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As an integral part of the Symposium on "Ion Beams - Applications from Nanoscale to Mesoscale" at the MRS Spring 2011 Meeting, participants were invited to join two open “brainstorming” Forum Discussions, intended to highlight opportunities for application of ion beam techniques in advancing the frontiers of materials research and making high impact contributions to solving some of the world’s major issues for the future. Participants were invited to imagine freely how the field might develop (or be steered) in the next 5-10 years, in the light of the current state of the art, and in the light of the emerging needs of the global community.
The resulting ideas and suggestions led to thoughtful discussions, that displayed a remarkable degree of consensus on future directions, opportunities and challenges for the field. This paper attempts to capture and report briefly the spectrum of ideas and the recommended priorities that emerged from the resulting discussions.
Glassy polymeric carbon (GPC) is a material commonly used for making electrodes for cyclic voltammetric (CV) and amperometric measurements. Previous work done at Alabama A&M University (AAMU) has shown that high energy ion beams can be used to improve the physical properties of GPC in general. In this work, we fabricated a glassy polymeric carbon electrode and we used carbon ions to activate it. Surface analyses including Raman spectroscopy, atomic force microscopy (AFM), and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) were performed to compare the changes in surface morphology and structure before and after carbon ion bombardment.
The efficiency of the thermoelectric devices is limited by the properties of n- and p-type semiconductors. Effective thermoelectric materials have a low thermal conductivity and a high electrical conductivity. The performance of the thermoelectric materials and devices is shown by a dimensionless figure of merit, ZT = S2σT/K, where S is the Seebeck coefficient, σ is the electrical conductivity, T is the absolute temperature and K is the thermal conductivity. In this study we prepared the thermoelectric generator device of SiO2/SiO2+Au multi-layer super-lattice films using the ion beam assisted deposition (IBAD). In order to determine the stoichiometry of the elements of SiO2 and Au in the grown multilayer films and the thickness of the grown multi-layer films Rutherford Backscattering Spectrometry (RBS) and RUMP simulation software package was used. The 5 MeV Si ion bombardments was performed to make quantum clusters in the multi-layer super-lattice thin films to decrease the cross plane thermal conductivity, increase the cross plane Seebeck coefficient and cross plane electrical conductivity. To characterize the thermoelectric generator devices before and after Si ion bombardments we measured the cross-plane Seebeck coefficient, the cross-plane electrical conductivity, and the cross-plane thermal conductivity for different fluences.
The TRISO fuel that is intended to be used for the generation IV nuclear reactor design consists of a fuel kernel of Uranium Oxide (UOx) coated in several layers of materials with different functions. One consideration for some of these layers is Silicon Carbide (SiC) . The design, manufacture and fabrication of SiC are done at the Center for Irradiation of Materials (CIM). This light weight material can maintain dimensional and chemical stability in adverse environments and very high temperatures. The characterization of the elemental makeup of the SiC material used is done using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). Nano-indentation is used to determine the hardness, stiffness and Young's Modulus of the material. Raman Spectroscopy is used to characterize the chemical bonding for different sample preparation temperatures.
Effective thermoelectric materials have a low thermal conductivity and a high electrical conductivity. The performance of the thermoelectric materials and devices is shown by a dimensionless figure of merit, ZT = S2sσ/ KTC, σ is the electrical conductivity T/KTC, where S is the Seebeck coefficient, T is the absolute temperature and KTC is the thermal conductivity. In this study we have prepared the thermoelectric generator device of Si/Si+Ge multi-layer superlattice films using the ion beam assisted deposition (IBAD). To determine the stoichiometry of the elements of Si and Ge in the grown multilayer films and the thickness of the grown multi-layer films Rutherford Backscattering Spectrometry (RBS) and RUMP simulation software package were used. The 5 MeV Si ion bombardments were performed to make quantum clusters in the multi-layer superlattice thin films to decrease the cross plane thermal conductivity, increase the cross plane Seebeck coefficient and cross plane electrical conductivity.
Keywords: Ion bombardment, thermoelectric properties, multi-nanolayers, Figure of merit.
The TRISO fuel has been used in some of the Generation IV nuclear reactor designs [1,2]. It consists of a fuel kernel of UOx coated with several layers of materials with different functions. Pyrolytic carbon (PyC) is one of the materials in the layers. In this study we investigate the possibility of using Glassy Polymeric Carbon (GPC) as an alternative to PyC. In this work, we are comparing the changes in physical and microstructure properties of GPC after exposure to irradiation fluence of 5 MeV Au equivalent to a 1 displacement per atom (dpa) at samples prepared at 1000, 1500 and 2000°C. The GPC material is manufactured and tested at the Center for Irradiation Materials (CIM) at Alabama A&M University. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM), Rutherford backscattering spectroscopy (RBS), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and Raman spectroscopy were used for the analysis.
Monolayer thin films of YbBiPt and YBiPt have been produced with 560 nm and 394 nm thick respectively in house and their thermoelectric properties were measured before and after MeV ion bombardment. The energy of the ions were selected such that the bombarding Si ions stop in the silicon substrate and deposit only electronic energy by ionization in the deposited thin film. The bombardment by 5.0 MeV Si ions at various fluences changed the homogeneity as well as reducing the internal stress in the films thus affecting the thermal, electrical and Seebeck coefficient of thin films. The stoichiometry of the thin films was determined using Rutherford Backscattering Spectrometry, the thickness has been measured using interferometry and the electrical conductivity was measured using Van der Pauw method. Thermal conductivity of the thin films was measured using an in-house built 3ω thermal conductivity measurement system. Using the measured Seebeck coefficient, thermal conductivity and electrical conductivity we calculated the figure of merit (ZT). We will report our findings of change in the measured figure of merit as a function of bombardment fluence.
We have grown 100 periodic SiO2/SiO2+Ag multi-nano-layered systems where the SiO2+Ag layers were 7.26 nm and SiO2 buffer layer were 4 nm, total thickness is 563 nm. Using interferometer as well as in-situ thickness monitoring, we measured the thickness of the layers; using Rutherford Backscattering Spectrometry (RBS) measured the concentration and distribution of Ag in SiO2. The electrical conductivity, thermal conductivity and the Seebeck coefficient of the layered structure were measured at room temperature before and after bombardment by 5 MeV Si ions. The energy of the Si ions were chosen such that the ions are stopped in the silicon substrate and only electronic energy due to ionization is deposited in the layered structure. The electrical conductivity measured using Van der Pauw method. Thermal conductivity of the thin films was measured using an in-house built 3ω thermal conductivity measurement system. Using the measured Seebeck coefficient, thermal conductivity and electrical conductivity we calculated the figure of merit (ZT). We will report our findings of change in the figure of merit as a function of the bombardment fluence.
Glassy Polymeric Carbon (GPC) is a material widely used because of its high temperature properties, inertness and biocompatibility . GPC samples were prepared from a phenolic resin, cured in a careful process at 100 ºC and pyrolyzed to 1000 ºC. In this work, we have introduced 3wt%, 10wt%, and 20 wt% of Carbon Nano Tubes (CNT) in the precursor resin to study the evolution of the electrical conductivities of the nanocomposite as a function of the CNT concentration.
We are reporting here on the current status of our investigations on the time evolution of nanoscale surface morphology of thermally evaporated tungsten carbide coatings on silicon carbide substrates. The purpose of the study is to develop a recipe for creating thermally and chemically stable electrical contacts on silicon carbide electronic devices able to work at elevated temperatures (up to 800 °C) in oxidizing environments. We used thermal evaporation and tungsten carbide (WC) powder as a starting material to produce the thin layer deposition on semi-insulating silicon carbide (6H). Our intended applications are for devices working at 800 °C; therefore, our investigations are carried out at 1 hr intervals of time the samples spent at this temperature, in air at atmospheric pressure. We used Rutherford Backscattering Spectrometry (RBS) for measuring the stoichiometry and depth profile, and Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) to monitor the surface morphology change.
The reported electromagnetic properties of carbon nanotubes (CNT) make them a promising material for nanoelectronic applications [1,2]. Addition of CNT has recently been shown to enhance mechanical properties of phenolic-resin polymers . We are attempting to control the electrical transport behavior of phenolic-based polymers doped with CNT as a function of the different nanopowder concentration added to the polymer. In that regard, we developed a technique to obtain a material with homogenous dispersion of nanopowders, an important factor that influences the transport behavior. The chemical structure characterization was also evaluated using optical techniques.
We have used MeV ion beams to fabricate nanopores in Poly(tetrafluorethylene-co-perfluoro-(propyl vinyl ether)) (PFA) fluoropolymer membranes. We have developed an in house system to produce nanopores. Using MeV ion beams we developed a method to produce pores from nanometers to one-micron diameter. A thin film of the PFA polymer was mounted to cover a window to a gas filled chamber and then exposed to a uniformly scanned MeV ion beam masked to define the exposed area. The gas leak rate through the fabricated pores was monitored by an in situ RGA system both during and after each bombardment to correlate the leakage with the total area of the pores produced. In this project we used MeV light and heavy ions to best define the pore diameter through each hole and the pore entrance and exit dimensions in the membranes.
UHMWPE samples were implanted with metal and metal-gas hybrid ions (Ag, Ag+N, C+H, C+H+Ar, Ti+O ) by using improved MEVVA Ion implantation technique [1,2]. with an extraction voltage of 30 kV and fluence of 1017 ions/cm2 in an attempt to change their surface morphologies in order to understand the effect of ion implantation on the surface properties of UHMWPEs. Characterizations of the implanted samples with RBS , ATR - FTIR, spectra were compared with the un-implanted ones. Implanted and unimplanted samples were also thermally characterized by TGA and DSC. It was generally observed that C-H bond concentration seemed to be decreasing with ion implantation and the results indicated that the chain structure of UHMWPE were changed and crosslink density and polymer crystallinity were increased compared to unimplanted ones resulting in increased hardness. It was also observed that nano size cracks (approx.10nm) were significantly disappeared after Ag implantation, which also has an improved antibacterial effect. Contact angle measurements showed that wettability of samples increased with ion implantation. Results showed that metal and metal+gas hybrid ion implantation could be an effective way to improve the surface properties of UHMWPE to be used in hip and knee prosthesis.
It is well known that silver deposition avoids bacterial growth and inhibits the natural process of attachment of connective tissue to biocompatible materials in vivo. We have completed a five year investigation of the precise spatial control of cell growth on glassy polymeric carbon implanted with silver using ion beam techniques, and the persistence of the inhibitory effect on cell growth. Long term inhibition of cell growth on GPC is a desirable improvement on current cardiac implants and other biocompatible materials placed in the blood stream. We have used implanted silver ions near the surface of GPC to completely inhibit cell attachment and adhesion. Cells attach and strongly adhere to areas close to the silver implanted surfaces. Patterned ion implantation permits precise control of tissue growth on GPC and other biocompatible substrates. Cell growth limited to micrometric patterns on a substrate may be useful for in vitro studies of associated biological processes in an otherwise identical environment. The patterned inhibition of cell attachment persists for periods of time significant relative to typical implant lifetimes.
Glassy polymeric carbon (GPC) has a unique graphite micro-fibril structure that attributes singular properties to the material. The addition of nanoparticles in the GPC matrix to improve its properties has been the focus of recent studies for spacecraft coating applications. We report the effects of Al2O3 nanoparticles dispersed in GPC on the electrical properties. The fabrication process to produce homogenous samples and the electrical measurements are fully described. In addition, the chemical structure characterization was evaluated using Raman spectroscopy.
Silicon carbide is a promising wide-bandgap semiconductor intended for use in fabrication of high temperature, high power, and fast switching microelectronics components running without cooling. For hydrogen sensing applications, silicon carbide is generally used in conjunction with either palladium or platinum, both of them being good catalysts for hydrogen. Here we are reporting on the temperature-dependent depth profile modifications of tungsten electrical contacts deposited on silicon carbide substrates.
Electret sensors or dosimeters can be used to quantify the ionizing radiation dose from charged particles or waves beams (α, β, -e, p etc… γ, X), and with appropriate converters, from fast and slow neutrons. The electret state is reached, by some insulating materials (electrical conductivity lower than 10−8 (Ω m)−1), when once charged, the incorporated charge is quasi-permanent ≈ 109 s. The charge densities are read (before and after the irradiations) and the radiation dose inferred from the difference between them. PFA (Tetrafluoroethylene-per-fluoromethoxyethylene) and FEP (Tetrafluoroethylene-hexa-fluoropropylene) damage mechanisms were studied bombarding these fluoropolymers with: 1 MeV protons at constant current and fluences from 1×1011 tower 1×1016 ions/cm2, 60Co gamma and X-rays, respectively of 1.25 and 0.106 MeV for absorbed doses of 0.5, 1.0, 8,0 and 100 Gy. The emission of chemical species was monitored with a Residual Gas Analyzer (RGA), during proton bombardment and techniques of Optical Absorption Photospectrometry (OAP), Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) and Micro-Raman spectroscopy were used to analyze the virgin, exposed and irradiated films.