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Papillon treatment is a form of contact X-ray brachytherapy (CXB) which is used as an alternative to surgery for rectal cancer. This study aimed to audit patients who were referred for and treated with CXB over a 6-year period against guidelines derived from a critical review of the evidence base.
Materials and methods:
Patient demographics, tumour characteristics and outcome data were gathered for 31 patients referred for CXB. A critical review of the evidence identified consensus referral criteria and outcome data against which to audit patients.
Referral criteria were derived from six published studies. These applied to patients unfit for surgery or stoma-averse. All referred patients had a visible tumour or scar with a tumour size under 3 cm and sited less than 12 cm from the anal verge. Nodal status varied from N0 to N2, but there was no metastatic disease present. The audited cohort demonstrated demographic equivalence, while the initial clinical complete response and recurrence rates were also comparable.
This audit confirmed the validity of referral and treatment protocols and should guide future referrals until evidence from ongoing studies becomes available. These findings should contribute to the development of robust national guidelines.
The water and energy sectors of an economy are inextricably linked. Energy is required in water production, distribution, and recycling, while water is often used for energy generation. In many geographical locations, the energy-water nexus is exacerbated by the shortage of both fresh water resources and energy generation infrastructure. New materials, including metamaterials, are now emerging to address the challenges of providing renewable energy and fresh water, especially to off-the-grid communities struggling with water shortages. Novel nanomaterials have fueled recent technology breakthroughs in solar water desalination, fog and dew collection, and cloud seeding. Materials for passive thermal management of buildings and individuals offer promising strategies to reduce the use of energy and water for heating and cooling. While many challenges remain, emerging materials and technologies improve sustainable management of water and energy resources.
Rice landraces have been developed through artificial selection imposed by farmers during the long-term domestication process. Although the global rice diversity is well characterized, few studies have conducted an in-depth analysis of genetic diversity on a local scale. In India, there are many locally adapted non-Basmati aromatic rice landraces in which the pace of improvement is slow, despite their high economic values. The aromatic and quality rice landraces of Manipur, locally called Chakhao (delicious), are important, considering their high economic and cultural values. To conserve and encourage improvement of these landraces, we collected Chakhao accessions from eight districts of Manipur. The aim of the current study was to investigate the level of genetic diversity and structure of 37 Chakhao landraces based on genotyping with 47 microsatellite markers. The genetic diversity analysis revealed high gene diversity (0.673) within the Chakhao population, with values ranging from 0.303 (Poireiton) to 0.471 (mixed Chakhao). The Chakhao rice accessions could be divided into six subgroups based on genetic structure analyses. The population structure derived from the STRUCTURE analysis largely correlated with the farmers' classification of Chakhao landraces. The results of genetic diversity analyses and the indigenous knowledge of the names and use of Chakhao landraces would facilitate the conservation and utilization of this unique genetic resource.
A formalism for investigation of the propagation characteristics of various order short duration (pico second) Gaussian/dark hollow Gaussian laser pulse (DHGP) in a tunnel ionized plasma has been developed, which takes into account the electron-ion recombination. Utilizing the paraxial like approach, a nonlinear Schrödinger wave equation characterizing the beam spot size in space and time has been derived and solved numerically to investigate the transverse focusing (in space) and longitudinal compression (in time) of the laser pulse; the associated energy localization as the pulse advances in the plasma has also been analyzed. It is seen that in the absence of recombination the DHGP and Gaussian pulse undergo oscillatory and steady defocusing respectively. With the inclusion of recombination, the DHGP and Gaussian pulse both undergo periodic self-focusing for specific parameters. The DHGPs promise to be suitable for enhancement of energy transport inside the plasma.
Two lanthanide borosilicate (LaBS) glasses containing 9.5 and 5.0 wt.% PuO2 prepared at 1500 °C consisted of a vitreous phase and minor crystalline PuO2 (or PuO2-HfO2 solid solution with minor HfO2) and britholite-type phases. X-ray absorption spectra of Pu LIII edge in the as-prepared and stored for various periods LaBS glasses were recorded, analyzed and compared with the spectra of crystalline PuO2. Pu in the as-prepared glass existed in predominantly tetravalent form (Pu4+ ions) but its storage in air results in partial oxidation as was seen from shift of peak energy values. In the structure of the as-prepared glass, Pu4+ ions had a co-ordination number (CN) close to 6 (˜6.3) and were located within the axially squeezed octahedra with five equidistant oxygen ions at a distance of 2.265±0.015 Å and one – at shorter distance (2.130±0.010 Å) from the Pu4+ ion. The Pu—Pu(M) distance (second co-ordination shell) was 3.675±0.015 Å. “Aging” of the LaBS glass with transformation of some fraction of Pu into penta- or/and hexavalent form was accompanied by a structural transformation.
The pressure dependence of the hidden order phase of the heavy fermion superconductor URu2Si2 has been a subject of intense research since shortly after the discovery of the compound decades ago. Applied pressure increases the critical temperature of the paramagnetic / hidden order transition and brings about a transition to long-range antiferromagnetism. The reported pressures and temperatures of these phase boundaries vary between studies: 4 – 7 kbar at low temperature and 12 – 15 kbar at high temperature. We review experimental evidence that the measured values of pressure and temperature are very sensitive to the chosen pressure transmitting medium. Recent x-ray diffraction measurements suggest that the relative position of the silicon atom in the unit cell is changing as a function of pressure. Recent neutron diffraction measurements show that the zero-temperature limit of the hidden order / antiferromagnetic transition occurs at pressures greater than 7.5 kbar.
The electrical performance of hafnium silicate (HfSiOx) gate stacks grown by atomic layer deposition (ALD) has been evaluated in capacitors and transistors. First, scaling potential of HfSiOx layers was studied as function of composition and thickness. It is shown that the equivalent oxide thickness scales down with decreasing layer thickness and increasing Hf-content. The gate leakage (at Vfb-1V), however, is mainly determined by the physical layer thickness. For the same equivalent oxide thickness (EOT) target, the lowest leakage is observed for the layers with the highest Hf-content. Leakage values as low as 1x10-3 A/cm2 for an equivalent oxide thickness of 1.3 nm have been obtained. Second, the thermal stability against crystallization of the ALD HfSiOx has been studied and related to their electrical properties. The thermal stability of HfSiOx decreases with increasing Hf-content that necessitates the use of nitridation. The influence of various annealing conditions on the nitrogen incorporation is also studied. Finally, the effect of HfSiOx composition and postdeposition nitridation is discussed on transistor level. TaN metal gate transistor data indicate that nitridation reduces the gate leakage and that Hf-rich HfSiOx layers show the best scaling potential, i.e., highest performance for the lowest gate leakage.
Replacement of poly-Si and SiO2 with new gate electrode and high k gate oxide is an inevitable trend for next-generation CMOS integrated circuits. Therefore, work function (£Xm) of gate electrodes as well as the thermal stability and electrical behaviors of MOS capacitors should be understood. In this study, tungsten (W) is applied as the gate electrode and the gate dielectric materials are SiO2, SiON and HfO2. £Xm of W and electrical properties of the MOS structures are investigated. £Xm,measured of W is calculated from the flat-band voltage (VFB) of MOS capacitors with dielectrics of various thicknesse. For W/SiO2/Si structure, the £Xm,measured of W is 4.67 V; however, the £Xm,measured of W in W/SiON/Si and W/HfO2/Si structures is 4.60 V and 4.84 V, respectively. The result means that the £Xm,measured of W in W/HfO2/Si structures has extrinsic contributions to Fermi level pinning. The phase of as-deposited W is £]-W (or £]-W+£\-W) phase and transfers to £\-W+WO3 mix phase after annealing at 500°C in N2+H2 ambient for 30 min. The trapped charges and oxide charges of dielectric are reduced after annealing. However, the EOT of W/SiO2/Si increases significantly after annealing, indicating the thermal stability of this capacitor is poor.
We investigated the influence of additional oxygen supply and temperature during the growth of thin Gd2O3 layers on Si(001) with molecular beam epitaxy. Additional oxygen supply during growth improves the dielectric properties significantly; however too high oxygen partial pressures lead to an increase in the lower permittivity interfacial layer thickness. The growth temperature mainly influences the dielectric gate stack properties due to changes of the Gd2O3/Si interface structure. Optimized conditions (600 °C, pO2 = 5·10-7 mbar) were found to achieve equivalent oxide thickness values below 1 nm accompanied by leakage current densities below 1 mA/cm2 at 1 V.
In this work we present a rigorous investigation of the negative bias temperature instability (NBTI) recovery process during measurement intervals in comparison to the numerical solution of an extended reaction-diffusion (RD) model. In contrast to previous work, the RD model has been implemented in a multi-dimensional device simulator and is solved self-consistently together with the semiconductor device equations. This allows us to directly use many commonly approximated quantities such as the oxide electric field and the interface hole concentration in a self-consistent manner. In addition, the influence of the trapped charges can be more accurately considered by using a distributed Shockley-Read-Hall interface trap-charge model which has been coupled to the RD model. Thus, due to the self-consistent solution procedure, also the feedback of these charged interface-states on the Poisson equation is considered which influences the observed threshold voltage shift. Experimental data confirm the model which has been calibrated to a wide range of temperatures using a single set of parameters.
The composition and chemical bonding of the first atoms across the interface between Si(001) and the dielectric determine the quality of dielectric gate stacks. An analysis of that hidden interface is a challenge as it requires both, high sensitivity and elemental and chemical state information. We used SR based photoelectron spectroscopies and, in particular, X-ray absorption spectroscopy in total electron yield and total fluorescence yield at the Si2p and the O1s edges to address that issue. We report on results of Hf-oxide prepared by ALD and compare to Pr2O3 / Si(001), and compare the two to the SiO2 / Si(001) system as a reference. For both, Hf-oxide and Pr-oxide thin films we find evidence for the silicate formation at the interface as derived from the characteristic features at the Si2p and the O1s edges.
In this paper, we point out the critical role of oxygen stoichiometry in the solid state epitaxy process used for obtaining 5 A EOT in SrTiO3 gate dielectrics on Si. Incomplete oxygenation of the TiO2 fraction of the amorphous SrO.TiO2 film enhances the inherent tendency of TiO2 to react with Si to yield TiSi2 and SiO2. O2 excess is needed to obtain a crystalline interface after UHV crystallization. The solid state epitaxy process results in heavily oxygen deficient films, whose insulating properties can be recovered by an atomic oxygen treatment.
We report on the impact of silicon precursor choice on the electrical and physical properties of hafnium silicate (HfSiO) gate dielectrics deposited by metalorganic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD). Hafnium tert-butoxide (HTB) was used as the hafnium source and silane and tetraethylorthosilicate (TEOS) were used as silicon sources. Elemental depth profiles were measured with sub-nm resolution using medium energy ion scattering (MEIS). For Hf-rich films employing TEOS as the silicon precursor, relatively little Si is incorporated at the bottom interface compared with the top; while using SiH4, a more uniform Si distribution is achieved. These physical differences are then correlated with the electrical performance of transistors employing polysilicon gate electrodes. Transistors incorporating SiH4 based HfSiOx gate dielectrics with low silicon concentrations have lower C-V hysteresis and higher high field mobility than those using TEOS based dielectrics. We demonstrate polysilicon gated transistors which have an electrical thickness in inversion (Tinv) that can be scaled to ~21 A with good leakage reduction when employing nitrided bottom interface layers in combination with optimized HfSiOx dielectrics. Reduced silicon concentration resulted in a lower inversion thickness for a fixed physical thickness contributing to the higher drive currents in transistors.
In this work we have performed Ultraviolet Photoelectron Spectroscopy (UPS) and X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) on: (i) 40Å of Ru deposited on 20Å of ALD-HfO2 (Ru-HfO2), (ii) 40Å of Re deposited on 20Å of ALD-HfO2 (Re-HfO2), and (iii) 40Å of W deposited on 20Å of ALD-HfO2 (W-HfO2) in as deposited as well as after 600˚C in-situ anneal exposure. The samples with Ru and Re indicated significant reduction in the oxygen content and shift in the Hf peaks towards higher binding energy after anneal as compared to the as deposited state. The loss of oxygen after anneal was associated with the reduction in the surface work function of Ru and Re measured by UPS. However, the sample with W showed a redistribution of oxygen after anneal leading to the formation of multiple oxides of W having a net higher surface work function. The spectroscopic measurements were correlated with the electrical measurements made on MOS capacitors with Ru metal gates on HfO2 gate dielectric. The results indicated that the oxygen content at metal/high-k interface plays an important role in governing the effective work function of Ru on HfO2 gate dielectric.
Nickel-base superalloys are an important class of metallic ‘nanocomposite’
structural materials known for their good strength retention abilities at
high homologous temperatures for long service times. Literature on
electrical resistivity studies of age-hardening superalloys is limited. The
current work is focused on developing microstructure-electrical resistivity
correlations in controlled Waspaloy microstructures. The microstructures are
‘controlled’ as the size distribution of g¢ precipitates is varied
systematically. The microstructures are produced upon aging the initial
homogenized alloy at nominal temperatures of 700°C, 800°C and 875°C for
times up to 100 hrs. Resistivity measurements did not reveal a g¢ nucleation
regime for the sampled aging intervals. The primary microstructural
evolution mechanism contributing to the observed changes in resistivity was
g¢ coarsening. Interestingly, the microstructures resulting from progressive
aging at 700°C showed a slow transformation of etch-pits from perfect
polygonal shapes to more irregular shapes.
The microstructural and electrical characterizations of RuxTa1-x alloys obtained from Ru-Ta laminates are presented. The films were deposited on SiO2 and HfO2 and capped with TiN to avoid oxidation of the top surface. The alloys were attained by post-anneal thermal treatments in the range of 500-1000 °C in Ar atmosphere. Co-sputtered RuxTa1-x alloys were used as references. In particular, Ru0.4Ta0.6 phase could be obtained when the Ru-Ta laminate was annealed at 1000 °C. The alloying reaction is limited either by the tantalum nitride or oxide formation being the source for Nitrogen the TiN capping used on top of the stack and the Oxygen either the dielectric films or the one stuffing the films after exposure to the atmosphere.
Independent of the Ta content a mid gap work function was obtained. Measured WF's in laminate-obtained alloys and alloys themselves differ from other literature data, where a more n-type like WF are measured, and indicating process dependence. In the present study mid-gap or rather p-type work functions were found, 4.5 eV < WF < 4.9 eV.
Previously, we have reported our application of the zero-bias thermally stimulated current (ZBTSC) spectroscopy technique to study defect states in high-dielectric constant insulator films like tantalum oxide (Ta2O5) with much less parasitic current which can be a serious limitation for the conventional thermally stimulated current (TSC) method. However, a parasitic current can still be observed for ZBTSC because of a small parasitic temperature gradient across the sample. The thermal design of the ZBTSC system can be improved, resulting in zero-temperature-gradient ZBTSC (ZTGZBTSC) which can be used to detect deeper traps than ZBTSC.
We have investigated the impact of a metal gate (TiN) and high-k dielectric (HfO2) on the carrier mobility. We have shown that strong remote Coulomb scattering (RCS) due to charges in the HfO2 layer (either grown by ALD or MOCVD) mostly degrades the mobility at low/medium field. High amount of charges (>1013cm-2) is needed to explain the 30% degradation observed in devices with a thin interface layer. These additional coulombic interactions are effective for bottom oxide up to 2nm. We have developed a RCS model to fully explain the experimental data. The influence of the metal gate is also evidenced. The latter has a significative impact on the Si/SiO2 interface roughness, and may induce some additional coulombic interactions.
Roles of reactive species of germanium and silicon plasma nitridation were investigated by comparing nitrogen plasma chemistry and oxynitride layer physical properties. In high pressure remote plasma nitridation process, hydrogen containing neutral radicals (NH* and H*) were important to nitride germanium and silicon substrates. This process required high substrate temperature to nitride germanium substrate, whereas silicon substrates could be nitrided at low substrate temperature. In low pressure RLSA plasma nitridation process, N2+ ion species acted as dominant reactive species. Using this process, germanium could be nitrided at low substrate temperature without hydrogen and high nitrogen concentration (~22at.%) GeON was obtained.
The electrical response and interfacial layer characterization of nitrogen doped HfO2 gate dielectric thin films are reported. The films were processed at relatively low temperature (~ 400 0C) by pulsed laser deposition and ultra-violet radiation assisted oxidation technique. Nitrogen incorporation in the hafnia films led to O-N and Hf-Si-O-N bonding in the bulk and at hafnia-Si interface respectively. The nitrogen doped hafnia films exhibited a leakage current density lower than 10E-5 A/sq cm at -1 V and a simulated equivalent oxide thickness of 9.4 Å.