# Diffusion and Defect Data Pt.B: Solid State Phenomena

Online ISSN: 1662-9779
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With the aim to identify an appropriate low-temperature surface passivation process that could be used for bulk lifetime estimation of high resistivity (HR) (>1 kOmega-cm) silicon for radiation detectors, different candidate passivating layers were evaluated on n-type and p-type standard Czochralski (CZ), HR magnetic Czochralski (MCZ) and HR float zone (FZ)) substrates. Minority carrier lifetime measurements were performed by means of a microwave PhotoConductance Decay single point setup. The results show that SiNx PECVD layers deposited at 200degC may be used to evaluate the impact of different processing steps and treatments on the substrate characteristics for radiation detectors.

In this paper a new low cost design is presented. The moving element of the probe head consists of the stylus and a crossform intermediate body with a small aluminium enhanced mirror at the two ends and at the center. The intermediate body is suspended on four springs made of berillium-copper foils. The displacement of the probe tip is calculated from the displacement and the rotations of the mirrors measured by modified optical pick-ups. In order to test probes a calibration system with 20 nm measuring uncertainty was designed. A high precision three-axis translation stage, with a working range of 100 times 100 times 100 mum, moves the probe stylus and the position of the stage is determined by three mutually-orthogonal plane mirror laser interferometer transducers having 1 nm resolution.

X-ray and mechanical spectroscopy on liquid-crystalline elastomers give evidence of rubber elasticity, which depends upon the crosslink concentration. After applied macroscopic deformations, mesoscale non-affine deformations in these systems might lead to long relaxation times. Basing on the example of the crosslink-dependent smectic A − nematic (SmA−N) transition in polysiloxanes, we propose to use the three-dimensional Villain spin glass model and reduce it to the lattice version of the three-dimensional XY spin-glass model. By using the Monte Carlo loop algorithm in this model, we found a percolation threshold depending on the crosslink concentration.

Intermetallic compounds R2Fe17 are perspective for applications as permanent magnets. Technologically these systems must have Curie temperature Tc much higher than room temperature and preferably have easy axis anisotropy. At the moment highest Tc among stoichiometric R2Fe17 materials is 476 K, which is not high enough. There are two possibilities to increase Tc: substitution of Fe ions with non-magnetic elements or introduction of light elements into interstitial positions. In this work we have focused our attention on substitution scenario of Curie temperature rising observed experimentally in Gd(2)Fe(17-x)Ga(x) (x=0,3,6) compounds. In the framework of the LSDA approach electronic structure and magnetic properties of the compounds were calculated. Ab initio exchange interaction parameters within the Fe sublattice for all nearest Fe ions were obtained. Employing the theoretical values of exchange parameters Curie temperatures Tc of Gd(2)Fe(17-x)Ga(x) within mean-field theory were estimated. Obtained values of Tc agree well with experiment. Also LSDA computed values of total magnetic moment coincide with experimental ones.

The aim of this paper is to give a short review on cluster dynamics modeling in the field of atoms and point defects clustering in materials. It is shown that this method, due to its low computer cost, can handle long term evolution that cannot, in many cases, be obtained by Lattice Kinetic Monte Carlo methods. Indeed, such a possibility is achieved thanks to an important drawback that is the loss of space correlations of the elements of the microstructures. Some examples, in the field of precipitation and irradiation of metallic materials are given. The limitations and difficulties of this method are also discussed. Unsurprisingly, it is shown that it goes in a very satisfactory way when the objects are distributed homogeneously. Conversely, the source term describing the primary damage under irradiation, by nature heterogeneous in space and time, is tricky to introduce especially when displacement cascades are produced.

We propose a model for explanation the “domain-wall” type configuration states in binary lipid mixtures of cationic and neutral lipids, associated with observed relaxation effects in their aggregates. We apply the analogy with formation of Kibble-Zurek topological defects, which we suppose connected with structural dynamics of the lipid phases. In frames of the proposed model, the density of kink-type defects and the energy of the configurations are calculated.

The decomposition of Fe-Cr solid solutions during thermal aging is modeled by Atomistic Kinetic Monte Carlo (AKMC) simulations, using a rigid lattice approximation with composition dependant pair interactions that can reproduce the change of sign of the mixing energy with the alloy composition. The interactions are fitted on ab initio mixing energies and on the experimental phase diagram, as well as on the migration barriers in iron and chromium rich phases. Simulated kinetics is compared with 3D atom probe and neutron scattering experiments.

Two methods of the analysis of powder diffraction patterns of diamond and SiC nanocrystals are presented: (a) examination of changes of the lattice parameters with diffraction vector Q ('apparent lattice parameter', alp) which refers to Bragg scattering, and (b), examination of changes of inter-atomic distances based on the analysis of the atomic Pair Distribution Function, PDF. Application of these methods was studied based on the theoretical diffraction patterns computed for models of nanocrystals having (i) a perfect crystal lattice, and (ii), a core-shell structure, i.e. constituting a two-phase system. The models are defined by the lattice parameter of the grain core, thickness of the surface shell, and the magnitude and distribution of the strain field in the shell. X-ray and neutron experimental diffraction data of nanocrystalline SiC and diamond powders of the grain diameter from 4 nm up to micrometers were used. The effects of the internal pressure and strain at the grain surface on the structure are discussed based on the experimentally determined dependence of the alp values on the Q-vector, and changes of the interatomic distances with the grain size determined experimentally by the atomic Pair Distribution Function (PDF) analysis. The experimental results lend a strong support to the concept of a two-phase, core and the surface shell structure of nanocrystalline diamond and SiC.

Thermodynamic properties of cubic Heisenberg ferromagnets with competing exchange interactions are considered near the frustration point where the coefficient $D$ in the spin-wave spectrum $E_{\mathbf{k}}\sim D k^{2}$ vanishes. Within the Dyson-Maleev formalism it is found that at low temperatures thermal fluctuations stabilize ferromagnetism by increasing the value of $D$. For not too strong frustration this leads to an unusual "concave" shape of the temperature dependence of magnetization, which is in agreement with experimental data on the europium chalcogenides. Anomalous temperature behavior of magnetization is confirmed by Monte Carlo simulation. Strong field dependence of magnetization (paraprocess) at finite temperature is found near the frustration point.

The quantum Heisenberg antiferromagnet on the stacked triangular lattice with the intralayer nearest-neighbor exchange interaction J and interlayer exchange J' is considered within the non-linear $\sigma$-model with the use of the renormalization group (RG) approach. For J' << J the asymptotic formula for the Neel temperature $T_{Neel}$ and sublattice magnetization are obtained. RG turns out to be insufficient to describe experimental data since it does not take into account the $\mathcal{Z}_2$-vortices. Therefore $T_{Neel}$ is estimated using the Monte-Carlo result for the 2D correlation length [10] which has a Kosterlitz-type behavior near the temperature $T_{KT}$ where the vortices are activated.

Recently, we have reported on low friction CrN/TiN coatings deposited using a hybrid sputtering technique. These multilayers exhibit friction coefficients $\mu$ below 0.1 when tested in atmosphere with a relative humidity $\approx25%$, but $\mu$ ranges between 0.6-0.8 upon decreasing the humidity below 5%. Here we use first principle calculations to study O and H adatom energetics on TiN and CrN (001) surfaces. The diffusional barrier of H on TiN(001) is about half of the value on CrN(001) surface, while both elements are stronger bonded on CrN. Based on these results we propose a mechanism for a water-based self-assembled nanobearing.

The quasiparticle excitation spectrum of isolated vortices in clean layered d-wave superconductors is calculated. A large peak in the density of states in the "pancake" vortex core is found, in an agreement with the recent experimental data for high-temperature superconductors.

We present the recent development of three related techniques for the local investigation of grain boundaries (GBs): grain boundary electron-beam-induced current (GB EBIC), grain boundary light-beam-induced current (GB LBIC) and local grain boundary photoconductance spectroscopy (GB PCS). Two grains which are separated by a common GB are ohmically connected to a current amplifier. In GB EBIC a focused electron beam and in GB LBIC a focused light beam of above band gap energy is scanned across the GB. At GBs with a two-dimensional coherent potential barrier a characteristic dark-bright signal is observed which is directly related to the recombination current through the boundary. By applying a small bias, the local attenuation of the potential barrier height as a function of the injection level can be determined. In GB PCS a beam of monochromatic subband gap light is used. By applying a bias, the change in the GB barrier height due to the excitation of carriers into the GB trap states can be detected by the change in the over-barrier current. By varying the light energy, a section of the local distribution of states in the gap can be determined.

We study electron transport properties of some molecular wires and a unconventional disordered thin film within the tight-binding framework using Green's function technique. We show that electron transport is significantly affected by quantum interference of electronic wave functions, molecule-to-electrode coupling strengths, length of the molecular wire and disorder strength. Our model calculations provide a physical insight to the behavior of electron conduction across a bridge system. Comment: 23 pages, 9 figures, A brief review article

We have carried out micro-Raman spectroscopy to characterize Ge concentration and strain in relaxed Si0.7Ge0.3, buffer layers grown on patterned silicon substrates. Different epitaxial layer stacks, annealing steps and Ge composition were used to achieve different relaxation in the strain relaxed buffer layers. A detailed consideration of Raman frequencies and the relative intensities of the, various phonon modes can be used to monitor composition and strain. We show that this method is also suitable for a device layer stack with a strained Si layer on top of the relaxed SiGe buffer layer and we compare it with another proposal for determining of the Ge content using the Si-Si LO Raman frequencies of the Si cap layer and the relaxed SiGe layer. The potential and the accuracy of the various methods in comparison to high resolution x-ray diffraction measurements are discussed. Finally, we demonstrate, that micro-Raman can be used as an in-line monitoring tool to determine the uniformity of Ge concentration and strain with a lateral resolution of 1-2 mum.

We present a study of the electronic properties of Tl5Te3, BiTl9Te6 and SbTl9Te6 compounds by means of density functional theory based calculations. The optimized lattice constants of the compounds are in good agreement with the experimental data. The band gap of BiTl9Te6 and SbTl9Te6 compounds are found to be equal to 0.589 eV and 0.538 eV, respectively and are in agreement with the available experimental data. To compare the thermoelectric properties of the different compounds we calculate their thermopower using Mott's law and show, as expected experimentally, that the substituted tellurides have much better thermoelectric properties compared to the pure compound.

Formation of a canted spiral magnetic order is studied in the framework of a mean-field approximation of the Hubbard model. It is revealed that this magnetic state can be stabilized under certain conditions in layered systems with a relatively small interplane electron hopping. Example of an experimentally observed magnetic structure of La$_{2-x}$Sr$_x$CuO$_4$ is considered. It is shown that the canting magnetic order can be described in terms of a simple non-relativistic band magnetism.

Silicon carbide has strong potential for heat engine hardware and other high-temperature applications because of its low density, good strength, high oxidation resistance, and good high-temperature creep resistance. Hot isostatic pressing (HIP) was used for producing alpha and beta silicon carbide (SiC) bodies with near-theoretical density, ultrafine grain size, and high strength at processing temperatures of 1900 to 2000 C. The HIPed materials exhibited ultrafine grain size. Furthermore, no phase transformation from beta to alpha was observed in HIPed beta-SiC. Both materials exhibited very high average flexural strength. It was also shown that alpha-SiC bodies without any sintering aids, when HIPed to high final density, can exhibit very high strength. Fracture toughness K (sub C) values were determined to be 3.6 to 4.0 MPa m (sup 1/2) for HIPed alpha-SiC and 3.7 to 4.1 MPa m (sup 1/2) for HIPed beta-SiC. In the HIPed specimens strength-controlling flaws were typically surface related. In spite of improvements in material properties such as strength and fracture toughness by elimination of the larger strength-limiting flaws and by grain size refinement, HIPing has no effect on the Weibull modulus.

Terahertz-range photoluminescence from silicon-germanium crystals and superlattices doped by phosphor has been studied under optical excitation by radiation from a mid-infrared CO2 laser at low temperature. SiGe crystals with a Ge content between 0.9 and 6.5 %, doped by phosphor with a concentration optimal for silicon laser operation, do not exhibit terahertz gain. On the contrary, terahertz-range gain of ~ 2.3 - 3.2 1/cm has been observed for donor-related optical transitions in Si/SiGe strained superlattices at pump intensities above 100 kW/cm2.

Zr-based AB2-Laves phase type alloys containing the same type of A and B metals, have been prepared from pure elements by melting and subsequent re-melting under argon atmosphere by using a HF-induction levitation furnace. Characterization of the alloys has resulted from powder X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) measurements and SEM/EDX analyses. Systematic PCI (Pressure-Composition-Isotherms) measurements have been recorded at 20 and 90 oC, using a high-pressure Sievert's type apparatus. The purpose of this study is to find a series of alloys promptly forming metal hydrides (MH) with suitable properties in order to build a MH-based hydrogen compressor, working in the same way between 20 and ~100 oC.

The Hubbard model with strong correlations is treated in the many-electron representation of Hubbard's operators. The regions of stability of saturated and non-saturated ferromagnetism in the n-U plane for the square and simple cubic lattices are calculated. The role of the bare density of states singularities for the magnetic phase diagram is discussed. A comparison with the results of previous works is performed.

The unconventional Josephson coupling in a ferromagnetic weak link between d-wave superconductors is studied theoretically. For strong ferromagnetic barrier influence, the unconventional coupling, with ground state phase difference across the link $0<\phi_{\rm gs}\leq \pi$, is obtained at small crystal misorientation of the superconducting electrodes, in contrast to the case of normal metal barrier, where it appears at large misorientations. In both cases, with decreasing temperature there is an increasing range of misorientations, where $\phi_{\rm gs}$ varies continuously between 0 and $\pi$. When the weak link is a part of a superconducting ring, this is accompanied by the flow of spontaneous supercurrent, of intensity which depends (for a given misorientation) on the reduced inductance $l=2\pi LI_c(T)/\Phi_0$, and is non-zero only for $l$ greater than a critical value. For $l\gg 1$, another consequence of the unconventional coupling is the anomalous quantization of the magnetic flux. Comment: 8pages, 6figures, To be published in Phys. Rev. B {\bf 60} (1 september 1999-I)

We explore the behavior of persistent current and low-field magnetic response in mesoscopic one-channel rings and multi-channel cylinders within the tight-binding framework. We show that the characteristic properties of persistent current strongly depend on total number of electrons $N_e$, chemical potential $\mu$, randomness and total number of channels. The study of low-field magnetic response reveals that only for one-channel rings with fixed $N_e$, sign of the low-field currents can be predicted exactly, even in the presence of disorder. On the other hand, for multi-channel cylinders, sign of the low-field currents cannot be mentioned exactly, even in the perfect systems with fixed $N_e$ as it significantly depends on the choices of $N_e$, $\mu$, number of channels, disordered configurations, etc. Comment: 25 pages, 14 figures, A brief review article

In this paper, we investigated the magnetocaloric effect (MCE) in one-dimensional magnets with different types of ordering in the Ising model, Heisenberg, XY-model, the standard, planar, and modified Potts models. Exact analytical solutions to MCE as functions of exchange parameters, temperature, values and directions of an external magnetic field are obtained. The temperature and magnetic field dependences of MCE in the presence of frustrations in the system in a magnetic field are numerically computed in detail.

We consider the magnetic phase diagram of the two-dimensional Hubbard model on a square lattice. We take into account both spiral and collinear incommensurate magnetic states. The possibility of phase separation of spiral magnetic phases is taken into consideration as well. Our study shows that all the listed phases appear to be the ground state at certain parameters of the model. Relation of the obtained results to real materials, e.g. Cu-based high-temperature superconductors, is discussed.

The room temperature magnetoelectric effect was observed in epitaxial iron garnet films that appeared as magnetic domain wall motion induced by electric field. The films grown on gadolinium-gallium garnet substrates with various crystallographic orientations were examined. The effect was observed in (210) and (110) films and was not observed in (111) films. Dynamic observation of the domain wall motion in 800 kV/cm electric field pulses gave the domain wall velocity in the range 30 ÷50 m/s. Similar velocity was achieved in magnetic field pulse about 50 Oe.

Silicon crystals, doped with moderate concentration of magnesium or lithium, have been grown for application as optically pumped donor silicon lasers for the terahertz spectral region. The pedestal growth technique accompanied with axial-loaded dopant pills enabled manufacturing of large silicon crystals with a homogeneous donor distribution in the range from 10^14 to 10^16 cm^-3, as required for intracenter silicon lasers. Terahertz-range photoluminescence from the grown crystals has been observed.

In the present work the possibility of simultaneous localization of two electrons in $\Delta^{100}$ and $\Delta^{001}$ valleys in ordered structures with Ge/Si(001) quantum dots (QD) was verified experimentally by the electron spin resonance (ESR) method. The ESR spectra obtained for the ordered ten-layered QD structure in the dark show the signal corresponding to electron localization in Si at the Ge QD base edges in $\Delta^{100}$, $\Delta^{010}$ valleys ($g_{zz}$=1.9985, $g_{in-plane}$=1.999). Light illumination causes the appearance of a new ESR line ($g_{zz}$=1.999) attributed to electrons in the $\Delta^{001}$ valley localized at QD apexes. The observed effect is explained by enhancement of electron confinement near the QD apex by Coloumb attraction to the photogenerated hole trapped in a Ge QD.

The magnetic structure of the iron monoarsenide FeAs is studied using first-principles calculations. We consider the collinear and non-collinear (spin-spiral wave) magnetic ordering and magnetic anisotropy. It is analitically shown that a magnetic triaxial anisotropy results in a sum of two spin-spiral waves with opposite directions of wave vectors and different spin amplitudes, so that the magnetic moments in two perpendicular directions do not equal each other.

Zero-point spin fluctuations are shown to strongly influence the ground state of ferromagnetic metals and to impose limitations for the fully spin polarized state assumed in half-metallic ferromagnets, which may influence their applications in spintronics. This phenomenon leads to the low-frequency Stoner excitations and cause strong damping and softening of magnons in magnetoresistive manganites observed experimentally.

This paper reviews the current status of graphene transistors as potential supplement to silicon CMOS technology. A short overview of graphene manufacturing and metrology methods is followed by an introduction of macroscopic graphene field effect transistors (FETs). The absence of an energy band gap is shown to result in severe shortcomings for logic applications. Possibilities to engineer a band gap in graphene FETs including quantum confinement in graphene Nanoribbons (GNRs) and electrically or substrate induced asymmetry in double and multi layer graphene are discussed. Graphene FETs are shown to be of interest for analog radio frequency applications. Finally, novel switching mechanisms in graphene transistors are briefly introduced that could lead to future memory devices. Comment: 11 pages, 6 figures

We investigate a two-dimensional single-band Hubbard model with a nearest-neighbor hopping. We treat a commensurate collinear order as well as incommensurate spiral magnetic phases at a finite temperature using a Hubbard-Stratonovich transformation with a two-field representation and solve this problem in a static approximation. We argue that temperature dramatically influence the collinear and spiral magnetic phases, phase separation in the vicinity of half-filling. The results imply a possible interpretation of unusual behavior of magnetic properties of single-layer cuprates.

The performance of optically pumped terahertz silicon lasers with active media made from mono- and polycrystalline silicon doped by phosphorus has been investigated. The polycrystalline silicon samples consist of grains with a characteristic size distribution in the range from 50 to 500 µm. Despite of significant changes of the principal phonon spectrum and increased scattering of phonons at grain boundaries, the silicon laser made from polycrystalline material has a laser threshold and an operation temperature only slightly worse than that of monocrystalline silicon lasers.

The spin-spiral (SS) type of magnetization is studied with the Hubbard model. Consideration of noncollinearity of the magnetic moments results in a phase diagram which consists of regions of the SS and paramagnetic states depending on the number of electrons and the parameter U/t (U is the Hubbard repulsion, and t is an overlap integral). A possibility of stabilization of the SS state with three nonzero components of magnetic moment is considered.

Dental enamel is the most highly mineralised and hardest biological tissue in human body [1]. Dental enamel is made of hydroxylapatite (HAP) - Ca(5)(PO(4))(3)(OH), which is hexagonal (6/m). The lattice parameters are a = b = 0.9418 nm und c = 0.6875 nm [1]. Although HAP is a very hard mineral, it can be dissolved easily in a process which is known as enamel demineralization by lactic acid produced by bacteria. Also the direct consumption of acid (e.g. citric, lactic or phosphoric acid in soft drinks) can harm the dental enamel in a similar way. These processes can damage the dental enamel. It will be dissolved completely and a cavity occurs. The cavity must then be cleaned and filled. It exists a lot of dental fillings, like gold, amalgam, ceramics or polymeric materials. After filling other dangers can occur: The mechanical properties of the materials used to fill cavities can differ strongly from the ones of the dental enamel itself. In the worst case, the filling of a tooth can damage the enamel of the opposite tooth by chewing if the interaction of enamel and filling is not equivalent, so that the harder fillings can abrade the softer enamel of the healthy tooth at the opposite side. This could be avoided if the anisotropic mechanical properties of dental enamel would be known in detail, hence then another filling could be searched or fabricated as an equivalent opponent for the dental enamel with equal properties. To find such a material, one has to characterise the properties of dental enamel first in detail for the different types of teeth (incisor, canine, premolar and molar). This is here exemplary done for a human incisor tooth by texture analysis with the program MAUD from 2D synchrotron transmission images [2,3,4].

Microstructure and texture formation in DP steels obtained by thermal treatment at temperatures of 780 degrees C i.e. between A(c1) and A(c3) and at 900 degrees C, i.e. above A(c3) and following different cooling techniques were studied by means of X-ray and electron diffraction techniques. The formation of the different structure constituents as well as substructure parameters such as blocks size and misorientation between them induced by thermal treatment was detailed analyzed. Various methods conventional X-ray methods, high-energy synchrotron radiation and EBSD measuring the texture of the bcc phase were applied in order to investigate their influence on the results. Beside texture heredity, a softening of the initial texture components induced by cold rolling and of related anisotropy of steels due to thermal treatment was estimated.

The non-destructive and surface-sensitive method surface photovoltage (SPV) technique as well as ultraviolet-visible (UV-VIS) and Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopic ellipsometry (SE) were employed to investigate the influence of the preparation-induced surface morphology of wet-chemically treated silicon wafers on the stability of the surface passivation against native oxidation in clean room air. It was shown that the progression of the initial oxidation phase on wet-chemically prepared H-terminated surfaces strongly depends on the remaining surface microroughness and interface state density. Best results were obtained on atomically flat NH4F-treated Si(111) surfaces prepared in N2 atmosphere without rinsing, characterised by a very low initial interface state density Dit,min < 2 × 1010 cm-2eV-1 and very long initial phases of oxidation up to 48 h.

High temperature plasticity of fine-grained ceramics (ZrO2, Al2O3, etc) is usually associated with a grain boundary sliding process. The aim of the present research is then to improve the high-temperature mechanical strength of polycrystalline zirconia (3Y-TZP) through the insertion of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (CNTs) or silicon carbide whiskers (SiCw), which are susceptible to pin the grain boundaries. The effect of these nano-sized particles on grain boundary sliding has been studied by mechanical spectroscopy.

This paper was presented at 10th International Conference on Semi-Solid Processing of Alloys and Composites, S2P 2008, September 16th -18th, 2008, Aachen, Germany and Liège, Belgium and published as Solid State Phenomena, 2008, 141-143, pp. 719-724. The final published version is available at www.scientific.net, Doi: 10.4028/www.scientific.net/SSP.141-143.719. Thixoforging involves shaping alloys with a globular microstructure in the semi-solid state. To reach this kind of material, the Recrystallisation and Partial Melting (RAP) process can be used to obtain a globular microstructure from extruded material with liquid penetrating the recrystallised boundaries. Induction heating is used to apply the RAP process to slugs. One of the benefits of using this method of heating is the fast heating rate (20°C/s). This paper will help to improve heating parameters by showing their influence on 7075 aluminium alloy recrystallisation. These parameters are the heating rate; heating frequencies-power; presence or not of protective gas; position of the slug in the inductor; energy stored inside the slug; oxide layer on the slug side; chamfer of the slug upper corner.

Copyright: 2006 Trans Tech Publications, Switzerland Samples of aluminium alloy A356 were manufactured by Semi Solid Metals HPDC technology, developed recently in CSIR, Pretoria. They were butt welded in as cast conditions using as Nd: YAG laser. The best metal and weld microstructure were presented. The effect of different heat treatments on microstructure and mechanical properties of the welds were investigated. It was found that the fine dendrite structure of the weld metal contributed for equalizing the mechanical properties of the joint.

10th International Conference on Semi-Solid processing of alloys and composites (S2P). Aachen, Germany and Liege, Belgium, 16 - 18 September 2008. Copyright: 2008 Trans Tech Publications The heat treatment cycles that are currently applied to semi-solid processed components are mostly those that are in use for dendritic casting alloys. These heat treatments are not necessarily the optimum treatments for non-dendritic microstructures. For rheocast alloy A356, it is shown that natural aging prior to artificial aging causes the time-to-peak-hardness to be longer compared to the time when only artificial aging is used. Furthermore, a hardness plateau is maintained during artificial aging at 180oC between 1 and 5 hours without any prior natural aging. A natural aging period as short as 1 hour results in a hardness peak (rather than a plateau) to be reached during artificial aging after 4 hours at 180oC

Presented at the 10th International Conference on Semi-Solid processing of alloys and composites (S2P). Aachen, Germany and Liege, Belgium, 16 - 18 September 2008 The CSIR rheo-process was used to prepare the aluminium A356 SSM slurries and thereafter plates (4x80x100 mm3) were cast using a 50 Ton Edgewick HPDC machine. Plates in the as cast, T4 and T6 heat treatment conditions which had passed radiography were then butt laser welded. It was found that the pre-weld as cast, T4 and post-weld T4 heat treated specimens fractured in the base metal. However, the pre-weld T6 heat treated specimens were found to have fractured in the heat affected zone (HAZ)

Copyright: 2008 Trans Tech Publications In order for SSM forming to produce homogeneous properties in a casting, it is important that there is a uniform distribution of the primary grains. Besides producing a sound casting free of porosity, the amount of liquid segregation must be minimized. The surface liquid segregation phenomenon was investigated on high pressure die cast (HPDC) A356 alloy. SSM slurries were prepared using the CSIR Rheocasting System and plates of 4mm × 80mm × 100mm were HPDC. The chemical composition depth profile from the surface was determined using optical emission spectroscopy (OES) and glow discharge optical emission spectroscopy (GDOES). It was found that a 0.5-1.0 mm eutectic rich layer existed on the surface of the alloy. The thickness of the segregation layer depended on the location on the casting. It was found that this layer was insignificant close to the gate of the casting but was relatively consistent over most of the plate. Although this segregation layer did not impact on the bulk mechanical properties, hardness tests did reveal that this region had significantly higher hardness values which may have a considerable impact on the fatigue properties

Wet gel obtained by sol-gel technique was dried in supercritical CO2 to prepare hydrated form of magnesium oxide. Calcination at 723 K under vacuum yielded nanocrystalline MgO aerogel. Structure studies were performed by X-ray diffraction, scanning and transmission electron microcopies. Electron microscopy images reveal rough, unfolded and ramified structure of solid skeleton. Specific surface area SBET was equal to 238 m2/g. X-ray pattern reveals the broadened diffraction lines of periclase, the only crystalline form of magnesium oxide. The gamma crystallite size distribution was determined using FW 1/5/4/5 M method proposed by R. Pielaszek. The obtained values of and ó (measure of polydispersity) of particle size parameters are equal to 6.5 nm and 1.8 nm, respectively, whereas the average crystallite size estimated by Williamson-Hall procedure was equal to 6.0 nm. The obtained at Rietveld refinement Rwp, and S fitting parameters equal to 6.62% and 1.77, respectively, seem to be satisfactory due to the nanosize of MgO crystallites and because of the presence of amorphous phase.

Copyright: 2006 Trans Tech Publications Ltd SSM is now considered an established technology to produce high integrity near net shape components for the automotive industry in particular. Although it is used extensively in the automotive industry, very little attention has been given to aerospace applications. SSM processing does demonstrate the potential to replace certain hogout components in commercial aircraft with the main aim to reduce costs while maintaining high strength to weight ratios. In order to achieve this it will require developing processes to reliably cast components with consistent properties to meet aerospace requirements. Since SSM forming is a relatively new process, materials properties data bases for components produced using this technique is very limited. One of the major challenges is the generation of a data base of material properties to assist design engineers for design of components, as well to assess the life expectancy and development maintenance schedules.

Using a textured substrate is a basic requirement for light trapping in a thin film solar cell. In this contribution, the structure of μc-Si:H n-i-p solar cells developed on a rough Ag/ZnO coated glass substrate is carefully studied, in order to understand the substrate surface morphology dependence of solar cell properties, especially of the yield of working cells. From cross-sectional transmission electron microscopy (TEM) images it is clear that cells developed on substrates with tilted large Ag crystal grains contain pinholes that result in short-circuiting of the entire device. The formation of these pinholes is due to the inability of conformal coverage of the sub-micron sized cavities that are created by these Ag grains. Controlling the Ag deposition temperature is found to be essential to have a well performing μc-Si:H n-i-p cell.

The incorporation of carbon into silicon has gained interest since at a high concentration, carbon can reduce i) the stresses of Si/SiGe heterostructures, ii) it can suppress the enhanced diffusion of dopants like boron. Such properties have initiated, e.g., the development of new devices, such as the SiGeC hetero-bipolar transistor. Unfortunately, the carbon incorporation in silicon is difficult to achieve due to its low solubility and the lattice stresses involved. This paper demonstrates that the growth of carbon-rich silicon layers by molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) shows a strong temperature dependence and a complex structural "phase diagram". We distinguish two growth mechanisms: fully substitutional incorporation at around 450°C and additionally segregation above 600°C. Therefore, pseudomorphic 100 nm thick Si layers have been grown with a content of 2% C, and for an C incorporation of 5% epitaxial layers could be generated including defects, such as twins. Thermodynamically, such layers are characterized by point defect concentrations far away from equilibrium. Therefore, the carbon diffusion can not only be described by a simple, self-interstitial related mechanism, but also vacancies and interstitial oxygen have to be taken into account. Experiments with antimony, a vacancy-diffusing dopant, prove the strong influence of vacancies in carbon-rich samples. Concerning the complex interaction of point defects, we discuss the possibility of an additional mechanism, namely the Frank-Turnbul mechanism and/or the precipitation of silicon carbide as a vacancy source. We also evoke the co-precipitation of oxygen and carbon and explain this affinity by an exchange of point defects and a volume compensation.

With the increasing requirements for microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) regarding stability, miniaturization and integration, novel materials such as wide band gap semiconductors are receiving more attention. The outstanding properties of group III-nitrides offer many more possibilities for the implementation of new functionalities and a variety of technologies are available to realize group III-nitride based MEMS. In this work we demonstrate the application of these techniques for the fabrication of full-nitride MEMS. It includes a novel actuation and sensing principle based on the piezoelectric effect and employing a two-dimensional electron gas confined in AlGaN/GaN heterostructures as integrated back electrode. Furthermore, the actuation of flexural and longitudinal vibration modes in resonator bridges are demonstrated as well as their sensing properties.

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