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Korea Microlensing Telescope Network (KMTNet) which consists of three identical 1.6 m wide-field telescopes with 18k × 18k CCDs, is the first optical survey system of its kind. The combination of fast optics and the mosaic CCD delivers seeing limited images over a 4 square degrees field of view. The main science goal of KMTNet is the discovery and characterization of exoplanets, yet it also offers various other science applications including DEep Ecliptic Patrol of SOUTHern sky (DEEP-South). The aim of DEEP-South is to discover and characterize asteroids and comets, including Near Earth Objects (NEOs). We started test runs last February after commissioning, and will return to normal operations in October 2015. A summary of early results from the test runs will be presented.
Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute (KASI) successfully completed the development of Korea Microlensing Telescope Network (KMTNet, Park et al. 2012) in mid-2015, following which it conducted test runs for several months. ‘DEep Ecliptic Patrol of the Southern sky’ (DEEP-South, Moon et al. 2015), which will be used for asteroid and comet studies, will not only characterize targeted asteroids, carrying out blind surveys toward the sweet spots, but will also mine the data of such bodies using the KMTNet archive. We report preliminary lightcurves of four Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs) from test runs at KMTNet-CTIO in the February - May 2015 period.
We started ‘DEep Ecliptic Patrol of the Southern sky’ (DEEP-South, DS) (Moon et al. 2015) in late 2012, and conducted test runs with the first Korea Microlensing Telescope Network (KMTNet) (Park et al. 2012), a 1.6 m telescope with 18k x 18k CCD stationed at CTIO in early 2015. While the primary objective of DEEP-South is the physical characterization of small Solar System bodies, it is also expected to discover a large number of such bodies, many of them previously unknown. An automated observation scheduling, data reduction and analysis software subsystem called ‘DEEP-South Scheduling and Data reduction System’ (DS SDS) is thus being designed and implemented to enable observation planning, data reduction and analysis with minimal human intervention.
Octamer-binding transcription factor 4 (Oct4) is a critical molecule for the self-renewal and pluripotency of embryonic stem cells. Recent reports have shown that Oct4 also controls cell-cycle progression and enhances the proliferation of various types of cells. As the high proliferation of donor fibroblasts is critical to the production of transgenic pigs, using the somatic cell nuclear transfer technique, we analysed the effect of Oct4 overexpression on the proliferation of porcine fibroblasts and embryos. Porcine endogenous Oct4 cDNA was cloned, sequenced and inserted into an expression vector. The vector was transfected into porcine fibroblasts, and a stable Oct4-overexpressed cell line was established by antibiotic selection. Oct4 expression was validated by the immunostaining of Oct4. Cell morphology was changed to sharp, and both proliferation and migration abilities were enhanced in Oct4-overexpressed cells. Real-time RT-PCR results showed that p16, Bcl2 and Myc were upregulated in Oct4-overexpressed cells. Somatic cell nuclear transfer was performed using Oct4-overexpressed cells, and the development of Oct4 embryos was compared with that of wild-type cloned embryos. The cleavage and blastocyst formation rates were improved in the Oct4 embryos. Interestingly, blastocyst formation of the Oct4 embryos was observed as early as day 5 in culture, while blastocysts were observed from day 6 in wild-type cloned embryos. In conclusion, the overexpression of Oct4 enhanced the proliferation of both porcine fibroblasts and embryos.
The presence of glutamine (Gln) in in vitro maturation (IVM) and in vitro culture (IVC) medium is a more potent factor for improving porcine oocyte and embryo development than other amino acids. However Gln is inherently unstable and spontaneously breaks down into ammonia, and therefore interferes with proper development. To avoid this adverse effect, Gln was replaced in the present study with its stable dipeptide derivative alanyl-glutamine (Ala-Gln) and the effects of this replacement on porcine IVM and IVC were evaluated. Replacement of Gln with Ala-Gln during IVM did not improve nuclear maturation, however numbers of early cleaved embryos were significantly increased after activation. Blastocyst formation rates were also significantly improved by using Ala-Gln during IVM. Replacement of Gln with Ala-Gln during IVC significantly increased total cell numbers in blastocysts. Blastocyst formation rate was also significantly higher when Ala-Gln was used in both IVM and IVC. In conclusion, the use of Ala-Gln rather than Gln gives better results for development in both porcine IVM and IVC.
In this study, we investigated the effect of two oxygen concentrations (5 and 20%) during in vitro maturation (IVM) and during in vitro culture (IVC) on porcine embryo development and analysed differences in gene expression between cumulus–oocyte complexes matured under 5 or 20% oxygen and the resulting blastocysts cultured under 5% or 20% oxygen following parthenogenetic activation. There was no significant difference in oocyte maturation rate. However, the numbers of resulting blastocysts were significantly increased in the 5% IVC group compared with the 20% IVC group. Moreover, the M20C5 treatment group (23.01%) supported greater blastocyst development compared with the M5C5 (14.32%), M5C20 (10.30%), and M20C20 (17.88%) groups. However, total cell numbers were not significantly different among groups. According to mRNA abundance data of multiple genes, each treatment altered the expression of genes in different patterns. GLUT1, G6PD and LDHA were up-regulated in cumulus cells that had been matured in low oxygen, suggesting a higher glucose uptake and an increase in anaerobic glycolysis, whereas cyclin B1 (CCNB) and MnSOD (Mn-superoxide dismutase) were upregulated in cumulus cells that had been matured in high oxygen, which suggests a higher activity of mitosis-promoting factor and antioxidant response. In spite of these differential effects on cumulus cells, oocytes could mature normally regardless of different oxygen concentrations. Therefore, it can be concluded that high oxygen concentration during in vitro maturation and low oxygen during in vitro culture may alter the expression of multiple genes related to oocyte competence and significantly improves embryo development (p < 0.05) but not blastocyst quality.
The oocyte is known from recent studies in the mouse, cow, sheep and human to be a central regulator of follicular cell function. However, in the pig, little information is known about the regulation of cumulus expansion by oocyte-secreted factors and oocyte quality. We investigated the possible effects of oocyte-secreted factors during in vitro maturation on cumulus expansion and on porcine oocytes as judged by subsequent embryonic development after parthenogenetic activation. Cumulus–oocyte complexes (COC) from antral follicles of pig ovaries collected from a local abattoir were divided into control and treatment groups and were cultured in tissue culture medium 199 supplemented with follicle-stimulating hormone. Treatment groups consisted of increasing numbers of denuded oocytes (DO) co-cultured with COC (at ratios of COC to DO of 1:1, 1:2, 1:3, 1:4 and 1:5). After incubation for 44 h, cumulus expansion and maturation rates were assessed and oocytes were activated parthenogenetically. Cumulus expansion in the 1 COC:4 DO and 1 COC:5 DO groups was low and altered because full dispersion of the outer layer did not occur. Cell viability was not affected, as measured by the automated cell counter, but scanning electron microscopy revealed only a scanty extracellular matrix. Blastocyst rate was significantly higher in the 1 COC:4 DO (34.4%) and in the 1 COC:5 DO (34.9%) groups (p < 0.05) when compared with other groups. Maturation rate, cleavage rate and total cell number showed no significant difference between control and treatment groups. Amplification by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) showed up-regulation of growth differentiation factor 9 (GDF9) in the cumulus cells in the 1 COC:4 DO group at 44 h. We conclude that denuded porcine oocytes could improve the maturation of COC as evidenced by increased blastocyst development in the 1 COC:4 DO, even though cumulus expansion was poor. This improvement could be a result of the GDF9 up-regulation.
In non-human primates, it is difficult to collect sufficient numbers of oocytes for producing identical embryos by somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). Because of this factor, inter-species SCNT (iSCNT) using heterospecific oocytes is an attractive alternative approach. The objective of this study was to produce iSCNT-derived blastocysts using enucleated cow (Bos taurus) metaphase II oocytes and adult rhesus monkey (Macaca mulatta) fibroblasts. Ear skin tissue from a 6-year-old male rhesus monkey was collected by biopsy and fibroblasts were isolated. Immature cumulus–oocyte complexes from cow ovaries were collected and matured in vitro in Medium 199. The enucleated oocytes were reconstructed with rhesus monkey fibroblasts and iSCNT embryos were cultured in modified synthetic oviduct fluid in an atmosphere of 5–5.5% CO2 under various conditions (37–39 °C and 5–20% O2) to examine the effects of in vitro culture conditions. Most embryos were arrested at the 8- or 16-cell stage and only three blastocysts were derived in this way using iSCNT from a total of 1153 cultured activated embryos (0.26% production rate). Two of the three blastocysts were used for counting nuclear numbers using bisbenzimide staining, which were 51 and 24. The other iSCNT-derived blastocyst was used to analyse mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) by PCR, and both rhesus monkey and cow mtDNA were detected. Although the development rate was extremely low, this study established that iSCNT using two phylogenetically distant species, including a primate, could produce blastocysts. With improvements in the development rate, it may be possible to produce rhesus monkey iSCNT-derived embryonic stem cell lines for studies on primate nucleus and cow mitochondria interaction mechanisms.
Treatment with 6-dimethylaminopurine (6-DMAP) or demecolcine (DE) for several (at least 2) hours after artificial activation is known to improve in vitro development of porcine embryos. However, several reports have also shown that treatments with these chemicals induce apoptosis. The aim of this study was to find out whether short-term treatment with 6-DMAP and DE combined with electrical or thimerosal/dithiothreitol (Thi/DTT) activation had a beneficial effect on development of parthenogenetically activated porcine oocytes. We additionally treated embryos with 6-DMAP (2 mM) and/or DE (0.4 μg/ml) for a short time (40 min) after an electrical pulse (EP) or Thi/DTT. As a result, short-term treatment with 6-DMAP and DE successfully induced development of electrically or Thi/DTT-activated porcine parthenogenetic embryos with no significant difference in cleavage rate, blastocyst formation rate and total cell number compared with long-term treatment. To find optimal activation protocol, cleavage rate, blastocyst formation rate and total cell number were compared between EP and Thi/DTT treatments. Thi/DTT + 6-DMAP + DE showed significantly higher blastocyst formation rate (36.1 ± 3.5%) and total cell number (46.9 ± 1.0) than other groups (EP + 6-DMAP + DE, EP + Thi/DTT + 6-DMAP + DE: 23.3 ± 3.0%, 42.2 ± 1.1 and 17.2 ± 2.7%, 36.7 ± 1.5, respectively). In conclusion, this study demonstrates that short-term treatment with 6-DMAP and DE is as effective as the standard long-term treatment and Thi/DTT + 6-DMAP + DE exerts a synergistic effect.
Post CMP cleaning is necessary for contaminant removal after CMP process. The zeta potential of slurry particle and substrate has been considered to be a critical factor in terms of particle adhesion and removal. The fundamental research such as the calculation and measurement of adhesion forces between slurry particle and wafer surfaces can enhance the understanding of cleaning mechanism and development of cleaning process. The presence of more than two different materials during CMP introduces new defects at the materials interface, corrosion and severe scratches. Device specific chemistry and cleaning process should be introduced and developed for future and current CMP. The highest particle removal efficiency is observed when using cleaning solutions that yields the lowest adhesion force. The effect of frictional and adhesion forces attributed to slurry particles on the quality of Cu surfaces was experimentally investigated during metal CMP process. The magnitude of the adsorption of the organic acid on the slurry particle surfaces can have a significant effect on the frictional behavior as well as the adhesion force. Higher particle adhesion forces resulted in higher friction and might induce defects such as particle contamination and scratches on the polished surface after polishing. The magnitude of particle adhesion force on wafer surfaces in slurries can be directly related to the frictional forces and polished surface quality during CMP process. As low k and poly or bare silicon polishing introduced in fabrication process, the hydrophobicity of these surfaces could affect the defects after polishing. The control of wettability during and after polishing becomes more important in reducing the defects. The organic particles are major defects during metal and poly silicon CMP which may be caused by the surface reaction of organic sources with surfaces.
The hydrophobicity of poly Si is reported to introduce different polishing behavior with careful control of post CMP cleaning process. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of poly Si wettability on its CMP behavior. The adhesion force of polymeric particle on the poly Si wafer surfaces was measured in the KOH solution (pH 11) as a function of solution A concentration. Adhesion force decreased and saturated as a function of concentration of solution A. The change of surface wettability affects not only the polishing rates but also the level of contamination on wafer because the interactions between particles and substrates are dependent on the wettability of the surface. Also, hydrophobic poly Si surfaces attracted much more pad particles with water marks than hydrophilic
The purpose of this study was to characterize KOH based electrolytes and effects of additives on electro-chemical mechanical planarization. The electrochemical mechanical polisher was made to measure the potentiodynamic curve and removal rate of Cu. The potentiodynamic curves were measured in static and dynamic states in investigated electrolytes using a potentiostat. Cu disk of 2 inch was used as a working electrode and Pt electroplated platen was used as a counter electrode. KOH was used as the electrolyte. H2O2 and citric acid were used as additives for the ECMP of Cu. In static and dynamic potentiodynamic measurements, the corrosion potential decreased and corrosion current increased as a function of KOH concentration. In dynamic state, different potentiodynamic curve was obtained when compared to the static state. The current density did not decrease in passivation region by mechanical polishing effect. The static etch and removal rate were measured as function of KOH concentration and applied voltage. In ECMP system, polishing was performed at 30 rpm and 1 psi. The removal rate was about 60 nm/min at 0.3 V when 5 wt% KOH was used. Also, the effect of additive was investigated in KOH based electrolyte on removal rates. As a result, The removal rate was increased to 350 nm/min when 5wt% KOH, 5vol% H2O2, 0.3 M citric acid were used.
In this study, Ruthenium (Ru) chemical mechanical planarization (CMP) slurry was studied and developed to apply it for the formation of Ru bottom electrode in DRAM capacitor. An acidic chemical was chosen as both oxidant and etchant. The effects of the chemical on polishing and etching behavior were investigated as functions of chemical concentration and pHs. The static etch rate of Ru increased with increase of chosen chemical concentration. Also, thin Ru oxide was generated in chemical solution. The highest etching and removal rate were obtained in slurry of pH 6. Ru over etching was generated due to the high etch rate of Ru, and then good planarity was not obtained. However, because Ru over etching was prevented due to low etch rate of Ru, the plarnarity and isolation of each capacitor in slurry of pH 9 was acquired successfully.
The adhesion force of pad and alumina were experimentally and theoretically investigated in slurry solutions of different pHs. The isoelectric point (IEP) of pad particles was measured to be around pH 3. The wafer surfaces showed negative zeta potentials in the investigated pH ranges with exception of FSG and Ta. Cu and Ta showed higher interaction forces than dielectric materials. The lowest adhesion force was measured between pad particle and wafer surfaces in a slurry solution of pH 11. The magnitude of adhesion force of pad particles was lower than alumina particles.
The friction behavior and adhesion of abrasive particles were experimentally investigated during Cu CMP process. The highest particle adhesion force was measured in alumina slurry without citric acid. However, the alumina slurry with addition of citric acid had the lowest particle adhesion due to the adsorption of citrate ions on the alumina surfaces. While citrate ions could be easily adsorbed on alumina particles, silica particle showed the least effect on adsorption in citric acid solutions. The magnitude of adsorptions of citrate ions on the particle surfaces had significant effect on frictional behavior as well as adhesion force. Higher particle adhesion force resulted in higher friction, particle contamination and scratches in CMP process. It indicates that the magnitudes of particle adhesions on wafer surfaces in slurries can be directly related to the frictional behavior during CMP process.
In this study, the effect of BTA on polishing behavior was investigated as functions of H2O2, slurry pH and abrasive particles. The addition of BTA effectively prevented Cu from etching by forming the passivation layer of Cu-BTA regardless of pH and H2O2 concentration in slurry. A thinner passivation layer was grown on Cu in BTA added slurry solutions with a higher contact angle of 60°. The dynamic etch rate, the removal rate with abrasive free slurry, also decreased when BTA was added in slurry at pH 2, 4 and 6. The removal rate of Cu was strongly dependent on types of abrasive particles in slurry. The larger hardness of slurry abrasive particles, the higher removal rates of Cu. The reduction of removal rates in BTA added slurry was determined by the competition between chemical dissolution rate and mechanical abrasion rate.
The interaction between Cu surface and abrasive particles in slurry solution was characterized. The adsorption behavior of the citrate ions was dependent on the pH of the slurry and the concentration of the citric acid. The adsorption of citrate ions generated a highly negative charge on the alumina surface and shifted isoelectric point (IEP) to lower pH values. The Cu removal rate of alumina slurry was higher than that of colloidal silica based slurry in the investigated pH ranges. Although lower friction forces of Cu were observed in alumina based slurry of pH 4, 6 and 8, a higher friction force was observed at pH 2. This high friction force was attributed to the positive zeta potential and greater adhesion force of particle. It indicates that the magnitudes of particle adhesions on Cu surfaces in slurries can be directly related to the frictional behavior during CMP process.
Hot embossing has been widely accepted as an alternative to photolithography in generating patterns on polymer substrates. The optimization of embossing process should be accomplished based on polymer surface properties. Therefore, in this paper, polymers with different surface characteristic were selected and the surface properties of each polymers such as surface energy and adhesion force were investigated by contact angle and AFM. Based on these results, the imprinted nano patterns were compared. Silicon molds with nano size patterns were fabricated by e-beam direct writing. Molds were coated with self-assembled monolayer (SAM) of (1, 1, 2, 2H –perfluorooctyl)-trichlorosilane to reduce the stiction between molds and polymer substrates. For embossing, pressure of 500 psi, embossing time of 5 min and temperature of above transition temperature were applied. Mr-I 8010 polymer (Micro Resist Technology), Polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA 495k) and LOR (polyaliphatic imide copolymer) were used as substrate for hot embossing process development in nano size. These polymers were spun coated on the Si wafer with the thickness of 150 nm. The nano size patterns obtained by hot embossing were identified by atomic force microscopy without breaking the pattern and compared based on the polymer surface properties. The mr-I 8010 which has the lowest surface energy and adhesion force shows the best demolding property.
In this study, Adhesion force and Nanotribological Characteristics of fluorocarbon (FC) films on Al deposited by Plasma Enhanced Chemical Vapor Deposition (PECVD) were evaluated. The contact angle of FC thin films on Al was measured to be around 110°. The surface energy was calculated to be 15 dynes/cm from the measurements of contact angles of polar and nonpolar solutions on surfaces. The contact angle hysteresis, which is an indicator for the surface heterogeneity, was lower than 30°. The friction force of FC films coated surfaces was three times lower than bare Al. The adhesion force of bare Al was measured to be around 9.6nN. The presence of FC films on Al reduced it to below 4nN. Fourier transform infra-red (FTIR) spectra showed the presence of fluorocarbon groups such as –CFn- and =CF=CF2.
Optical properties of vapor phase (VP) deposited and spin-coated fluorocarbon (FC) thin films on silicon substrates, such as refractive index, extinction coefficient and film thickness were characterized by a variable angle spectroscopic ellipsometry (VASE) in the range of 300–800 nm. A Lorentz model allows us to simulate the optical constants of the FC films with a minimum number of parameters while maintaining Kramers-Kronig (KK) consistency between the real and imaginary parts of the optical constants. FC films are nearly transparent over the visible spectrum, so it is possible to assume k (extinction coefficient) = 0 over part of the visible spectrum in a Cauchy model. To accurately simulate the obtained ellipsometric spectra, we performed a regression analysis in two steps assuming a three-phase and a four-phase model. The regression analysis was performed using the three-phase model and a best-fit mean-squared error (MSE) value of 1.717 (VP deposited FC film, Lorentz model) was obtained. However, the four-phase model was used to improve the best-fit result of 0.531 (VP deposited FC film, Lorentz model). The surface roughness layer was assumed to be a mixture of FC films and voids under the Bruggeman effective medium approximation (EMA). We found that the best-fit MSE was reduced when surface roughness was included.