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The correlation between the structural and optical properties of Si nanocrystals embedded in SiO2 is the key factor to understand their emission mechanism. However, there is a great difficulty in imaging Si nanocrystals in SiO2 and measuring their size distribution because of the lack of contrast in electron microscopy. We have used here a new method for imaging Si nanocrystals by using high resolution electron microscopy in conjunction with conventional electron microscopy in dark field conditions. Regarding the optical properties, the band-gap energies and photoluminescence have been measured by direct and independent methods. The results have allowed experimental determination, for the first time in this material, of the experimental Stokes shift between absorption and emission as a function of crystallite size. The experimental band-gap versus size correlates well with the most accurate theoretical predictions. Moreover, the photoluminescence energy emission versus crystallite size shows a parallel behaviour to that of band-gap energy. Consequently, the experimental Stokes shift is independent of nanocrystal size and is found to be 0.26±0.03 eV. This value is almost twice the energy of the Si-O vibration (0.134 eV). These results suggest that the dominant emission of Si nanocrystals passivated with SiO2 is a fundamental transition spatially located at the Si-SiO2 interface and with the assistance of a local Si-O vibration.
Dilute III-Nx-V1-x alloys were successfully synthesized by nitrogen implantation in GaAs and InP. The fundamental band gap energy for the ion beam synthesized III-Nx-V1-x alloys was found to decrease with increasing N implantation dose in a manner similar to that commonly observed in epitaxially grown GaNxAs1-x and InNxP1-x thin films. The fraction of N occupying anion sites (“active” N) in the GaNxAs1-x layers formed by N implantation was thermally unstable and decreased with increasing annealing temperature. In contrast, thermally stable InNxP1-x alloys with N mole fraction as high as 0.012 were synthesized by N implantation in InP. Moreover, the N activation efficiency in InP was at least a factor of two higher than in GaAs under similar processing conditions. The low N activation efficiency (<20%) in GaAs can be improved by co-implanting Ga and N in GaAs.
In this work we report the structural and optical properties of ion implanted GaN. Potential acceptors such as Ca and Er were used as dopants. Ion implantation was carried out with the substrate at room temperature and 550 °C, respectively. The lattice site location of the dopants was studied by Rutherford backscattering/channeling combined with particle induced X-ray emission. Angular scans along both  and  directions show that 50% of the Er ions implanted at 550 oC occupy substitutional or near substitutional Ga sites after annealing. For Ca we found only a fraction of 30% located in displaced Ga sites along the  direction. The optical properties of the ion implanted GaN films have been studied by photoluminescence measurements. Er- related luminescence near 1.54 μm is observed under below band gap excitation at liquid helium temperature. The spectra of the annealed samples consist of multiline structures with the sharpest lines found in GaN until now. The green and red emissions were also observed in the Er doped samples after annealing.
The effect of ion beams on the formation of Si nanoclusters from a-SiOx films and their luminescence properties is investigated. a-SiOx films with Si content ranging from 33 to 50 at. % were deposited by Electron Cyclotron Resonance Plasma Enhanced Chemical Vapor Deposition (ECR-PECVD) of SiH4 and O2. Prior to anneal, some samples were implanted with 380 keV Si to a dose ranging from 5.7 × 1014 cm-2 to 5.7 × 1016 cm-2. All films were rapid thermal annealed under flowing Ar environment, and hydrogenated after anneals to passivate defects and to enhance the luminescence of Si nanoclusters. For films with Si content less than 40 at. %, ion beam slightly reduces the photoluminescence (PL) intensity and induces a slight blueshift of the luminescence. For films with Si content greater than 40 at. %, ion beam greatly increases the PL intensity. Based on the effect of the ion beams dose and the ion specie, we propose that ion beams damage greatly promotes nucleation of small Si clusters from the a-SiOx matrix.
Dental enamel is a unique composite bioceramic material that is the hardest tissue in the vertebrate body, containing long-, thin-crystallites of substituted hydroxyapatite. Enamel functions under immense loads in a bacterial-laden environment, and generally without catastrophic failure over a lifetime for the organism. Unlike all other biogenerated hard tissues of mesodermal origin, such as bone and dentin, enamel is produced by ectoderm-derived cells called ameloblasts. Recent investigations on the formation of enamel using cell and molecular approaches have been coupled to biomechanical investigations at the nanoscale and mesoscale levels. For amelogenin, the principle protein of forming enamel, two domains have been identified that are required for the proper assembly of multimeric units of amelogenin to form nanospheres. One domain is at the amino-terminus and the other domain in the carboxyl-terminal region. Amelogenin nanospheres are believed to influence the hydroxyapatite crystal habit. Both the yeast two-hybrid assay and surface plasmon resonance have been used to examine the assembly properties of engineered amelogenin proteins. Amelogenin protein was engineered using recombinant DNA techniques to contain deletions to either of the two self-assembly domains. Amelogenin protein was also engineered to contain single amino-acid mutations/substitutions in the amino-terminal self-assembly domain; and these amino-acid changes are based upon point mutations observed in humans affected with a hereditary disturbance of enamel formation. All of these alterations reveal significant defects in amelogenin self-assembly into nanospheres in vitro. Transgenic animals containing these same amelogenin deletions illustrate the importance of a physiologically correct bio-fabrication of the enamel protein extracellular matrix to allow for the organization of the enamel prismatic structure.
Woven fabric ceramic composites fabricated by the chemical vapor infiltration method are susceptible to high void content and inhomogeneity. The condition of such materials may be characterized nondestructively with ultrasonic methods. In this work, longitudinal and shear waves were used in the quantitative determination of elastic constants of NicalonTM/SiC composites as a function of volume percent of porosity. Elastic stiffness constants were obtained for both the inplane and out-of-plane directions with respect to fiber fabric. The effect of porosity on the modulus of woven fabric composites was also modelled and compared to the measured results. Scan images based on the amplitude and time-of-flight of radio frequency (RF) ultrasonic pulses were used for evaluating the material homogeneity for the purpose of optimizing the manufacturing process and for correlation with the mechanical testing results.
Nucleation of gold nanoclusters in TiO2(110) single crystal using ion implantation and subsequent annealing were studied by Rutherford backscattering spectrometry /channeling (RBS/C), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Approximately 1000 Au2+/nm2 were implanted at room temperature in TiO2(110) substrates. TEM and SEM measurements reveal that rounded nanoclusters were formed during the implantation. In contrast, subsequent annealing in air for 10 hours at 1275 K promoted the formation of faceted (rectangular shaped) Au nanostructures in TiO2. RBS channeling measurements further reveled that Au atoms randomly occupied the host TiO2 lattice during the implantation. However, it appears that some Au atoms moved to the Ti lattice positions after annealing.
This paper reviews the recent developments in the understanding of the radiation-damage processes in A2B2O7 (Fd3m; Z=8) pyrochlore-structure compounds. Pyrochlore structure compounds display a wide range of behaviors in response to ion beam irradiation. Some compositions, such as Gd2Ti2O7, are amorphized at relatively low doses (∼0.2 dpa at room temperature) while other compositions, such as Gd2Zr2O7, do not amorphize (even at doses of 36 dpa at 25 K) and instead disorder to a defect fluorite structure. The response to ion beam irradiation is highly dependent on compositional changes that affect both the structural distortion from the ideal fluorite structure and the associated energetics of the disordering process. Generally, the ionic size of the cations plays a dominant role in determining the radiation response of different pyrochlore compositions. However, the cation ionic radius ratio criteria cannot be applied all-inclusively in predicting the radiation “tolerance” of a pyrochlore. Systematic irradiation studies of the radiation response of rare-earth (A-site) pyrochlores in which B = Ti, Zr, and Sn have shown that the behavior of the pyrochlore also depends on the cation electronic structure, i.e., the type of bonding, which is closely related to the polyhedral distortion and structural deviation from the ideal fluorite structure. These structural changes affect the dynamic defect recovery process directly linked to the material's response to and recovery from irradiation.
Gas Cluster Ion Beam (GCIB) processing has recently emerged as a novel surface smoothing technique to improve the finish of chemical-mechanical polished (CMP) GaSb (100) and InSb (111) wafers. This technique is capable of improving the smoothness CMP surfaces and simultaneously producing a thin desorbable oxide layer for molecular beam epitaxial growth. By implementing recipes with specific gas mixtures, cluster energy sequences, and doses, an engineered oxide can be produced. Using GaSb wafers with a high quality CMP finish, we have demonstrated surface smoothing of GaSb by reducing the average roughness from 2.8Å to 1.7Å using a dual energy CF4/O2-GCIB process with a total charge fluence of 4×1015ions/cm2. For the first time, a GCIB grown oxide layer that is comprised of mostly gallium oxides which desorbed at 530°C in our molecular beam epitaxy system is reported, after which GaSb/AlGaSb epilayers have been successfully grown. Using InSb, we successfully demonstrated substrate smoothing by reducing the average roughness from 2.5Å to 1.6Å using a triple energy O2-GCIB process with a charge fluence 9×1015ions/cm2. In order to further demonstrate the ability of GCIB to smooth InSb surfaces, sharp ∼900nm high tips have been formed on a poorly mechanically polished InSb (111)A wafer and subsequently reduced to a height of ∼100nm, an improvement by a factor of eight, using a triple energy SF6/O2-GCIB process with a total charge fluence of 6×1016ions/cm3.
The results of high-resolution solid-state magic angle spinning nuclear magnetic resonance (MAS NMR) indicate the bond angles of Al-O-Si decrease with the increase of neutronirradiation dose, but there are only minor changes for Si-O-Si bond angles in the current dose range studied. This suggests that zeolite with higher Si/Al ratio is more resistant to neutron irradiation damage. It is also found that [AlO6] formed at higher dose range. The ratio of Si/Al changed from 2.57 before neutron irradiation to 2.76 when the dose reached 2.25×1019 n/cm2, which shows that mild dealumination occurred during neutron irradiation. The strontium ion exchange experiments have been conducted for neutron irradiated, thermally treated and original zeolite samples, respectively. It is found that the ion-exchange ability of neutron-irradiated zeolite-NaY is between those of original and heat-treated zeolite samples. The distortion of the framework under neutron irradiation by the decrease of Al-O-Si bond angles and the formation of [AlO6] is partially responsible for the ion-exchange variability variation of zeolite-NaY.