Matching Items (7)

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Temperature dependent qualities of amorphous silicon and amorphous silicon carbide passivating stacks

Description

Layers of intrinsic hydrogenated amorphous silicon and amorphous silicon carbide

were prepared on a polished, intrinsic crystalline silicon substrate via plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition to simulate heterojunction device relevant stacks of

Layers of intrinsic hydrogenated amorphous silicon and amorphous silicon carbide

were prepared on a polished, intrinsic crystalline silicon substrate via plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition to simulate heterojunction device relevant stacks of various materials. The minority carrier lifetime, optical band gap and FTIR spectra were observed at incremental stages of thermal annealing. By observing the changes in the lifetimes the sample structure responsible for the most thermally robust surface passivation could be determined. These results were correlated to the optical band gap and the position and relative area of peaks in the FTIR spectra related to to silicon-hydrogen bonds in the layers. It was found that due to an increased presence of hydrogen bonded to silicon at voids within the passivating layer, hydrogenated amorphous silicon carbide at the interface of the substrate coupled with a hydrogenated amorphous silicon top layer provides better passivation after high temperature annealing than other device structures.

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Date Created
  • 2016

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Amorphous weathering products: evidence for basalt-water interactions and the relevance to paleo-environments on Mars

Description

Amorphous phases are detected over large regions of the Martian surface from orbit and in more localized deposits by rovers on the surface. Amorphous silicates can be primary or secondary

Amorphous phases are detected over large regions of the Martian surface from orbit and in more localized deposits by rovers on the surface. Amorphous silicates can be primary or secondary in origin, both having formed through very different processes, so the unambiguous identification of these phases is important for understanding the geologic history of Mars. Secondary amorphous silicates are poorly understood and underrepresented in spectral libraries because they lack the long-range structural order that makes their crystalline counterparts identifiable in most analytical techniques. Fortunately, even amorphous materials have some degree of short-range order so that distinctions can be made with careful characterization.

Two sets of laboratory experiments were used to produce and characterize amorphous weathering products under probable conditions for the Martian surface, and one global spectral analysis using thermal-infrared (TIR) data from the Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) instrument was used to constrain variations in amorphous silicates across the Martian surface. The first set of experiments altered crystalline and glassy basalt samples in an open system under strong (pH 1) and moderate (pH 3) acidic conditions. The second set of experiments simulated a current-day Martian weathering scenario involving transient liquid water where basalt glass weathering solutions, formed in circumneutral (pH ~5.5 and 7) conditions, were rapidly evaporated, precipitating amorphous silicates. The samples were characterized using visible and near-infrared (VNIR) spectroscopy, TIR spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS), and X-ray diffraction (XRD).

All experiments formed amorphous silicate phases that are new to spectral libraries. Moderately acidic alteration experiments produced no visible or spectral evidence of alteration products, whereas exposure of basalt glass to strongly acidic fluids produced silica-rich alteration layers that are spectrally consistent with VNIR and TIR spectra from the circum-polar region of Mars, indicating this region has undergone acidic weathering. Circum-netural pH basalt weathering solution precipitates are consistent with amorphous materials measured by rovers in soil and rock surface samples in Gale and Gusev Craters, suggesting transient water interactions over the last 3 billion years. Global spectral analyses determine that alteration conditions have varied across the Martian surface, and that alteration has been long lasting.

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Date Created
  • 2016

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Fluctuation electron microscopy of amorphous and polycrystalline materials

Description

Fluctuation Electron Microscopy (FEM) has become an effective materials' structure characterization technique, capable of probing medium-range order (MRO) that may be present in amorphous materials. Although its sensitivity to MRO

Fluctuation Electron Microscopy (FEM) has become an effective materials' structure characterization technique, capable of probing medium-range order (MRO) that may be present in amorphous materials. Although its sensitivity to MRO has been exercised in numerous studies, FEM is not yet a quantitative technique. The holdup has been the discrepancy between the computed kinematical variance and the experimental variance, which previously was attributed to source incoherence. Although high-brightness, high coherence, electron guns are now routinely available in modern electron microscopes, they have not eliminated this discrepancy between theory and experiment. The main objective of this thesis was to explore, and to reveal, the reasons behind this conundrum.

The study was started with an analysis of the speckle statistics of tilted dark-field TEM images obtained from an amorphous carbon sample, which confirmed that the structural ordering is sensitively detected by FEM. This analysis also revealed the inconsistency between predictions of the source incoherence model and the experimentally observed variance.

FEM of amorphous carbon, amorphous silicon and ultra nanocrystalline diamond samples was carried out in an attempt to explore the conundrum. Electron probe and sample parameters were varied to observe the scattering intensity variance behavior. Results were compared to models of probe incoherence, diffuse scattering, atom displacement damage, energy loss events and multiple scattering. Models of displacement decoherence matched the experimental results best.

Decoherence was also explored by an interferometric diffraction method using bilayer amorphous samples, and results are consistent with strong displacement decoherence in addition to temporal decoherence arising from the electron source energy spread and energy loss events in thick samples.

It is clear that decoherence plays an important role in the long-standing discrepancy between experimental FEM and its theoretical predictions.

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Date Created
  • 2015

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Characterizing pressure induced structural changes in glasses and liquids

Description

The behaviors of various amorphous materials are characterized at high pressures to deduce phase transitions, coordination changes, densification, and other structural or electronic alterations in the system. Alongside, improvements on

The behaviors of various amorphous materials are characterized at high pressures to deduce phase transitions, coordination changes, densification, and other structural or electronic alterations in the system. Alongside, improvements on high pressure techniques are presented to measure equations of state of glassy materials and probe liquids using in-situ high resolution nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. 27Al NMR is used to quantify coordination changes in CaAl2O4 glass pressure cycled to 16 GPa. The structure and coordination environments remain unchanged up to 8 GPa at which 93% of the recovered glass exists as 4-fold Al, whereas the remaining population exists as [5,6]Al. Upon densification, [5,6]Al comprise nearly 30% of observed Al, most likely through the generation of 3-coordinated oxygen. A method to determine the volumetric equation of state of amorphous solids using optical microscopy in a diamond anvil cell is also described. The method relies on two dimensional image acquisition and analysis to quantify changes in the projected image area with compression. The area analysis method is used to determine the compression of cubic crystals, yielding results in good agreement with diffraction and volumetric measurements. A NMR probe capable of reaching 3 GPa is built to understand the nature of magnetic field gradients and improve upon the resolution of high pressure studies conducted in a diamond anvil cell. Field gradients in strength up to 6 G/cm are caused largely by mismatches in the magnetic susceptibility between the sample and gasket, which is proven to shift the chemical shift distribution by use of several different metallic gaskets. Polyamorphic behavior in triphenyl phosphite is studied at pressures up to 0.7 GPa to elucidate the formation of the glacial phase at high pressures. A perceived liquid-liquid phase transition is shown to follow a positive Clapeyron slope, and closely follows the predicted glass transition line up to 0.4 GPa and temperatures below 270 K. A drastic change in morphology is indicative of a transformation from liquid I to liquid II and followed by optical microscopy.

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Date Created
  • 2012

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Structural modeling of two dimensional amorphous materials

Description

The continuous random network (CRN) model of network glasses is widely accepted as a model for materials such as vitreous silica and amorphous silicon. Although it

has been more than eighty

The continuous random network (CRN) model of network glasses is widely accepted as a model for materials such as vitreous silica and amorphous silicon. Although it

has been more than eighty years since the proposal of the CRN, there has not been conclusive experimental evidence of the structure of glasses and amorphous

materials. This has now changed with the advent of two-dimensional amorphous materials. Now, not only the distribution of rings but the actual atomic ring

structure can be imaged in real space, allowing for greater charicterization of these types of networks. This dissertation reports the first work done

on the modelling of amorphous graphene and vitreous silica bilayers. Models of amorphous graphene have been created using a Monte Carlo bond-switching method

and MD method. Vitreous silica bilayers have been constructed using models of amorphous graphene and the ring statistics of silica bilayers has been studied.

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Date Created
  • 2014

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Network models for materials and biological systems

Description

The properties of materials depend heavily on the spatial distribution and connectivity of their constituent parts. This applies equally to materials such as diamond and glasses as it does to

The properties of materials depend heavily on the spatial distribution and connectivity of their constituent parts. This applies equally to materials such as diamond and glasses as it does to biomolecules that are the product of billions of years of evolution. In science, insight is often gained through simple models with characteristics that are the result of the few features that have purposely been retained. Common to all research within in this thesis is the use of network-based models to describe the properties of materials. This work begins with the description of a technique for decoupling boundary effects from intrinsic properties of nanomaterials that maps the atomic distribution of nanomaterials of diverse shape and size but common atomic geometry onto a universal curve. This is followed by an investigation of correlated density fluctuations in the large length scale limit in amorphous materials through the analysis of large continuous random network models. The difficulty of estimating this limit from finite models is overcome by the development of a technique that uses the variance in the number of atoms in finite subregions to perform the extrapolation to large length scales. The technique is applied to models of amorphous silicon and vitreous silica and compared with results from recent experiments. The latter part this work applies network-based models to biological systems. The first application models force-induced protein unfolding as crack propagation on a constraint network consisting of interactions such as hydrogen bonds that cross-link and stabilize a folded polypeptide chain. Unfolding pathways generated by the model are compared with molecular dynamics simulation and experiment for a diverse set of proteins, demonstrating that the model is able to capture not only native state behavior but also partially unfolded intermediates far from the native state. This study concludes with the extension of the latter model in the development of an efficient algorithm for predicting protein structure through the flexible fitting of atomic models to low-resolution cryo-electron microscopy data. By optimizing the fit to synthetic data through directed sampling and context-dependent constraint removal, predictions are made with accuracies within the expected variability of the native state.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2011

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Elastic properties of molecular glass thin films

Description

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

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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Created

Date Created
  • 2011