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Pasture systems for grass-fed beef production in the Gulf Coast region were evaluated for profitability and sustainability over the period 2009/2010 to 2011/2012. May-weaned steers were divided into groups and randomly placed into different pasture systems. Data on input usage, output quantities, and carbon emissions were recorded and analyzed. The least complex grazing system yielded higher profit than the most complex, but the most complex produced the lowest greenhouse gas impact. A trade-off was found between profitability and greenhouse gas impact among the systems.
Ten ice-sheet models are used to study sensitivity of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets to prescribed changes of surface mass balance, sub-ice-shelf melting and basal sliding. Results exhibit a large range in projected contributions to sea-level change. In most cases, the ice volume above flotation lost is linearly dependent on the strength of the forcing. Combinations of forcings can be closely approximated by linearly summing the contributions from single forcing experiments, suggesting that nonlinear feedbacks are modest. Our models indicate that Greenland is more sensitive than Antarctica to likely atmospheric changes in temperature and precipitation, while Antarctica is more sensitive to increased ice-shelf basal melting. An experiment approximating the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s RCP8.5 scenario produces additional first-century contributions to sea level of 22.3 and 8.1 cm from Greenland and Antarctica, respectively, with a range among models of 62 and 14 cm, respectively. By 200 years, projections increase to 53.2 and 26.7 cm, respectively, with ranges of 79 and 43 cm. Linear interpolation of the sensitivity results closely approximates these projections, revealing the relative contributions of the individual forcings on the combined volume change and suggesting that total ice-sheet response to complicated forcings over 200 years can be linearized.
Thick (>150 μm) beryllium coatings are studied as an ablator material of interest for fusion fuel capsules for the National Ignition Facility. DC magnetron sputtering is used because of the relative controllability of the processing temperature and energy of the deposits. However, coatings produced by DC magnetron sputtering leak the fuel gas D2. By using ion-assisted DC magnetron, sputtered coatings can be made that are leak-tight. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) studies revealed microstructural changes that lead to leak-tight coating. Ultrasmall angle x-ray spectroscopy is used to characterize the void distribution and volume along the spherical surface along with a combination of focused ion beam, scanning electron microscope, and TEM. An in situ multibeam optical stress sensor was used to measure the stress behavior of thick beryllium coatings on flat substrates as the material was being deposited.
To investigate a nosocomial outbreak of infection with multidrug-resistant (MDR) Acinetobacter baumannii in the intensive care units at China Medical University Hospital in Taiwan.
Prospective outbreak investigation.
Three intensive care units in a 2,000-bed university hospital in Taichung, Taiwan.
Thirty-eight stable patients in 3 intensive care units, all of whom had undergone an invasive procedure, were enrolled in our study. Ninety-four A. baumannii strains were isolated from the patients or the environment in the 3 intensive care units, during the period from January 1 through December 31, 2006. We characterized A. baumannii isolates by use of repetitive extragenic palindromic–polymerase chain reaction (REP-PCR) and random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) fingerprinting. The clinical characteristics of the source patients and the environment were noted.
All of the clinical isolates were determined to belong to the same epidemic strain of MDR A. baumannii by the use of antimicrobial susceptibility tests, REP-PCR, and RAPD fingerprinting. All patients involved in the infection outbreak had undergone an invasive procedure. The outbreak strain was also isolated from the environment and the equipment in the intensive care units. Moreover, an environmental survey of one of the intensive care units found that both the patients and the environment harbored the same outbreak strain.
The outbreak strain of A. baumannii might have been transmitted among medical staff and administration equipment. Routine and aggressive environmental and equipment disinfection is essential for preventing recurrent outbreaks of nosocomial infection with MDR A. baumannii.
This paper investigates whether corporate payout policy is associated with insiders' share holdings and their tax preferences. We find that insider ownership and the implied tax liabilities are positively related to a firm's propensity to employ share repurchases. Firms with higher levels of or greater increases in insider ownership prefer stock repurchases to cash dividends. This relation is more significant in years when dividends were more tax disadvantaged relative to capital gains. Our findings are robust to the endogeneity of insider ownership and the inclusion of various control variables such as firm size, permanence of cash flows, growth opportunities, institutional ownership, and executive stock options. Overall, our results suggest that personal tax considerations from insiders affect corporate payout decisions.
In this paper we report the first 4H-SiC CMOS inverter, which was designed to be integrated in the process flow of a 4H-SiC power DMOSFET. The channels of both of the n channel and p-channel MOSFETs of the inverter were 50 um wide by 3 um long. NMOSFET threshold voltage (VTH) ranged from 4.4 V at 25°C to 2.2 V at 250°C and PMOSFET VTH ranged from -4.75 V at 25°C to just under -4 V at 300°C. The transfer threshold voltage (Vm) of the 4H-SiC CMOS inverter was in a very tight range of 2.8 V to 2.9 V over the entire temperature range of 25°C to 300°C when using a drive voltage (VDD) of 10 V.
Electroactive polymers (EAPs) are capable of converting energy in the form of electric charge and voltage to mechanical force and movement and vice versa. Several electroactive polymer actuator materials whose responses are controlled by external electric fields, e.g. poly(vinylidene fluoride-trifluoroethylene) based fluoroterpolymers, have generated considerable interest for use in applications such as artificial muscles, sensors, parasitic energy capture, integrated bio-microelectromechanical systems (BioMEMS) and microfluidic devices due to their high electric-field induced strain, high elastic modulus, high electromechanical coupling and high frequency operation, etc. Scaling the EAP down into microsystems is one of the promising trends of EAP actuators and sensors especially for biomedical engineering. The combination of micro-optics and integrated BioMEMS, referred to as bio-micro-opto-electromechanical systems (BioMOEMS), makes a new opportunity for innovation in the EAP field. We present an approach to the fabrication of low-cost, large-stroke deformable micromirrors based on high performance electroactive polymer film microactuator arrays. Integrated Optic-BioMEMS based on electroactive polymer deformable micromirror (EAPDM) technology provide potential applications in biomedical optics such as ophthalmology (retinal imaging and vision care) and cancer detection and treatment.
Bulk Ca2RuO4 is an antiferromagnetic Mott insulator with the metal-insulator transition above room temperature, and the Neel temperature at 113 K. There is strong coupling between crystal structures and magnetic, electronic phase transitions in this system. It exhibits high sensitivity to chemical doping and pressure that makes it very interesting material to study. We have epitaxially grown Ca2RuO4 thin films on LaAlO3 substrates by pulsed laser deposition technique. Growth conditions such as substrate temperature and O2 pressure were systematically varied in order to achieve high quality single-phase film. Crystalline quality and orientation of these films were characterized by X-ray diffractometry. Microstructure of the thin films was examined by transmission electron microscopy. The electrical transport properties were also measured and compared with bulk single crystal.
(In)GaAsN based heterostructures have been found to be promising candidates for the active region of 1.3 micron VCSELs. However, (In)GaAsN bulk layers and quantum wells usually demonstrate lower photoluminescence intensity than their nitrogen-free analogues. Defects associated with lower temperature growth and N-related defects due to plasma cell operation and possible nonuniform distribution of nitrogen enhance the non-radiative recombination in N-contained layers. We studied the photoluminescence intensity of GaAsN layers as a function of N content in MBE grown samples using rf-plasma source. Increasing the growth temperature to as high as 520 °C in combination with the increase in the growth rate allowed us to avoid any N-related defects up to 1.5% of nitrogen. Low-temperature-growth defects can be removed by post-growth annealing. We achieved the same radiative efficiency of GaAsN samples grown at 520°C with that of reference layer of GaAs grown at 600°C. Compositional fluctuations in GaAsN layers lead to characteristic S-shape of temperature dependence of photoluminescence peak position and this feature is the more pronounced the higher the amount of nitrogen in GaAsN. Annealing reduces compositional fluctuations in addition to the increase in the photoluminescence intensity. The results obtained are important for further improving the characteristics of InGaAsN lasers emitting at 1.3 micron.
A quantitative experiment was designed to characterize in detail the backside silicon nodule formation (BSNF) on a single wafer reactor. It is found that there are two BSNF related vapor processes. One is the silicon mass transfer between wafer and wafer susceptor, which is controlled by the temperature difference between wafer and the susceptor. The other is the chemical vapor deposition process due to the presence of precursor (trichlorosilane) at the vicinity of the wafer backside. The contributions of these two processes to BSNF, however, have opposite dependencies on wafer temperatures. The silicon mass transfer from susceptor to wafer backside decreased with increasing wafer temperature. The trichlorosilane deposition increases with increasing wafer temperature. The effects of these two processes are also strongly dependent on susceptor configuration. It is found that having a wafer in direct contact with the susceptor could minimize the trichlorosilane deposition process, but silicon mass transfer is still present at the edge of the wafers. This study demonstrates that careful process control and susceptor design are necessary to eliminate wafer backside deposition.
The interfacial fracture energy of Ti/Al2O3 composites was measured with and without a diffusion barrier at different bonding temperatures by using four-point bending tests. It was found that the interfacial fracture energy increases with increasing bonding temperature up to 950 °C. When the bonding temperature was further raised to 1000 °C, the interfacial fracture energy drops. The decrease of the interfacial fracture energy is due to the formation of the continuous intermetallic compound, Ti3Al, at the interface between Ti and Al2O3. By using a diffusion barrier, the interfacial fracture energy decreases from 25.4 to near O J/m2 and 32.9 to 8.7 J/m2 for applied bonding temperatures of 800 and 900 °C, respectively. This is because the diffusion barrier reduced the diffusion of Al across the interface and into the Ti, thereby preventing a strong chemical bond at the interface. For the composite bonded at 900 °C, the crack propagation was found to occur at the interface between the Ti and Al2O3. The interfacial failure was found to be in the Ti3Al reaction layer for the composite processed at 1000 °C. With a diffusion barrier, the crack propagation path follows several interfaces. Evaluation of the processing temperature on the mechanical properties of the Ti was also obtained by using a nanoindentation technique.
Simulation of the physical vapor deposition (PVD) of titanium nitride (TiN) in micronscale contacts was performed using EVOLVE, a physically-based model of non-continuum
mass transport. Simulations of uncollimated TiN PVD using a sub-unity sticking coefficient of 0.6 provide accurate model predictions of experimental data. Using this value in simulations of PVD with a 1:1 aspect ratio collimator results in a significant underprediction of titanium nitride deposition in the feature bottom in comparison to the experimental results. This under-prediction was compensated for empirically by adjusting
a “beaming” coefficient to produce good model predictions of the experimental data.
The fracture energy of Ti/Al203 composite interfaces has been determined by four point bending tests of sandwich specimens for different thicknesses of metal interlayers at 900°C. The interfacial fracture was found to be brittle. An intermetallic reaction product (Ti3Al) was produced at the interface after the diffusion bonding process. When the metal interlayer is thicker, there is more plastic energy dissipation in the metal during the fracture process. Therefore, the interfacial fracture energy increases. This can be seen from the fact that there is a larger plastic zone size with increasing thickness of the metal interlayer. The measured interfacial fracture energy Ti/Al203 ranges from 9.6 J/m2to 45.1 J/m2. The intrinsic interfacial fracture energy is obtained to be 0.26 J/m2. The embrittlement of the interface after the diffusion bonding process causes this value to be smaller than work of adhesion for Ti/Al203 (2.0 J/m2).
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