Matching Items (16)

Microwave-assisted Sol-gel Synthesis of the MAX Phases Cr2GaC, Cr2GeC, and V2GeC

Description

MAX phases are ternary carbides or nitrides that possess unique material characteristics, often simplified as a mix of metallic and ceramic properties. Many aspects of MAX phases are still being

MAX phases are ternary carbides or nitrides that possess unique material characteristics, often simplified as a mix of metallic and ceramic properties. Many aspects of MAX phases are still being researched, but they have exciting potential applications in high-temperature structural systems, the next generation of nuclear power plants, and concentrated solar power. This project aims to benefit further research into these applications by validating a rapid unconventional synthesis method: microwave-assisted sol-gel synthesis. Three MAX phases (Cr2GaC, Cr2GeC, and V2GeC) were successfully synthesized via this route, which should open the door for more rapid prototyping and ultimately more efficient research.

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Date Created
  • 2021-05

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Magnetic domain structure in nanocrystalline Ni-Zn-Co spinel ferrite thin films using off-axis electron holography

Description

We report a study of the magnetic domain structure of nanocrystalline thin films of nickel-zinc ferrite. The ferrite films were synthesized using aqueous spin-spray coating at low temperature (∼90 °C) and

We report a study of the magnetic domain structure of nanocrystalline thin films of nickel-zinc ferrite. The ferrite films were synthesized using aqueous spin-spray coating at low temperature (∼90 °C) and showed high complex permeability in the GHz range. Electron microscopy and microanalysis revealed that the films consisted of columnar grains with uniform chemical composition. Off-axis electron holography combined with magnetic force microscopy indicated a multi-grain domain structure with in-plane magnetization. The correlation between the magnetic domain morphology and crystal structure is briefly discussed.

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Date Created
  • 2014-08-28

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Novel transparent composite electrodes and mixed oxide layers for improved flexible electronics

Description

Transparent conductive oxides (TCO) comprise a class of materials that exhibit unique combination of high transparency in the visible region along with high electrical conductivity. TCOs play an important role

Transparent conductive oxides (TCO) comprise a class of materials that exhibit unique combination of high transparency in the visible region along with high electrical conductivity. TCOs play an important role as transparent electrodes for optoelectronic devices such as solar cell panels, liquid crystal displays, transparent heat mirrors and organic light emitting devices (OLED). The most commonly used transparent electrodes in optoelectronic applications is indium tin oxide (ITO) due to its low resistivity (~ 10−4 Ω-cm) and high transmittance (~ 80 %). However, the limited supply of indium and the growing demand for ITO make the resulting fabrication costs prohibitive for future industry. Thus, cost factors have promoted the search for inexpensive materials with good electric-optical properties.

The object of this work is to study the structure-property-processing relationship and optimize a suitable transparent electrode with the intent to optimize them for flexible optoelectronics applications. The work focuses on improved processing of the mixed oxide (indium gallium zinc oxide, IGZO) thin films for superior optical and electrical properties. The study focuses on two different methods of post-deposition annealing-microwave and conventional. The microwave annealing was seen to have the dual advantage of reduced time and lower temperature, as compared to conventional annealing. Another work focuses on an indium free transparent composite electrode (TCE) where a very thin metal layer is inserted between the two TCO layers. A novel Nb2O5/Ag/Nb2O5 multilayered structure can exhibit better electrical and optical properties than a single layered TCO thin film. The focus for low cost alternative leads to a TiO2/metal/TiO2 based TCE. A systematic study was done to understand the effect of metal thickness and substituting different metals (Ag, Cu or Au) on the opto-electrical properties of the TCEs. The TiO2/Ag/TiO2 with mid Ag thickness 9.5 nm has been optimized to have a sheet resistance of 5.7 Ohm/sq. average optical transmittance of 90 % at 550 nm and figure of merit with 61.4 ×10-3 Ω-1. The TCEs showed improved optical and electrical properties when annealed in forming gas and vacuum. These dielectric/metal/dielectric multilayer TCEs have lower total thickness and are more efficient than a single-layer ITO film.

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Date Created
  • 2015

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Microstructure Development in Direct Metal Laser Sintered Inconel Alloy 718

Description

The microstructure development of Inconel alloy 718 (IN718) during conventional processing has been extensively studied and much has been discovered as to the mechanisms behind the exceptional creep resistance that

The microstructure development of Inconel alloy 718 (IN718) during conventional processing has been extensively studied and much has been discovered as to the mechanisms behind the exceptional creep resistance that the alloy exhibits. More recently with the development of large scale 3D printing of alloys such as IN718 a new dimension of complexity has emerged in the understanding of alloy microstructure development, hence, potential alloy development opportunity for IN718.

This study is a broad stroke at discovering possible alternate microstructures developing in Direct-Metal-Laser-Sintering (DMLS) processed IN718 compared to those in conventional wrought IN718. The main inspiration for this study came from creep test results from several DMLS IN718 samples at Honeywell that showed a significant

improvement in creep capabilities for DMLS718 compared to cast and wrought IN718 (Honeywell).

From this data the steady-state creep rates were evaluated and fitted to current creep models in order to identify active creep mechanisms in conventional and DMLS IN718 and illuminate the potential factors responsible for the improved creep behavior in DMSL processed IN718.

Because rapid heating and cooling can introduce high internal stress and impact microstructural development, such as gamma double prime formations (Oblak et al.), leading to differences in material behavior, DMLS and conventional IN718 materials are studied using SEM and TEM characterization to investigate sub-micron and/or nano-scale

microstructural differences developed in the DMLS samples as a result of their complex thermal history and internal stress.

The preliminary analysis presented in this body of work is an attempt to better understand the effect of DMLS processing in quest for development of optimization techniques for DMLS as a whole. A historical sketch of nickel alloys and the development of IN718 is given. A literature review detailing the microstructure of IN718 is presented. Creep data analysis and identification of active creep mechanisms are evaluated. High-resolution microstructural characterization of DMLS and wrought IN718 are discussed in detail throughout various chapters of this thesis. Finally, an initial effort in developing a processing model that would allow for parameter optimization is presented.

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Date Created
  • 2017

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Atomic-level analysis of oxygen exchange reactions on ceria-based catalysts

Description

Non-stoichiometric oxides play a critical role in many catalytic, energy, and sensing technologies, providing the ability to reversibly exchange oxygen with the ambient environment through the creation and annihilation of

Non-stoichiometric oxides play a critical role in many catalytic, energy, and sensing technologies, providing the ability to reversibly exchange oxygen with the ambient environment through the creation and annihilation of surface oxygen vacancies. Oxygen exchange at the surfaces of these materials is strongly influenced by atomic structure, which varies significantly across nanoparticle surfaces. The studies presented herein elucidate the relationship between surface structure behaviors and oxygen exchange reactions on ceria (CeO2) catalyst materials. In situ aberration-corrected transmission electron microscopy (AC-TEM) techniques were developed and employed to correlate dynamic atomic-level structural heterogeneities to local oxygen vacancy activity.

A model Ni/CeO2 catalyst was used to probe the role of a ceria support during hydrocarbon reforming reactions, and it was revealed that carbon formation was inhibited on Ni metal nanoparticles due to the removal of lattice oxygen from the ceria support and subsequent oxidation of adsorbed decomposed hydrocarbon products. Atomic resolution observations of surface oxygen vacancy creation and annihilation were performed on CeO2 nanoparticle surfaces using a novel time-resolved in situ AC-TEM approach. Cation displacements were found to be related to oxygen vacancy creation and annihilation, and the most reactive surface oxygen sites were identified by monitoring the frequency of cation displacements. In addition, the dynamic evolution of CeO2 surface structures was characterized with high temporal resolution AC-TEM imaging, which resulted in atomic column positions and occupancies to be determined with a combination of spatial precision and temporal resolution that had not previously been achieved. As a result, local lattice expansions and contractions were observed on ceria surfaces, which were likely related to cyclic oxygen vacancy activity. Finally, local strain fields on CeO2 surfaces were quantified, and it was determined that local strain enhanced the ability of a surface site to create oxygen vacancies. Through the characterization of dynamic surface structures with advanced AC-TEM techniques, an improvement in the fundamental understanding of how ceria surfaces influence and control oxygen exchange reactions was obtained.

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Date Created
  • 2019

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Interfacial and electrode modifications in P₃HT:PC₆₁BM based organic solar cells: devices, processing and characterization

Description

The inexorable upsurge in world’s energy demand has steered the search for newer renewable energy sources and photovoltaics seemed to be one of the best alternatives for energy production. Among

The inexorable upsurge in world’s energy demand has steered the search for newer renewable energy sources and photovoltaics seemed to be one of the best alternatives for energy production. Among the various photovoltaic technologies that emerged, organic/polymer photovoltaics based on solution processed bulk-heterojunctions (BHJ) of semiconducting polymers has gained serious attention owing to the use of inexpensive light-weight materials, exhibiting high mechanical flexibility and compatibility with low temperature roll-to-roll manufacturing techniques on flexible substrates. The most widely studied material to date is the blend of regioregular P3HT and PC61BM used as donor and acceptor materials. The object of this study was to investigate and improve the performance/stability of the organic solar cells by use of inexpensive materials. In an attempt to enhance the efficiency of organic solar cells, we have demonstrated the use of hexamethyldisilazane (HMDS) modified indium tin oxide (ITO) electrode in bulk heterojunction solar cell structure The device studies showed a significant enhancement in the short-circuit current as well as in the shunt resistance on use of the hexamethyldisilazane (HMDS) layer. In another approach a p-type CuI hole-transport layer was utilized that could possibly replace the acidic PEDOT:PSS layer in the fabrication of high-efficiency solar cells. The device optimization was done by varying the concentration of CuI in the precursor solution which played an important role in the efficiency of the solar cell devices. Recently a substantial amount of research has been focused on identifying suitable interfacial layers in organic solar cells which has efficient charge transport properties. It was illustrated that a thin layer of silver oxide interfacial layer showed a 28% increase in power conversion efficiency in comparison to that of the control cell. The optoelectronic properties and morphological features of indium-free ZnO/Ag/MoOx electrodes was also studied. Organic solar cells on these composite electrodes revealed good optical and electrical properties, making them a promising alternative indium free and PEDOT:PSS-free organic solar cells. Lastly, inverted solar cells utilizing zinc oxide and yttrium doped zinc oxide electron transport was also created and their device properties revealed that optimum annealing conditions and yttrium doping was essential to obtain high efficiency solar cells.

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Date Created
  • 2015

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

Description

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

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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Date Created
  • 2014

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In-situ environmental TEM studies for developing structure-activity relationship in supported metal catalyst

Description

In-situ environmental transmission electron microscopy (ETEM) is a powerful tool for following the evolution of supported metal nanoparticles under different reacting gas conditions at elevated temperatures. The ability to observe

In-situ environmental transmission electron microscopy (ETEM) is a powerful tool for following the evolution of supported metal nanoparticles under different reacting gas conditions at elevated temperatures. The ability to observe the events in real time under reacting gas conditions can provide significant information on the fundamental processes taking place in catalytic materials, from which the performance of the catalyst can be understood. The first part of this dissertation presents the application of in-situ ETEM studies in developing structure-activity relationship in supported metal nanoparticles. In-situ ETEM studies on nanostructures in parallel with ex-situ reactor studies of conversions and selectivities were performed for partial oxidation of methane (POM) to syngas (CO+H2) on Ni/SiO2, Ru/SiO2 and NiRu/SiO2 catalysts. During POM, the gas composition varies along the catalyst bed with increasing temperature. It is important to consider these variations in gas composition in order to design experiments for in-situ ETEM. In-situ ETEM experiments were performed under three different reacting gas conditions. First in the presence of H2, this represents the state of the fresh catalyst for the catalytic reaction. Later in the presence of CH4 and O2 in 2:1 ratio, this is the composition of the reacting gases for the POM reaction and this composition acts as an oxidizing environment. Finally in the presence of CH4, this is the reducing gas. Oxidation and reduction behavior of Ni, Ru and NiRu nanoparticles were followed in an in-situ ETEM under reacting gas conditions and the observations were correlated with the performance of the catalyst for POM. The later part of the dissertation presents a technique for determining the gas compositional analysis inside the in-situ ETEM using electron energy-loss spectroscopy. Techniques were developed to identify the gas composition using both inner-shell and low-loss spectroscopy of EELS. Using EELS, an "operando TEM" technique was successfully developed for detecting the gas phase catalysis inside the ETEM. Overall this research demonstrates the importance of in-situ ETEM studies in understanding the structure-activity relationship in supported-metal catalysts for heterogeneous catalysis application.

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Date Created
  • 2011

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New nanostructured aluminosilicates from geopolymer chemistry

Description

Geopolymers, a class of X-ray amorphous, ceramic-like aluminosilicate materials are produced at ambient temperatures through a process called geopolymerization. Due to both low energy requirement during synthesis and interesting

Geopolymers, a class of X-ray amorphous, ceramic-like aluminosilicate materials are produced at ambient temperatures through a process called geopolymerization. Due to both low energy requirement during synthesis and interesting mechanical and chemical properties, geopolymers are grabbing enormous attention. Although geopolymers have a broad range of applications including thermal/acoustic insulation and waste immobilization, they are always prepared in monolithic form. The primary aim of this study is to produce new nanostructured materials from the geopolymerization process, including porous monoliths and powders.

In view of the current interest in porous geopolymers for non-traditional applications, it is becoming increasingly important to develop synthetic techniques to introduce interconnected pores into the geopolymers. This study presents a simple synthetic route to produce hierarchically porous geopolymers via a reactive emulsion templating process utilizing triglyceride oil. In this new method, highly alkaline geopolymer resin is mixed with canola oil to form a homogeneous viscous emulsion which, when cured at 60 °C, gives a hard monolithic material. During the process, the oil in the alkaline emulsion undergoes a saponification reaction to decompose into water-soluble soap and glycerol molecules which are extracted to yield porous geopolymers. Nitrogen sorption studies indicates the presence of mesopores, whereas the SEM studies reveals that the mesoporous geopolymer matrix is dotted with spherical macropores. The method exhibits flexibility in that the pore structure of the final porous geopolymers products can be adjusted by varying the precursor composition.

In a second method, the geopolymerization process is modified to produce highly dispersible geopolymer particles, by activating metakaolin with sodium silicate solutions containing excess alkali, and curing for short duration under moist conditions. The produced geopolymer particles exhibit morphology similar to carbon blacks and structured silicas, while also being stable over a wide pH range.

Finally, highly crystalline hierarchical faujasite zeolites are prepared by yet another modification of the geopolymerization process. In this technique, the second method is combined with a saponification reaction of triglyceride oil. The resulting hierarchical zeolites exhibit superior CO2-sorption properties compared to equivalent commercially available and currently reported materials. Additionally, the simplicity of all three of these techniques means they are readily scalable.

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Date Created
  • 2015

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Studies of singly and multiply charged secondary ion emission and the effects of oxygen on ionization and sputter erosion

Description

Mass spectrometric analysis requires that atoms from the sample be ionized in the gas phase. Secondary ion mass spectrometry achieves this by sputtering samples with an energetic primary ion beam.

Mass spectrometric analysis requires that atoms from the sample be ionized in the gas phase. Secondary ion mass spectrometry achieves this by sputtering samples with an energetic primary ion beam. Several investigations of the sputtering and ionization process have been conducted. Oxygen is commonly used in secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) to increase ion yields, but also can complicate the interpretation of SIMS analyses. An 18O implant in silicon has been used to quantify the oxygen concentration at the surface of sputtered silicon in order to study the dependence on oxygen of several sputtering and depth profile phenomena. The ion yield dependence of trace elements in silicon on the surface oxygen concentration is a function of the ionization potential of the element. The ion yield is high and unaffected by oxygen for elements with low ionization potential and ranges over several orders of magnitude for elements with high ionization potential. Depth resolution in sputter profiles has been shown to be degraded by the presence of oxygen, the mechanism of this effect has been investigated using an 18O implant to quantify oxygen levels and it is shown that the process does not appear to be a consequence of surface oxide formation. Molecular ions are a source of mass interference in SIMS analysis, and multiply charged atomic ion signals might be interference-free due to the possible instability of multiply-charged molecular ions. Sputtered SiH2+, AlH2+, BeH2+, Mo22+ and Mg22+ ions have been observed and appear surprisingly stable. The formation mechanism of some of these species has been explored.

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Date Created
  • 2012