SVConnections May 2016
June 2018

Energy-Saving Windows Made from Common Glass and Cheap Nanocrystals 

From  Nanowerk Spotlight, April 27, 2018, by Michael Berger:
"One of the main challenges for energy efficient technologies is to lower their cost by making cheap energy-efficient materials and devices by preferably using green manufacturing technologies. For example, commercial infrared-blocking windows, both passive and active, are simply too expensive (most of these IR-blocking windows contain an expensive silver coating). One approach to this problem involves creating passive infrared-blocking glasses using plasmonic nanocrystals. Researchers at Ohio University have shown that mixtures of specially shaped plasmonic nanocrystals made of noble (Ag and Au) and alternative materials (TiN, Al, and Cu) can efficiently block IR solar radiation. In particular, nanocrystals of relatively inexpensive plasmonic materials (Ag, Cu, Al, and TiN) show an overall good performance as IR-blocking elements."   READ FULL ARTICLE.

Source:   Nanowerk
I mage:   Nanowerk

Controlling the Crystal Structure of Gallium Oxide

From Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), April 29, 2018:
"Haiding Sun, Xiaohang Li, and co-workers from KAUST worked with industry partners Structured Materials Industries, Inc. in the U.S. to demonstrate a relatively simple method to control the crystal structure of gallium oxides on a sapphire substrate using MOCVD. "We were able to control the growth by changing just one parameter: the flow rate of hydrogen chloride in the chamber," explains Sun. "This is the first time that hydrogen chloride has been used during oxide growth in an MOCVD reactor."     READ FULL ARTICLE. 
Source: KAUST
Image: KAUST 

Vapor-Deposition Technology for Mixed Hybrid Perovskites

From Advanced Science News, March 16, 2018, by Francesca Riboni:

"Researchers at Universidad de Valencia (Spain) have reported on an innovative multiple-source thermal vacuum deposition technology for growing mixed-cation/mixed-halide perovskite layers. Among all the possible composition combinations, a three-cation/two-anion perovskite (Cs0.5FA0.4MA0.1Pb(I0.83Br0.17)3) was shown to yield the most efficient and stable perovskite solar cells (PSCs).

The reported results extend the use of vapor-deposition technology to mixed hybrid perovskite systems, and offer a convenient approach to tune thickness and composition of the absorber layer. Even more, the authors foresee that vapor-deposition techniques are a processing method that can be adapted to yield more complex absorber systems (e.g., complementary wide/narrow band-gap perovskites) and devices, which will ultimately break the currently established record efficiency.

How to Bend and Stretch a Diamond

From MIT, April 19, 2018, David L. Chandler:
"An international team of researchers from MIT, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Korea has found that when grown in extremely tiny, needle-like shapes, diamond can bend and stretch, much like rubber, and snap back to its original shape. The team showed that the narrow diamond needles, similar in shape to the rubber tips on the end of some toothbrushes but just a few hundred nanometers across, could flex and stretch by as much as 9 percent without breaking, then return to their original configuration. The diamond needles are grown through a chemical vapor deposition process and then etched to their final shape. "    READ FULL ARTICLE.
Source:  MIT  
Image: MIT  

The Superlubric Behavior of Graphene 

From  Advanced Science News, March 20, 2018:
" Prof. Peter Coveney and co-workers from University College London describe the process that drives the exfoliation of graphite into graphene sheets by using molecular dynamic simulations to accurately simulate graphene behavior. Using molecular dynamics, they have developed a new force field that allows us to look at graphene sliding on a graphite substrate. Researchers see that the friction that the graphene displays is extremely low, almost like a puck in air hockey. This new force field, termed GraFF, recreates the energy barrier that graphene flakes experience when sliding over graphene, and allows the superlubric behavior of graphene to be revealed.   READ FULL ARTICLE.

Multi-Institutional Team of Scientists Mix the Unmixable to Create 'Shocking' Nanoparticles

From  University of Maryland, College Park, March 29, 2018, by Melissa L. Andreychek :

" A multi-institutional team of researchers is the fir st to create nanoscale particles composed of up to eight distinct elements generally known to be immiscible, or incapable of being mixed or blended together. Their blending of multiple, unmixable elements into a unified, homogenous nanostructure, called a high entropy alloy nanoparticle, greatly expands the landscape of nanomaterials-and what we can do with them. To create the high entropy alloy nanoparticles, the researchers employed a two-step method of flash heating followed by flash cooling. This research was performed through a collaboration of the University of Maryland, College Park, the University of Illinois at Chicago, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Johns Hopkins University. " READ FULL ARTICLE.

Electrochemical Tuning of Single Layer Materials Relies on Defects

From  Penn State University, April 19, 2018 by A'ndrea Elyse Messer:

" An international team of researchers' study of 2-D materials has shown that defects can enhance a material's physical, electrochemical, magnetic, energy and catalytic properties. Researchers placed MoS2 films on a variety of substrates - gold, single-layer graphene, hexagonal boron nitride and cerium dioxide - and irradiated to create defects in the lattice structure. They found that the sulfur defects improved the physical characteristics of the material. By choosing the locations and number of defects, they should be able to tune the material's band structure, improving its electronic capabilities.  

Image:  Penn State University  

Energy Conversion: Optical 'Overtones' for Solar Cells

From Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU, Germany), April 19, 2018:

"Nanosystems Initiative Munich (NIM) scientists from LMU Munich have found a new effect regarding the optical excitation of charge carriers in a solar semiconductor. It could facilitate the utilization of infrared light, which is normally lost in solar devices. They measured the charge carrier density created by the absorption of multiple photons in perovskite nanocrystals and were surprised to observe that for specific excitation wavelengths the efficiency of this process becomes drastically enhanced. LMU scientists realized that these resonances occur when multiples of two distinct fundamental frequencies become equal, namely that of the frequency of the primary light oscillation and that of the frequency of the band gap or more precisely of the exciton at the band-gap. " READ FULL ARTICLE.


Diamond-like Carbon is Formed Differently to What Was Believed

From Aalto University (Finland), April 19, 2018:

" Researchers at Aalto University and Cambridge University have made a significant breakthrough in computational science by combining atomic-level modelling and machine learning. For the first time, the method has been used to realistically model how an amorphous material is formed at the atomic level. The team's simulations reveal that diamond-like carbon film is formed at the atomic level in a different way than was thought. Earlier, amorphous carbon films were thought to form when atoms are packed together in a small area. We have demonstrated that mechanical shock waves can cause the formation of diamond-like atoms further away from the point at which the impacting atoms hit the target. READ FULL ARTICLE.

Tin Selenide Crafted in Thin Films of 'Nanoflakes' for Thermoelectrics

AIP Publishing: 
Journal of Applied Physics,

By AIP News Staff/Case Western Reserve University, March 27, 2018:
" Researchers from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio saw the graphene-like layered crystal structure of SnSe and were inspired to grow nanometer-thick nanoflakes and thin films of SnSe to further study its thermoelectric properties. To grow SnSe nanostructures, they used CVD. Researchers thermally evaporated a tin selenide powder source inside an evacuated quartz tube. Tin and selenium atoms react on a silicon or mica growth wafer placed at the low-temperature zone of the quartz tube. This causes SnSe nanoflakes to form on the surface of the wafer. Silver dopant was the most effective - resulting in a 300 percent power factor improvement compared to undoped samples. READ FULL ARTICLE.

Semiconductor Silver Sulfide Stretches Like Metal

From Chemical and Engineering News, April 17, 2018 by Mark Peplow:
" Researchers in China and Germany have now found that a form of silver sulfide (α-Ag2S) not only boasts promising electronic properties, but also is the first known inorganic semiconductor that is ductile at room temperature. The team used density functional theory calculations to understand the atomic origins of the material's ductility. Bulk α-Ag2S and thin films a few hundred nanometers thick could bend several times without significantly altering their electronic properties such as bandgap, charge mobility, and electrical resistance. "    READ FULL ARTICLE.

Image:  Nat. Mater.

Ultra-High Vacuum Seals

From  2018 AVEM Vacuum Equipment Resource Guide, by Ken Harrison (GNB Corporation):
" There are several successful methods to create metal seals for UHV vacuum systems. Metal seals are primarily used in the ultra-high vacuum range (less than 9x10-9 torr) and lower because they exhibit much lower outgassing rates and have very little permeability. Many of the metal seals are only recommended for single use. These static seals are common and quite easy to achieve.

There are a few seals that are reusable (at least for a limited number of times). These dynamic, or repeating, seals can also be achieved, but the design will become highly specialized as the number of cycles goes up, the vacuum pressure goes down and other factors such as temperature extremes are added as requirements. This article describes a number of factors to consider when designing a dynamic sealing method.
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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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