SVConnections May 2016
Dec ember 2017

Micron-Scale Wedge Thin Films Deposition Made Simple

From  Advanced Science News, September 12, 2017, by Bette Nijboer:
"In a new study conducted by researchers from the National Research Council in Seville and The Polytechnic University in Madrid, Spain a simple procedure leading to the formation of micron size wedge thin films has been developed. It relies on a conventional method of thin film deposition, Plasma Enhanced Chemical Vapor Deposition. A simple, but straightforward modification of this procedure applied to the deposition of ZnO, has been used to grow wedge thin films of different lengths and slopes according to requirements. The outstanding optical properties shown in the study support the use of wedge films as references or standards for optical metrology with micron size lateral resolution to test ellipsometry and reflectometry optical tools. READ FULL ARTICLE.


Electrically Heated Textiles Now Possible

From University of Massachusetts Amherst, September 28, 2017:
" Scientists at the University of Massachusetts Amherst used a vapor deposition method for nano-coating fabric to create sewable, weavable, electrically heated material. The demonstration glove they made can keep fingers toasty for up to eight hours. The three-layered glove, with one layer coated by the conducting polymer poly(3,4-ethylenedioxytiophene), also known as PEDOT. The glove is powered by a small coin battery and they run on nano-amps of current, not enough to pass current through your skin or to hurt you. The coating works even when it's completely dunked in water, it will not shock you.  READ FULL ARTICLE.
Source: UMass Amherst
Image: UMass Amherst  

Chemical Vapor Deposition Coatings Extend Aerospace Component Life

From Advanced Materials and Processes, September 2017, by Yuri Zhuk (Hardide Coatings Inc.):

"Extreme operating conditions for aircraft push materials and components to the edge of their design capabilities. Until now, researchers have investigating hard chrome plating (HCP) and high velocity oxygen fuel (HVOF) deposited coatings. They are considered too brittle and are deposited using high process temperatures that are prohibitively expensive.

By comparison, test results of Hardide nanostructured tungsten-tungsten carbide CVD coatings show that low temperature CVD coatings are tough, provide a practical solution that is both technically and commercially viable, and can dramatically increase aircraft component life. The Hardide CVD coating has been used by BAE Systems Col, UK, to prevent galling and wear on parts for its Eurofighter Typhoon jet aircraft since 2005.

Tracing the Recorded History of Thin-Film Sputter Deposition: From the 1800s to 2017

From Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology A, September/ October 2017, by Joe E. Greene:
"Thin films, ubiquitous in today's world, have a documented history of more than 5000 years. However, thin-film growth by sputter deposition, which required the development of vacuum pumps and electrical power in the 1600s and the 1700s, is a much more recent phenomenon. First reported in the early 1800s, sputter deposition already dominated the optical-coating market by 1880. Roll-to-roll sputter coating on flexible substrates was introduced in the mid-1930s, and the initial demonstration of sustained self-sputtering (i.e., sputtering without gas) was performed in 1970. The first kinetic models of reactive sputtering appeared in the 1960s; high-rate reactive sputtering, based on partial-pressure control, was developed in the early 1980s. No less than eight Nobel Laureates in Physics and Chemistry played major roles in the evolution of modern sputter deposition. "   READ FULL ARTICLE.

Tungsten Offers Nano-Interconnects a Path of Least Resistance 

From  Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, October 4, 2017 by AIP News Staff :
" As microchips become ever smaller and therefore faster, the shrinking size of their copper interconnects leads to increased electrical resistivity at the nanoscale. One promising solution involves reducing the resistivity size effect by altering the crystalline orientation of interconnect materials. A pair of researchers from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute conducted electron transport measurements in epitaxial single-crystal layers of tungsten (W) as one such potential interconnect solution. They performed first-principles simulations, finding a definite orientation-dependent effect. The anisotropic resistivity effect they found was most significant between layers with two particular orientations of the lattice structure, namely W(001) and W(110). READ FULL ARTICLE.

Digging Sensors Out of an Efficiency Hole

From A*STAR Institute of Materials Research and Engineering, September 15, 2017:

" Joel Yang from the A*STAR Institute of Materials Research and Engineering was part of an international collaboration that achieved a 20,000-fold increase in the photoluminescence of a one atom-thick layer of tungsten diselenide, by mounting it on a gold surface patterned with narrow trenches.

Tungsten diselenide is promising for ultra-sensitive, ultra-thin light sensors, solar cells and light-emitting diodes, because of its ability to absorb light and re-emit at a different frequency. However this effect only occurs for a single atom layer, so its efficiency is very low. Yang's inspiration was to mount the layer on a gold surface and trap the light energy at the interface of the two layers in the form of surface plasmons. To enhance the absorption of light, they added trenches to the gold layer under the tungsten diselenide. To create the structure, the team etched a very flat silicon crystal to create a grid of ridges. Next they deposited a layer of gold onto the silicon and then peeled it off to reveal trenches where the ridges had been.

2D Electronics' Metal or Semiconductor? Both?

From the Institute for Basic Science (Korea), September 19, 2017 by Letizia Diamante:

" A research team at the Center for Artificial Low Dimensional Electronic Systems, within the Institute for Basic Science (IBS), has developed the first 2D field-effect transistor circuit (FET) made of a single material. The major issue for 2D FET transistors is the existence of a large contact resistance at the interface between the 2D semiconductor and any bulk metal. To address this, the team devised a new technique to produce 2D transistors with semiconductor and metal made of the same chemical compound, molybdenum telluride (MoTe2). IBS scientists used the chemical vapor deposition (CVD) technique to build high quality metallic or semiconducting MoTe2 crystals. It is a polymorphic material, meaning that it can be used both as metal and as semiconductor." READ FULL ARTICLE.


A Self-Healing, Self-Lubricating Tribofilm

From Tech Briefs, October 1, 2017, by Argonne National Laboratory:

" Tribologists have developed a diamond-like film that is generated by the heat and pressure of an automotive engine. The ultra-durable, self-lubricating tribofilm - a film that forms between moving surfaces - can be made to develop self-healing, diamond-like carbon (DLC) tribofilms. The film generates itself by breaking down the molecules of the lubricating oil, and can regenerate the tribofilm as it is worn away. " READ FULL ARTICLE.

Image:  Tech Briefs

Five Major Trends of the Global PV Module Market

From Solar Industry, October 2017, by Edurne Zoco:

" Back in 2007, less than 5 GW of solar PV was installed globally; last year, it was almost 78 GW was installed. At IHS Markit, we are currently forecasting that we could even reach the magic 100 GW level by next year, representing 20x growth within one decade. 

This article is an overview and future outlook of what have been the five major trends shaping the global PV module market since 2007 to bring it to its current state.

1. China runs the solar show.
2. Scale and cost reduction have made solar the most affordable source of energy in some regions.
3. Policy changes, trade disputes and legal barriers continue to shape the PV module industry.
4. Business models: from vertical integration to increased specialization.
5. The on-going search for high-efficiency PV  technology and modules. READ FULL ARTICLE.

Terahertz Spectroscopy Goes Nano-Probing Electrical Properties

From Brown University, October 19, 2017:
" Brown University researchers have demonstrated a way to bring a powerful form of spectroscopy into the nano-world.  Laser terahertz emission microscopy (LTEM) is a burgeoning means of characterizing the performance of solar cells, integrated circuits and other systems and materials. Laser pulses illuminating a sample material cause the emission of terahertz radiation, which carries important information about the sample's electrical properties.

Their work has improved the resolution of the LTEM technique so it can be used to characterize individual nanostructures. Typically, LTEM measurements are performed with resolution of a few tens of microns, but this new technique enables measurements down to a resolution of 20 nanometers, roughly 1,000 times the resolution previously possible using traditional LTEM techniques.
Source:  Brown University 

Scientists Invent a New Mode of Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM)-Direct Piezoelectric Force Microscopy

From Nanowerk News, October 24, 2017:
" A group of scientists from the Spain's Institut de Ciència de Materials de Barcelona (ICMAB-CSIC), together with scientists from the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), have implemented a new method of microscopy called Direct Piezoelectric Force Microscopy. This technique allows researchers to measure the small currents that are generated by piezoelectric effect in a quantitative way and to the nanoscale. This new AFM mode enhances this microscopy technique as a standard characterization technique available for material research specifically for the case of piezoelectricity and ferroelectricity. READ FULL ARTICLE.
Source:  Nanowerk 
Image: Nanowerk

The Flat and the Curious- 2D Silicene

From Argonne National Laboratory, November 6, 2017 by Joan Koka:
" One obstacle to realizing applications of 2-D materials is the cost and time needed for experimental studies. At the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory, researchers have simulated the growth of silicene, a 2-D material with attractive electronic properties. Their work delivers new and useful insights on the material's properties and behavior and offers a predictive model for other researchers studying 2-D materials. Now, others can avoid much of the trial and error within the lab. Instead they can experiment using the optimized set of conditions the model predicts to best yield the structures and properties they desire. READ FULL ARTICLE.
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Society of Vacuum Coaters Foundation

Founding Principle: The Society of Vacuum Coaters recognizes that in order to sustain its growth, it is important to attract young, well trained individuals to the field of Vacuum Coatings.

The SVC Foundation pursues this principle by providing scholarships to well qualified students planning to enter fields related to vacuum coatings, and/or providing stipends for travel expenses to attend the annual SVC Technical Conference, usually to present technical papers. The Society of Vacuum Coaters (SVC), the SVCF's founder, and AIMCAL, an organization committed to advancing vacuum roll-coating technology, and their members, provides support for the Foundation to pursue these goals.

Since its inception in 2002, the SVCF has awarded more than 50 scholarships and travel awards totaling over $180,000 to students from 18 countries. Our support can really have an impact in the life of these students; quoting a recent award recipient:

"Not only does the scholarship give the gift of financial support and the possibility to continue learning, it also gives those that have a passion for vacuum coating the blessing of attending such a wonderful program [SVC TechCon] to network and further their knowledge."

Inviting scholarship recipients to the SVC TechCon is an important element of the overall strategy for attracting new talent to our industry. Scholarship beneficiaries carry a special identification on the TechCon badge and we encourage you to meet them and make them feel welcome.

Scholarship Applications must be postmarked by November 30th of each year.

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SVConnections Contributing Editors: 
Carl M. Lampert, SVC Technical Director 
Joyce Lampert

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