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Green culms of bamboo and charcoal of Bambusa multiplex were investigated by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) mapping. A dynamic observation of the initial stage of carbonization was also performed in-situ by heating a radial longitudinal section of the bamboo culm at a rate of 20°C/min up to 500°C. EDS mapping of the green bamboo culms detected Si signals in the harder cells such as the epidermis (Ep), cortex (Cor) and vascular bundle sheath (Bs) and between these cells as silicon oxide particles. Appreciable morphological change of the cells occurred in a temperature range of about 300–400°C due to the decomposition of cellulose that is the main component of the bamboo cells. The charcoal of the bamboo culm has a skin layer which originates from the Ep and Cor and the main central cylinder with many openings that originate from the expanded xylem and phloem holes. During carbonization, the Si atoms in the Ep and Cor were segregated as thin silicon oxide layers onto both the sides of the skin layer and the Si included in the Bs fibers and parenchyma cells accumulated near the walls of the openings.
AlN/SiOx nanocomposite coatings fabricated by differential pumping cosputtering (DPCS) were investigated by analytical electron microscopy. The DPCS system consists of two halves of a Chamber, A and B, for radio frequency (RF) magnetron sputtering deposition of different materials, and a substrate holder that rotates through the chambers. Al and SiO2 were sputtered in gas environments with a flow mixture of N2 and Ar gases at RF power of 200 W in the Al Chamber A and a flow of Ar gas at RF powers of 49 W in the SiO2 Chamber B. The substrates of (001) Si wafers heated at 250°C were rotated for 1,080 min at 3 rpm and alternately deposited by AlN and SiO2. AlN columnar crystals grew at a rate of ~0.3 nm/revolution preferentially along the hexagonal  axis. Amorphous silicon oxide (a-SiOx), deposited at a rate of ~0.2 nm/revolution, was coagulated preferentially along the boundaries between the AlN columns and also the interfaces between the subgrains within the AlN columns. The a-SiOx played an important role in the increase in mechanical hardness of the AlN/SiOx composite coating by disturbing deformation of AlN crystal lattices.