Matching Items (4)

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Simulation of Atomic Structure around Defects in Anatase

Description

Titanium dioxide is an essential material under research for energy and environmental applications, chiefly through its photocatalytic properties. These properties allow it to be used for water-splitting, detoxification, and

Titanium dioxide is an essential material under research for energy and environmental applications, chiefly through its photocatalytic properties. These properties allow it to be used for water-splitting, detoxification, and photovoltaics, in addition to its conventional uses in pigmentation and sunscreen. Titanium dioxide exists in several polymorphic structures, of which the most common are rutile and anatase. We focused on anatase for the purposes of this research, due to its promising results for hydrolysis.

Anatase exists often in its reduced form (TiO2-x), enabling it to perform redox reactions through the absorption and release of oxygen into/from the crystal lattice. These processes result in structural changes, induced by defects in the material, which can theoretically be observed using advanced characterization methods. In situ electron microscopy is one of such methods, and can provide a window into these structural changes. However, in order to interpret the structural evolution caused by defects in materials, it is often necessary and pertinent to use atomistic simulations to compare the experimental images with models.

In this thesis project, we modeled the defect structures in anatase, around oxygen vacancies and at surfaces, using molecular dynamics, benchmarked with density functional theory. Using a “reactive” forcefield designed for the simulation of interactions between anatase and water that can model and treat bonding through the use of bond orders, different vacancy structures were analyzed and simulated. To compare these theoretical, generated models with experimental data, the “multislice approach” to TEM image simulation was used. We investigated a series of different vacancy configurations and surfaces and generated fingerprints for comparison with TEM experiments. This comparison demonstrated a proof of concept for a technique suggesting the possibility for the identification of oxygen vacancy structures directly from TEM images. This research aims to improve our atomic-level understanding of oxide materials, by providing a methodology for the analysis of vacancy formation from very subtle phenomena in TEM images.

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Date Created
  • 2019-05

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Exploring Pentagonal Geometries for Discovering Novel Two-Dimensional Materials

Description

Single-layer pentagonal materials have received limited attention compared with their counterparts with hexagonal structures. They are two-dimensional (2D) materials with pentagonal structures, that exhibit novel electronic, optical, or magnetic properties.

Single-layer pentagonal materials have received limited attention compared with their counterparts with hexagonal structures. They are two-dimensional (2D) materials with pentagonal structures, that exhibit novel electronic, optical, or magnetic properties. There are 15 types of pentagonal tessellations which allow plenty of options for constructing 2D pentagonal lattices. Few of them have been explored theoretically or experimentally. Studying this new type of 2D materials with density functional theory (DFT) will inspire the discovery of new 2D materials and open up applications of these materials in electronic and magnetic devices.In this dissertation, DFT is applied to discover novel 2D materials with pentagonal structures. Firstly, I examine the possibility of forming a 2D nanosheet with the vertices of type 15 pentagons occupied by boron, silicon, phosphorous, sulfur, gallium, germanium or tin atoms. I obtain different rearranged structures such as a single-layer gallium sheet with triangular patterns. Then the exploration expands to other 14 types of pentagons, leading to the discoveries of carbon nanosheets with Cairo tessellation (type 2/4 pentagons) and other patterns. The resulting 2D structures exhibit diverse electrical properties. Then I reveal the hidden Cairo tessellations in the pyrite structures and discover a family of planar 2D materials (such as PtP2), with a chemical formula of AB2 and space group pa ̄3. The combination of DFT and geometries opens up a novel route for the discovery of new 2D materials. Following this path, a series of 2D pentagonal materials such as 2D CoS2 are revealed with promising electronic and magnetic applications. Specifically, the DFT calculations show that CoS2 is an antiferromagnetic semiconductor with a band gap of 2.24 eV, and a N ́eel temperature of about 20 K. In order to enhance the superexchange interactions between the ions in this binary compound, I explore the ternary 2D pentagonal material CoAsS, that lacks the inversion symmetry. I find out CoAsS exhibits a higher Curie temperature of 95 K and a sizable piezoelectricity (d11=-3.52 pm/V). In addition to CoAsS, 34 ternary 2D pentagonal materials are discovered, among which I focus on FeAsS, that is a semiconductor showing strong magnetocrystalline anisotropy and sizable Berry curvature. Its magnetocrystalline anisotropy energy is 440 μeV/Fe ion, higher than many other 2D magnets that have been found.
Overall, this work not only provides insights into the structure-property relationship of 2D pentagonal materials and opens up a new route of studying 2D materials by combining geometry and computational materials science, but also shows the potential applications of 2D pentagonal materials in electronic and magnetic devices.

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Date Created
  • 2020

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Phase-Field Modeling of Electromigration-Mediated Morphological Evolution of Voids in Interconnects

Description

Miniaturization of microdevices comes at the cost of increased circuit complexity and operating current densities. At high current densities, the resulting electron wind imparts a large momentum to metal ions

Miniaturization of microdevices comes at the cost of increased circuit complexity and operating current densities. At high current densities, the resulting electron wind imparts a large momentum to metal ions triggering electromigration which leads to degradation of interconnects and solder, ultimately resulting in circuit failure. Although electromigration-induced defects in electronic materials can manifest in several forms, the formation of voids is a common occurrence. This research aims at understanding the morphological evolution of voids under electromigration by formulating a diffuse interface approach that accounts for anisotropic mobility in the metallic interconnect. Based on an extensive parametric study, this study reports the conditions under which pancaking of voids or the novel void ‘swimming’ regimes are observed. Finally, inferences are drawn to formulate strategies using which the reliability of interconnects can be improved.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2020

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Computational Design of Compositionally Complex 3D and 2D Semiconductors

Description

The structural and electronic properties of compositionally complex semiconductors have long been of both theoretical interest and engineering importance. As a new class of materials with an intrinsic compositional complexity,

The structural and electronic properties of compositionally complex semiconductors have long been of both theoretical interest and engineering importance. As a new class of materials with an intrinsic compositional complexity, medium entropy alloys (MEAs) are immensely studied mainly for their excellent mechanical properties. The electronic properties of MEAs, however, are less well investigated. In this thesis, various properties such as electronic, spin, and thermal properties of two three-dimensional (3D) and two two-dimensional (2D) compositionally complex semiconductors are demonstrated to have promising various applications in photovoltaic, thermoelectric, and spin quantum bits (qubits).3D semiconducting Si-Ge-Sn and C3BN alloys is firstly introduced. Density functional theory (DFT) calculations and Monte Carlo simulations show that the Si1/3Ge1/3Sn1/3 MEA exhibits a large local distortion effect yet no chemical short-range order. Single vacancies in this MEA can be stabilized by bond reformations while the alloy retains semiconducting. DFT and molecular dynamics calculations predict that increasing the compositional disorder in SiyGeySnx MEAs enhances their electrical conductivity while weakens the thermal conductivity at room temperature, making the SiyGeySnx MEAs promising functional materials for thermoelectric devices. Furthermore, the nitrogen-vacancy (NV) center analog in C3BN (NV-C3BN) is studied to explore its applications in quantum computers. This analog possesses similar properties to the NV center in diamond such as a highly localized spin density and strong hyperfine interactions, making C3BN suitable for hosting spin qubits. The analog also displays two zero-phonon-line energies corresponding to wavelengths close to the ideal telecommunication band width, useful for quantum communications.
2D semiconducting transition metal chalcogenides (TMCs) and PtPN are also investigated. The quaternary compositionally complex TMCs show tunable properties such as in-plane lattice constants, band gaps, and band alignment, using a high through-put workflow from DFT calculations in conjunction with the virtual crystal approximation. A novel 2D semiconductor PtPN of direct bandgap is also predicted, based on pentagonal tessellation.
The work in the thesis offers guidance to the experimental realization of these novel semiconductors, which serve as valuable prototypes of other compositionally complex systems from other elements.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2020