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Previous research has shown relatively diminished medial prefrontal cortex activation and heightened psychophysiological responses during the recollection of personal events in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but the origin of these abnormalities is unknown. Twin studies provide the opportunity to determine whether such abnormalities reflect familial vulnerabilities, result from trauma exposure, or are acquired characteristics of PTSD.
In this case–control twin study, 26 male identical twin pairs (12 PTSD; 14 non-PTSD) discordant for PTSD and combat exposure recalled and imagined trauma-unrelated stressful and neutral life events using a standard script-driven imagery paradigm during functional magnetic resonance imaging and concurrent skin conductance measurement.
Diminished activation in the medial prefrontal cortex during Stressful v. Neutral script-driven imagery was observed in the individuals with PTSD, relative to other groups.
Diminished medial prefrontal cortex activation during Stressful v. Neutral script-driven imagery may be an acquired characteristic of PTSD. If replicated, this finding could be used prospectively to inform diagnosis and the assessment of treatment response.
Copper interconnect metallizations in next generation integrated circuits will require thin diffusion barrier layers (<20 nm) between the Cu and low-k dielectric which may also function as seed layers for subsequent material depositions. One possible structure entails a multicomponent diffusion barrier with a lower resistivity component, such as W on WNx. In this study, sputtered WNx/W bilayer thin films were investigated as diffusion barriers between Si and Cu. The total thickness of the WNx/W bilayer was fixed at 20 nm while the WNx thickness was varied from 0 to 20 nm. After deposition of the barrier films, a 100 nm thick Cu film was sputtered over the top of the á-W and amorphous WNx bilayer. The as-deposited WNx/W film stress was found to be strongly dependent on the relative amount of WNx and W present and the addition of a Cu overlayer was found to mitigate the stress levels. The WNx/W barriers remained stable after 650°C anneals and exhibited phase transformations to W2N. Microstructural characterization using transmission electron microscopy and x-ray diffraction and chemical analysis by x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy of the films were used to identify the as-deposited and transformed phases.
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