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Molecular electronic transducer-based seismometer and accelerometer fabricated with micro-electro-mechanical systems techniques

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This thesis presents approaches to develop micro seismometers and accelerometers based on molecular electronic transducers (MET) technology using MicroElectroMechanical Systems (MEMS) techniques. MET is a technology applied in seismic instrumentation that proves highly beneficial to planetary seismology. It consists of

This thesis presents approaches to develop micro seismometers and accelerometers based on molecular electronic transducers (MET) technology using MicroElectroMechanical Systems (MEMS) techniques. MET is a technology applied in seismic instrumentation that proves highly beneficial to planetary seismology. It consists of an electrochemical cell that senses the movement of liquid electrolyte between electrodes by converting it to the output current. MET seismometers have advantages of high sensitivity, low noise floor, small size, absence of fragile mechanical moving parts and independence on the direction of sensitivity axis. By using MEMS techniques, a micro MET seismometer is developed with inter-electrode spacing close to 1μm, which improves the sensitivity of fabricated device to above 3000 V/(m/s^2) under operating bias of 600 mV and input acceleration of 400 μG (G=9.81m/s^2) at 0.32 Hz. The lowered hydrodynamic resistance by increasing the number of channels improves the self-noise to -127 dB equivalent to 44 nG/√Hz at 1 Hz. An alternative approach to build the sensing element of MEMS MET seismometer using SOI process is also presented in this thesis. The significantly increased number of channels is expected to improve the noise performance. Inspired by the advantages of combining MET and MEMS technologies on the development of seismometer, a low frequency accelerometer utilizing MET technology with post-CMOS-compatible fabrication processes is developed. In the fabricated accelerometer, the complicated fabrication of mass-spring system in solid-state MEMS accelerometer is replaced with a much simpler post-CMOS-compatible process containing only deposition of a four-electrode MET structure on a planar substrate, and a liquid inertia mass of an electrolyte droplet encapsulated by oil film. The fabrication process does not involve focused ion beam milling which is used in the micro MET seismometer fabrication, thus the cost is lowered. Furthermore, the planar structure and the novel idea of using an oil film as the sealing diaphragm eliminate the complicated three-dimensional packaging of the seismometer. The fabricated device achieves 10.8 V/G sensitivity at 20 Hz with nearly flat response over the frequency range from 1 Hz to 50 Hz, and a low noise floor of 75 μG/√Hz at 20 Hz.

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2014

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Design of a twelve bit, four hundred mega-samples-per-second, interpolating dual channel digital to analog converter featuring digital modulation

Description

Digital to analog converters (DACs) find widespread use in communications equipment. Most commercially available DAC's which are intended to be used in transmitter applications come in a dual configuration for carrying the in phase (I) and quadrature (Q) data and

Digital to analog converters (DACs) find widespread use in communications equipment. Most commercially available DAC's which are intended to be used in transmitter applications come in a dual configuration for carrying the in phase (I) and quadrature (Q) data and feature on chip digital mixing. Digital mixing offers many benefits concerning I and Q matching but has one major drawback; the update rate of the DAC must be higher than the intermediate frequency (IF) which is most commonly a factor of 4. This drawback motivates the need for interpolation so that a low update rate can be used for components preceding the DACs. In this thesis the design of an interpolating DAC integrated circuit (IC) to be used in a transmitter application for generating a 100MHz IF is presented. Many of the transistor level implementations are provided. The tradeoffs in the design are analyzed and various options are discussed. This thesis provides a basic foundation for designing an IC of this nature and will give the reader insight into potential areas of further research. At the time of this writing the chip is in fabrication therefore this document does not contain test results.

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2013

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Mechanics of silicon electrodes in lithium ion batteries

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As one of the most promising materials for high capacity electrode in next generation of lithium ion batteries, silicon has attracted a great deal of attention in recent years. Advanced characterization techniques and atomic simulations helped to depict that the

As one of the most promising materials for high capacity electrode in next generation of lithium ion batteries, silicon has attracted a great deal of attention in recent years. Advanced characterization techniques and atomic simulations helped to depict that the lithiation/delithiation of silicon electrode involves processes including large volume change (anisotropic for the initial lithiation of crystal silicon), plastic flow or softening of material dependent on composition, electrochemically driven phase transformation between solid states, anisotropic or isotropic migration of atomic sharp interface, and mass diffusion of lithium atoms. Motivated by the promising prospect of the application and underlying interesting physics, mechanics coupled with multi-physics of silicon electrodes in lithium ion batteries is studied in this dissertation. For silicon electrodes with large size, diffusion controlled kinetics is assumed, and the coupled large deformation and mass transportation is studied. For crystal silicon with small size, interface controlled kinetics is assumed, and anisotropic interface reaction is studied, with a geometry design principle proposed. As a preliminary experimental validation, enhanced lithiation and fracture behavior of silicon pillars via atomic layer coatings and geometry design is studied, with results supporting the geometry design principle we proposed based on our simulations. Through the work documented here, a consistent description and understanding of the behavior of silicon electrode is given at continuum level and some insights for the future development of the silicon electrode are provided.

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2014

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A comprehensive study of impact of growth conditions on structural and magnetic properties of CZTB thin films

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Soft magnetic materials have been studied extensively in the recent past due to their applications in micro-transformers, micro-inductors, spin dependent memories etc. The unique features of these materials are the high frequency operability and high magnetic anisotropy. High uniaxial anisotropy

Soft magnetic materials have been studied extensively in the recent past due to their applications in micro-transformers, micro-inductors, spin dependent memories etc. The unique features of these materials are the high frequency operability and high magnetic anisotropy. High uniaxial anisotropy is one of the most important properties for these materials. There are many methods to achieve high anisotropy energy (Hk) which include sputtering with presence of magnetic field, exchange bias and oblique angle sputtering.

This research project focuses on analyzing different growth techniques of thin films of Cobalt, Zirconium Tantalum Boron (CZTB) and the quality of the films resulted. The measurements include magnetic moment measurements using a Vibrating Sample Magnetometer, electrical measurements using 4 point resistivity methods and structural characterization using Scanning Electron Microscopy. Subtle changes in the growth mechanism result in different properties of these films and they are most suited for certain applications.

The growth methods presented in this research are oblique angled sputtering with localized magnetic field and oblique sputtering without presence of magnetic field. The uniaxial anisotropy can be controlled by changing the angle during sputtering. The resulting film of CZTB is tested for magnetic anisotropy and soft magnetism at room temperature by using Lakeshore 7500 Vibrating Sample Magnetometer. The results are presented, analyzed and explained using characterization techniques. Future work includes magnetic field presence during deposition, magnetic devices of this film with giga hertz range operating frequencies.

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2015

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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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Role of defects interactions with embrittlement species in iron: a multiscale perspective

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Hydrogen embrittlement (HE) is a phenomenon that affects both the physical and chemical properties of several intrinsically ductile metals. Consequently, understanding the mechanisms behind HE has been of particular interest in both experimental and modeling research. Discrepancies between experimental observations

Hydrogen embrittlement (HE) is a phenomenon that affects both the physical and chemical properties of several intrinsically ductile metals. Consequently, understanding the mechanisms behind HE has been of particular interest in both experimental and modeling research. Discrepancies between experimental observations and modeling results have led to various proposals for HE mechanisms. Therefore, to gain insights into HE mechanisms in iron, this dissertation aims to investigate several key issues involving HE such as: a) the incipient crack tip events; b) the cohesive strength of grain boundaries (GBs); c) the dislocation-GB interactions and d) the dislocation mobility.

The crack tip, which presents a preferential trap site for hydrogen segregation, was examined using atomistic methods and the continuum based Rice-Thompson criterion as sufficient concentration of hydrogen can alter the crack tip deformation mechanism. Results suggest that there is a plausible co-existence of the adsorption induced dislocation emission and hydrogen enhanced decohesion mechanisms. In the case of GB-hydrogen interaction, we observed that the segregation of hydrogen along the interface leads to a reduction in cohesive strength resulting in intergranular failure. A methodology was further developed to quantify the role of the GB structure on this behavior.

GBs play a fundamental role in determining the strengthening mechanisms acting as an impediment to the dislocation motion; however, the presence of an unsurmountable barrier for a dislocation can generate slip localization that could further lead to intergranular crack initiation. It was found that the presence of hydrogen increases the strain energy stored within the GB which could lead to a transition in failure mode. Finally, in the case of body centered cubic metals, understanding the complex screw dislocation motion is critical to the development of an accurate continuum description of the plastic behavior. Further, the presence of hydrogen has been shown to drastically alter the plastic deformation, but the precise role of hydrogen is still unclear. Thus, the role of hydrogen on the dislocation mobility was examined using density functional theory and atomistic simulations. Overall, this dissertation provides a novel atomic-scale understanding of the HE mechanism and development of multiscale tools for future endeavors.

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2015

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Process characterization of silver iodide-silver metaphosphate ionic glass molding for solid state superionic stamping

Description

In this research work, the process optimization of silver iodide-silver meta phosphate ionic glass molding for solid state super ionic stamping was performed. Solid state super ionic stamping is a process of all solid ambient condition electrochemical nano patterning technique.

In this research work, the process optimization of silver iodide-silver meta phosphate ionic glass molding for solid state super ionic stamping was performed. Solid state super ionic stamping is a process of all solid ambient condition electrochemical nano patterning technique. In solid state super ionic stamping, anodic dissolution on a solid electrolyte –metal interface and subsequent charge-mass transport in the solid electrolyte is used for obtaining nanometer features on the metallic surface. The solid electrolyte referred to as the stamp is pre-patterned with features to be obtained on the metallic surface. This research developed the process for obtaining stamp with specific dimensions by making use of compression molding. The compression molding process was optimized by varying the five process parameters-temperature, pressure, holding time, pressing time and cooling time. The objective of the process optimization was to obtain best geometrical features for the stamp including flatness and surface roughness and by optimizing the compression molding process, stamp with minimum flatness and surface roughness was obtained. After the experimental optimization of the process was completed, statistical analysis was performed to understand the relative significance of the process parameters and the interaction of the process parameters on the flatness and surface roughness values of the molded stamp. Structural characterization was performed to obtain the variation of average domain size of ionic glass particles within the molded glass disk by varying the process parameters of holding time, pressing time and cooling time.

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2015

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Development of a robust and integrated methodology for predicting the reliability of microelectronic packaging systems

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Ball Grid Array (BGA) using lead-free or lead-rich solder materials are widely used as Second Level Interconnects (SLI) in mounting packaged components to the printed circuit board (PCB). The reliability of these solder joints is of significant importance to the

Ball Grid Array (BGA) using lead-free or lead-rich solder materials are widely used as Second Level Interconnects (SLI) in mounting packaged components to the printed circuit board (PCB). The reliability of these solder joints is of significant importance to the performance of microelectronics components and systems. Product design/form-factor, solder material, manufacturing process, use condition, as well as, the inherent variabilities present in the system, greatly influence product reliability. Accurate reliability analysis requires an integrated approach to concurrently account for all these factors and their synergistic effects. Such an integrated and robust methodology can be used in design and development of new and advanced microelectronics systems and can provide significant improvement in cycle-time, cost, and reliability. IMPRPK approach is based on a probabilistic methodology, focusing on three major tasks of (1) Characterization of BGA solder joints to identify failure mechanisms and obtain statistical data, (2) Finite Element analysis (FEM) to predict system response needed for life prediction, and (3) development of a probabilistic methodology to predict the reliability, as well as, the sensitivity of the system to various parameters and the variabilities. These tasks and the predictive capabilities of IMPRPK in microelectronic reliability analysis are discussed.

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2013

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3D modeling of incipient spall damage in shocked FCC multicrystals

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Shock loading is a complex phenomenon that can lead to failure mechanisms such as strain localization, void nucleation and growth, and eventually spall fracture. Studying incipient stages of spall damage is of paramount importance to accurately determine initiation sites in

Shock loading is a complex phenomenon that can lead to failure mechanisms such as strain localization, void nucleation and growth, and eventually spall fracture. Studying incipient stages of spall damage is of paramount importance to accurately determine initiation sites in the material microstructure where damage will nucleate and grow and to formulate continuum models that account for the variability of the damage process due to microstructural heterogeneity. The length scale of damage with respect to that of the surrounding microstructure has proven to be a key aspect in determining sites of failure initiation. Correlations have been found between the damage sites and the surrounding microstructure to determine the preferred sites of spall damage, since it tends to localize at and around the regions of intrinsic defects such as grain boundaries and triple points. However, considerable amount of work still has to be done in this regard to determine the physics driving the damage at these intrinsic weak sites in the microstructure. The main focus of this research work is to understand the physical mechanisms behind the damage localization at these preferred sites. A crystal plasticity constitutive model is implemented with different damage criteria to study the effects of stress concentration and strain localization at the grain boundaries. A cohesive zone modeling technique is used to include the intrinsic strength of the grain boundaries in the simulations. The constitutive model is verified using single elements tests, calibrated using single crystal impact experiments and validated using bicrystal and multicrystal impact experiments. The results indicate that strain localization is the predominant driving force for damage initiation and evolution. The microstructural effects on theses damage sites are studied to attribute the extent of damage to microstructural features such as grain orientation, misorientation, Taylor factor and the grain boundary planes. The finite element simulations show good correlation with the experimental results and can be used as the preliminary step in developing accurate probabilistic models for damage nucleation.

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2013

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Study of interface adhesive properties of wurtzite materials for carbon fiber composites

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Recently, the use of zinc oxide (ZnO) nanowires as an interphase in composite materials has been demonstrated to increase the interfacial shear strength between carbon fiber and an epoxy matrix. In this research work, the strong adhesion between ZnO and

Recently, the use of zinc oxide (ZnO) nanowires as an interphase in composite materials has been demonstrated to increase the interfacial shear strength between carbon fiber and an epoxy matrix. In this research work, the strong adhesion between ZnO and carbon fiber is investigated to elucidate the interactions at the interface that result in high interfacial strength. First, molecular dynamics (MD) simulations are performed to calculate the adhesive energy between bare carbon and ZnO. Since the carbon fiber surface has oxygen functional groups, these were modeled and MD simulations showed the preference of ketones to strongly interact with ZnO, however, this was not observed in the case of hydroxyls and carboxylic acid. It was also found that the ketone molecules ability to change orientation facilitated the interactions with the ZnO surface. Experimentally, the atomic force microscope (AFM) was used to measure the adhesive energy between ZnO and carbon through a liftoff test by employing highly oriented pyrolytic graphite (HOPG) substrate and a ZnO covered AFM tip. Oxygen functionalization of the HOPG surface shows the increase of adhesive energy. Additionally, the surface of ZnO was modified to hold a negative charge, which demonstrated an increase in the adhesive energy. This increase in adhesion resulted from increased induction forces given the relatively high polarizability of HOPG and the preservation of the charge on ZnO surface. It was found that the additional negative charge can be preserved on the ZnO surface because there is an energy barrier since carbon and ZnO form a Schottky contact. Other materials with the same ionic properties of ZnO but with higher polarizability also demonstrated good adhesion to carbon. This result substantiates that their induced interaction can be facilitated not only by the polarizability of carbon but by any of the materials at the interface. The versatility to modify the magnitude of the induced interaction between carbon and an ionic material provides a new route to create interfaces with controlled interfacial strength.

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2013