SiNx-Si interface. It was also shown that the negative injected charges in the SiNx film were stable and present even after 1 year under indoor room-temperature conditions. Lastly, a stack of SiO2/SiNx dielectric layers applicable to standard commercial solar cells was developed using a low temperature (< 400 °C) PECVD process. Excellent surface passivation on FZ and CZ Si substrates for both n- and p-type samples was achieved by manipulating and controlling the charge in SiNx films.

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2013

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Growth and characterization of novel thin films for microelectronic applications

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I studied the properties of novel Co2FeAl0.5Si0.5 (CFAS), ZnGeAs2, and FeS2 (pyrite) thin films for microelectronic applications ranging from spintronic to photovoltaic. CFAS is a half metal with theoretical spin polarization of 100%. I investigated its potential as a spin

I studied the properties of novel Co2FeAl0.5Si0.5 (CFAS), ZnGeAs2, and FeS2 (pyrite) thin films for microelectronic applications ranging from spintronic to photovoltaic. CFAS is a half metal with theoretical spin polarization of 100%. I investigated its potential as a spin injector, for spintronic applications, by studying the critical steps involved in the injection of spin polarized electron populations from tunnel junctions containing CFAS electrodes. Epitaxial CFAS thin films with L21 structure and saturation magnetizations of over 1200 emu/cm3 were produced by optimization of the sputtering growth conditions. Point contact Andreev reflection measurements show that the spin polarization at the CFAS electrode surface exceeds 70%. Analyses of the electrical properties of tunnel junctions with a superconducting Pb counter-electrode indicate that transport through native Al oxide barriers is mostly from direct tunneling, while that through the native CFAS oxide barriers is not. ZnGeAs2 is a semiconductor comprised of only inexpensive and earth-abundant elements. The electronic structure and defect properties are similar in many ways to GaAs. Thus, in theory, efficient solar cells could be made with ZnGeAs2 if similar quality material to that of GaAs could be produced. To understand the thermochemistry and determine the rate limiting steps of ZnGeAs2 thin-film synthesis, the (a) thermal decomposition rate and (b) elemental composition and deposition rate of films were measured. It is concluded that the ZnGeAs2 thin film synthesis is a metastable process with an activation energy of 1.08±0.05 eV for the kinetically-limited decomposition rate and an evaporation coefficient of ~10-3. The thermochemical analysis presented here can be used to predict optimal conditions of ZnGeAs2 physical vapor deposition and thermal processing. Pyrite (FeS2) is another semiconductor that has tremendous potential for use in photovoltaic applications if high quality materials could be made. Here, I present the layer-by-layer growth of single-phase pyrite thin-films on heated substrates using sequential evaporation of Fe under high-vacuum followed by sulfidation at S pressures between 1 mTorr and 1 Torr. High-resolution transmission electron microscopy reveals high-quality, defect-free pyrite grains were produces by this method. It is demonstrated that epitaxial pyrite layer was produced on natural pyrite substrates with this method.

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2013

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Optical properties and electrochemical dealloying of gold-silver alloy nanoparticles immobilized on composite thin-tilm electrodes

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Gold-silver alloy nanoparticles (NPs) capped with adenosine 5'-triphosphate were synthesized by borohydride reduction of dilute aqueous metal precursors. High-resolution transmission electron microscopy showed the as-synthesized particles to be spherical with average diameters ~4 nm. Optical properties were measured by UV-Visible

Gold-silver alloy nanoparticles (NPs) capped with adenosine 5'-triphosphate were synthesized by borohydride reduction of dilute aqueous metal precursors. High-resolution transmission electron microscopy showed the as-synthesized particles to be spherical with average diameters ~4 nm. Optical properties were measured by UV-Visible spectroscopy (UV-Vis), and the formation of alloy NPs was verified across all gold:silver ratios by a linear shift in the plasmon band maxima against alloy composition. The molar absorptivities of the NPs decreased non-linearly with increasing gold content from 2.0 x 108 M-1 cm-1 (fÉmax = 404 nm) for pure silver to 4.1 x 107 M-1 cm-1 (fÉmax = 511 nm) for pure gold. The NPs were immobilized onto transparent indium-tin oxide composite electrodes using layer-by-layer (LbL) deposition with poly(diallyldimethylammonium) acting as a cationic binder. The UV-Vis absorbance of the LbL film was used to calculate the surface coverage of alloy NPs on the electrode. Typical preparations had average NP surface coverages of 2.8 x 10-13 mol NPs/cm2 (~5% of cubic closest packing) with saturated films reaching ~20% of ccp for single-layer preparations (1.0 ~ 10-12 mol NPs/cm2). X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy confirmed the presence of alloy NPs in the LbL film and showed silver enrichment of the NP surfaces by ~9%. Irreversible oxidative dissolution (dealloying) of the less noble silver atoms from the NPs on LbL electrodes was performed by cyclic voltammetry (CV) in sulfuric acid. Alloy NPs with higher gold content required larger overpotentials for silver dealloying. Dealloying of the more-noble gold atoms from the alloy NPs was also achieved by CV in sodium chloride. The silver was oxidized first to cohesive silver chloride, and then gold dealloyed to soluble HAuCl4- at higher potentials. Silver oxidation was inhibited during the first oxidative scan, but subsequent cycles showed typical, reversible silver-to-silver chloride voltammetry. The potentials for both silver oxidation and gold dealloying also shifted to more oxidizing potentials with increasing gold content, and both processes converged for alloy NPs with >60% gold content. Charge-mediated electrochemistry of silver NPs immobilized in LbL films, using Fc(meOH) as the charge carrier, showed that 67% of the NPs were electrochemically inactive.

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2014

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Potential materials for fuel cells

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Proton exchange membrane fuel cells have attracted immense research activities from the inception of the technology due to its high stability and performance capabilities. The major obstacle from commercialization is the cost of the catalyst material in manufacturing the fuel

Proton exchange membrane fuel cells have attracted immense research activities from the inception of the technology due to its high stability and performance capabilities. The major obstacle from commercialization is the cost of the catalyst material in manufacturing the fuel cell. In the present study, the major focus in PEMFCs has been in reduction of the cost of the catalyst material using graphene, thin film coated and Organometallic Molecular catalysts. The present research is focused on improving the durability and active surface area of the catalyst materials with low platinum loading using nanomaterials to reduce the effective cost of the fuel cells. Performance, Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, oxygen reduction and surface morphology studies were performed on each manufactured material.

Alkaline fuel cells with anion exchange membrane get immense attention due to very attractive opportunity of using non-noble metal catalyst materials. In the present study, cathodes with various organometallic cathode materials were prepared and investigated for alkaline membrane fuel cells for oxygen reduction and performance studies. Co and Fe Phthalocyanine catalyst materials were deposited on multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) support materials. Membrane Electrode Assemblies (MEAs) were fabricated using Tokuyama Membrane (#A901) with cathodes containing Co and Fe Phthalocyanine/MWCNTs and Pt/C anodes. Fuel cell performance of the MEAs was examined.

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2014

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Synthesis and characterization of erbium compound nanowires as high gain optical materials

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Integrated photonics requires high gain optical materials in the telecom wavelength range for optical amplifiers and coherent light sources. Erbium (Er) containing materials are ideal candidates due to the 1.5 μm emission from Er3+ ions. However, the Er density in

Integrated photonics requires high gain optical materials in the telecom wavelength range for optical amplifiers and coherent light sources. Erbium (Er) containing materials are ideal candidates due to the 1.5 μm emission from Er3+ ions. However, the Er density in typical Er-doped materials is less than 1 x 1020 cm-3, thus limiting the maximum optical gain to a few dB/cm, too small to be useful for integrated photonics applications. Er compounds could potentially solve this problem since they contain much higher Er density. So far the existing Er compounds suffer from short lifetime and strong upconversion effects, mainly due to poor quality of crystals produced by various methods of thin film growth and deposition. This dissertation explores a new Er compound: erbium chloride silicate (ECS, Er3(SiO4)2Cl ) in the nanowire form, which facilitates the growth of high quality single crystals. Growth methods for such single crystal ECS nanowires have been established. Various structural and optical characterizations have been carried out. The high crystal quality of ECS material leads to a long lifetime of the first excited state of Er3+ ions up to 1 ms at Er density higher than 1022 cm-3. This Er lifetime-density product was found to be the largest among all Er containing materials. A unique integrating sphere method was developed to measure the absorption cross section of ECS nanowires from 440 to 1580 nm. Pump-probe experiments demonstrated a 644 dB/cm signal enhancement from a single ECS wire. It was estimated that such large signal enhancement can overcome the absorption to result in a net material gain, but not sufficient to compensate waveguide propagation loss. In order to suppress the upconversion process in ECS, Ytterbium (Yb) and Yttrium (Y) ions are introduced as substituent ions of Er in the ECS crystal structure to reduce Er density. While the addition of Yb ions only partially succeeded, erbium yttrium chloride silicate (EYCS) with controllable Er density was synthesized successfully. EYCS with 30 at. % Er was found to be the best. It shows the strongest PL emission at 1.5 μm, and thus can be potentially used as a high gain material.

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2013

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Growth and characterization of thin films of high performance microwave dielectrics

Description

Microwave dielectrics are widely used to make resonators and filters in telecommunication systems. The production of thin films with high dielectric constant and low loss could potentially enable a marked reduction in the size of devices and systems. However, studies

Microwave dielectrics are widely used to make resonators and filters in telecommunication systems. The production of thin films with high dielectric constant and low loss could potentially enable a marked reduction in the size of devices and systems. However, studies of these materials in thin film form are very sparse. In this research, experiments were carried out on practical high-performance dielectrics including ZrTiO4-ZnNb2O6 (ZTZN) and Ba(Co,Zn)1/3Nb2/3O3 (BCZN) with high dielectric constant and low loss tangent. Thin films were deposited by laser ablation on various substrates, with a systematical study of growth conditions like substrate temperature, oxygen pressure and annealing to optimize the film quality, and the compositional, microstructural, optical and electric properties were characterized. The deposited ZTZN films were randomly oriented polycrystalline on Si substrate and textured on MgO substrate with a tetragonal lattice change at elevated temperature. The BCZN films deposited on MgO substrate showed superior film quality relative to that on other substrates, which grow epitaxially with an orientation of (001) // MgO (001) and (100) // MgO (100) when substrate temperature was above 500 oC. In-situ annealing at growth temperature in 200 mTorr oxygen pressure was found to enhance the quality of the films, reducing the peak width of the X-ray Diffraction (XRD) rocking curve to 0.53o and the χmin of channeling Rutherford Backscattering Spectrometry (RBS) to 8.8% when grown at 800oC. Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) was used to study the topography and found a monotonic decrease in the surface roughness when the growth temperature increased. Optical absorption and transmission measurements were used to determine the energy bandgap and the refractive index respectively. A low-frequency dielectric constant of 34 was measured using a planar interdigital measurement structure. The resistivity of the film is ~3×1010 ohm·cm at room temperature and has an activation energy of thermal activated current of 0.66 eV.

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2013

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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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2013

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Elastic properties of molecular glass thin films

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This dissertation provides a fundamental understanding of the impact of bulk polymer properties on the nanometer length scale modulus. The elastic modulus of amorphous organic thin films is examined using a surface wrinkling technique. Potential correlations between thin film behavior

This dissertation provides a fundamental understanding of the impact of bulk polymer properties on the nanometer length scale modulus. The elastic modulus of amorphous organic thin films is examined using a surface wrinkling technique. Potential correlations between thin film behavior and intrinsic properties such as flexibility and chain length are explored. Thermal properties, glass transition temperature (Tg) and the coefficient of thermal expansion, are examined along with the moduli of these thin films. It is found that the nanometer length scale behavior of flexible polymers correlates to its bulk Tg and not the polymers intrinsic size. It is also found that decreases in the modulus of ultrathin flexible films is not correlated with the observed Tg decrease in films of the same thickness. Techniques to circumvent reductions from bulk modulus were also demonstrated. However, as chain flexibility is reduced the modulus becomes thickness independent down to 10 nm. Similarly for this series minor reductions in Tg were obtained. To further understand the impact of the intrinsic size and processing conditions; this wrinkling instability was also utilized to determine the modulus of small organic electronic materials at various deposition conditions. Lastly, this wrinkling instability is exploited for development of poly furfuryl alcohol wrinkles. A two-step wrinkling process is developed via an acid catalyzed polymerization of a drop cast solution of furfuryl alcohol and photo acid generator. The ability to control the surface topology and tune the wrinkle wavelength with processing parameters such as substrate temperature and photo acid generator concentration is also demonstrated. Well-ordered linear, circular, and curvilinear patterns are also obtained by selective ultraviolet exposure and polymerization of the furfuryl alcohol film. As a carbon precursor a thorough understanding of this wrinkling instability can have applications in a wide variety of technologies.

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2011

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Simulating texture evolution and grain growth in metallic thin films

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Thin films of ever reducing thickness are used in a plethora of applications and their performance is highly dependent on their microstructure. Computer simulations could then play a vital role in predicting the microstructure of thin films as a function

Thin films of ever reducing thickness are used in a plethora of applications and their performance is highly dependent on their microstructure. Computer simulations could then play a vital role in predicting the microstructure of thin films as a function of processing conditions. FACET is one such software tool designed by our research group to model polycrystalline thin film growth, including texture evolution and grain growth of polycrystalline films in 2D. Several modifications to the original FACET code were done to enhance its usability and accuracy. Simulations of sputtered silver thin films are presented here with FACET 2.0 with qualitative and semi-quantitative comparisons with previously published experimental results. Comparisons of grain size, texture and film thickness between simulations and experiments are presented which describe growth modes due to various deposition factors like flux angle and substrate temperature. These simulations provide reasonable agreement with the experimental data over a diverse range of process parameters. Preliminary experiments in depositions of Silver films are also attempted with varying substrates and thickness in order to generate complementary experimental and simulation studies of microstructure evolution. Overall, based on the comparisons, FACET provides interesting insights into thin film growth processes, and the effects of various deposition conditions on thin film structure and microstructure. Lastly, simple molecular dynamics simulations of deposition on bi-crystals are attempted for gaining insight into texture based grain competition during film growth. These simulations predict texture based grain coarsening mechanisms like twinning and grain boundary migration that have been commonly reported in FCC films.

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2011