Like us on Facebook  Follow us on Twitter  View our profile on LinkedIn   Society of Vacuum CoatersJuly 2014
In This Issue
Transistors Made of 2-D Materials
Liquid Crystal as Lubricant
Photonic Structured Solar Cells to Enhance Current and Voltage
Cutting Reflection for the Infrared and Beyond
Clothes That Self-Decontaminate; NRL Material May Also Purify Biofuel
High Quality Three-Dimensional Nanoporous Graphene
Diamond Puts a New Shine on Nanoresonators
"MIT.nano," To Be Built as Hub for Nanoscale Research
Wearable Graphene Strain Sensors Monitor Human Vital Signs
Battelle Develops Self-Healing Smart Beads that Detect and Repair Corrosion
Wearable Solar Cells Woven into Fabric
Regenerating Plastic Grows Back After Damage
Researchers Demonstrate Controlled Synthesis of...
Scouting Report for Materials at End of the Road: 2013 ITRS
Scientists Use Nanoparticles to Control Growth of Materials
Transistors Made of 2-D Materials 
From Chemical and Engineering News (C&EN), May 12, 2014, by Prachi Patel 

"Two independent research groups report the first transistors built entirely of two-dimensional electronic materials, making the devices some of the thinnest yet. The transistors, just a few atoms thick and hence transparent, could lead to bright, bendable, high-resolution displays.


In two new studies, the research teams, one at Argonne National Laboratory and the other at the University of California, Berkeley, used 2-D materials to make all three components of a transistor: a semiconductor, a set of electrodes, and an insulating layer to keep the other two parts separated in some areas. Such all-2-D transistors are smaller than their silicon-based counterparts and would allow for a super-high density of pixels in next-generation displays."

Source: C&EN,
Image: C&EN/Ali Javey
Art15Liquid Crystal as Lubricant
From Fraunhofer, IWM, May 21, 2014

"Although lubricants are widely used, there have been almost no fundamental innovations for this product in the last twenty years. Together with a consortium, the Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials IWM in Freiburg has developed an entirely new class of substance that could change everything: liquid crystalline lubricant. Its chemical makeup sets it apart; although it is a liquid, the molecules display directional properties like crystals do. When two surfaces move in opposite directions, the liquid crystal molecules between the two surfaces align themselves so that the frictional resistance is extremely low. This enables nearly frictionless sliding."

Source: Fraunhofer,
Image: Fraunhofer/Dirk Mahler 
Art9Photonic Structured Solar Cells to Enhance Current and Voltage
From SPIE Newsroom (DOI: 10.1117/2.1201405.005471), May 19, 2014, by Jeremy Munday (University of Maryland, College Park) 

"Current PV systems operate at <30% power conversion efficiency, but the theoretical limit is >86%. This discrepancy comes from inefficient use of photons that have energies significantly above the semiconductor bandgap and non-absorption of photons that have energies below it. To most effectively use the entire solar spectrum, we need to tailor many of the solar cell's properties (the absorption coefficient and bandgap energy, for example), which generally requires the use of different semiconductors. Ideally, we would like to have a single material whose bandgap we could tune without affecting its optoelectronic properties. However, the bandgap is usually considered an intrinsic material property that cannot easily be modified without changing the semiconductor" 

SPIE Newsroom,
University of Maryland, College Park   
Anchor123Cutting Reflection for the Infrared and Beyond 
From A*STAR Research (Singapore), May 21, 2014

"Researchers from the A*STAR Institute of Materials Research and Engineering and the A*STAR Institute of Microelectronics and Osaka University, Japan, have developed ultrathin antireflection coatings for terahertz waves that can be applied to almost any surface.


Antireflection coatings are usually based on interference effects, which require them to be at least as thick as the wavelength of light. This is practical for visible light, with wavelengths in the range of hundreds of nanometers. However, it is a serious limitation for infrared or terahertz radiation, which has much longer wavelengths of the order of hundreds of microns."


Source: A*STAR Research,
Image: A*STAR Institute of Materials Research and Engineering
Art15Clothes That Self-Decontaminate; NRL Material May Also Purify Biofuel
From U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, April 17, 2014

"The military wants fabrics that don't just filter out nerve agents and other toxins, but also self-decontaminate. Dr. Brandy White, at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) Center for Biomolecular Science and Engineering, is making materials that capture entire classes of contaminants, and then break them down into something harmless. Her technology is stable and can be used for clothing, air filters, or even coated on windows and vehicles."

Source: U.S. Naval Research Laboratory,
Image: U.S. Naval Research Laboratory/Jamie Hartman 
Art14 High Quality Three-Dimensional Nanoporous Graphene
From Tohoku University, Advanced Institute for Materials Research (AIMR), (Japan), April 7, 2014 

"Three-dimensional (3D) nanoporous graphene with preserved 2D Dirac electronic characters was successfully synthesized by Dr. Yoshikazu Ito and Prof. Mingwei CHEN at Advanced Institute for Materials Research (AIMR), Tohoku University. The nanoporous graphene is constructed by a single layer graphene sheet that is continuously inter-connected to form a complex 3D network structure. This free-standing nanoporous graphene with an excellent crystallinity possesses high mobility, holding great promise for the applications in electronic devices." 

Tohoku University,
Image: Tohoku University 
Diamond Puts a New Shine on Nanoresonators 
From Materials Today, April 29, 2014 by Cordelia Sealy

"A team of researchers from the Institut NEEL - CNRS in Grenoble, France, the Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Festkörperphysik in Germany, and the University of Cardiff in the UK have designed superconducting nano-mechanical resonators made from boron-doped diamond (BDD). The long, thin slivers of diamond are sensitive to very small changes in charge, mass, force, and displacement."


Source: Materials Today,
Image: Institut NEEL - CNRS
Art10"MIT.nano," To Be Built as Hub for Nanoscale Research
From MIT News, April 29, 2014 by David Chandler

"Starting in 2018, researchers from across MIT will be able to take advantage of comprehensive facilities for nanoscale research in a new building to be constructed at the very heart of the Cambridge, MA campus.


The 200,000-square-foot building, called "MIT.nano," will house state-of-the-art cleanroom, imaging, and prototyping facilities supporting research with nanoscale materials and processes - in fields including energy, health, life sciences, quantum sciences, electronics, and manufacturing. An estimated 2,000 MIT researchers may ultimately make use of the building, says electrical engineering professor Vladimir Bulović, faculty lead on the MIT.nano project and associate dean for innovation in the School of Engineering."

Source: MIT,
Wilson Architects   
Art3Wearable Graphene Strain Sensors Monitor
Human Vital Signs

Nanowerk Spotlight, April 30, 2014, by Michael Berger

"Researchers at Tsinghua University and Nanchang University in China have reported on a method to monitor human motions. Their paper appeared in the April 14, 2014 online edition of Advanced Function Materials ("Wearable and Highly Sensitive Graphene Strain Sensors for Human Motion Monitoring").


"We prepared a simple-structured and low-cost graphene woven fabrics (GWFs) strain sensor, which can readily distinguish various strain levels of human motion signals," Hongwei Zhu, a professor at Tsinghua University, tells Nanowerk. "As we applied stress on the strain sensor, high-density cracks generated in the network, leading to the decrease of current pathways decrease and the increase of resistance.""

Source: Nanowerk Spotlight,
Image: Tsinghua University/Prof. Zhu
Art7Battelle Develops Self-Healing Smart Beads that Detect and Repair Corrosion
From Battelle Memorial Institute, May, 1, 2014 

"Battelle scientists have developed a tiny bead, the Battelle Smart Corrosion Detector™ bead, that not only detects corrosion but delivers a payload to help heal the microscopic cracks that rust creates.


The Smart Corrosion Detector beads look like a fine, whitish powder that can be mixed with coatings used to protect pipelines and other critical infrastructure subject to corrosion. The self-healing smart beads detect and reveal corrosion forming on metal before it is visible to the naked eye. Once activated, the 20 to 50 micron beads release a proprietary chemical that fills the cracks."


Source: Battelle Memorial Institute,
Image:  Wikipedia
Art11Wearable Solar Cells Woven into Fabric 
From Wiley (Nr. 18/2014), May 9, 2014
Huisheng Peng, Fudan University, Shanghai (China)

"Conventional batteries are not practicable for ever-lighter wearable electronic devices. A possible alternative is solar cells in the form of a textile that can simple be integrated into clothing. In the journal Angewandte Chemie Chinese researchers have now introduced novel, efficient solar cells based on stable, flexible textile electrodes that can be integrated into fabrics.


Various types of threadlike solar cells that can be woven into textiles have previously been produced by twisting two electrically conducting fibers together as electrodes. Practical application of these has been hampered by the fact that it is difficult to make long, efficient, thread-shaped electrodes. The wire-shaped cells are limited to lengths of a few millimeters. It has also been difficult to connect a larger number of crossed wire-shaped solar cells that have been woven into electronic textiles." 

Source: Wiley,
Image: Wiley-VCH
Art15Regenerating Plastic Grows Back After Damage
From University of Illinois, May 8, 2014 by Liz Ahlberg

"Looking at a smooth sheet of plastic in one University of Illinois laboratory, no one would guess that an impact had recently blasted a hole through it.


Illinois researchers have developed materials that not only heal, but regenerate. Until now, self-repairing materials could only bond tiny microscopic cracks. The new regenerating materials fill in large cracks and holes by re-growing material.


The regenerating capabilities build on the team's previous work in developing vascular materials. Using specially formulated fibers that disintegrate, the researchers can create materials with networks of capillaries inspired by biological circulatory systems. The team demonstrated their regenerating system on the two biggest classes of commercial plastics: thermoplastics and thermosets."

Source: University of Illinois, web site has a video:
Image: University of Illinois/Ryan Gergely  
Art15Researchers Demonstrate Controlled Synthesis of Wafer-Scale Bilayer Graphene and High-Performance Transistors
From University of California, Santa Barbara, May 7, 2014


"Researchers at University of California, Santa Barbara, in collaboration with Rice University, have recently demonstrated a rapid synthesis technique for large-area Bernal (or AB) stacked bilayer graphene films that can open up new pathways for digital electronics and transparent conductor applications.


The invention also includes the first demonstration of a bilayer graphene double-gate field-effect transistor (FET), showing record ON/OFF transistor switching ratio and carrier mobility that could drive future ultra-low power and low-cost electronics."

Source: University of California, Santa Barbara,
Image: University of California, Santa Barbara/Peter Allen 
Art15Scouting Report for Materials at End of the Road: 2013 ITRS
From Semiconductor Manufacturing & Design,
May 12, 2014, by Ed Korczynski, Sr.

"The IC fabrication industry is approaching the end of the road for device miniaturization, with both atomic and economic limits looming on the horizon. New materials are widely considered as key to the future of profitable innovation in ICs, so everyone from process engineers to business pundits needs to examine the Emerging Research Materials (ERM) chapter of the just published 2013 edition of the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS).


The 2013 ITRS covers both near-term (2014-2020) and long-term (2020 onward) perspectives on what materials and processes would be desired to build ideal ICs."

Source: Semiconductor Manufacturing & Design,
Image: Semiconductor Manufacturing & Design 
Art15Scientists Use Nanoparticles to Control Growth of Materials
From UCLA Newsroom, May 19, 2014, by Matthew Chin

"Growth occurs naturally in chemicals, metals and other inorganic materials. That fact has, for decades, posed a major challenge for scientists and engineers, because controlling the growth within materials is critical for creating products with uniform physical properties so that they can be used as components of machinery and electronic devices. The challenge has been particularly vexing when the materials' molecular building blocks grow rapidly or are processed under harsh conditions such as high temperatures."

Source: UCLA,
Image: UCLA/Nature Communications 
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14th International Conference on Plasma Surface Engineering 

Conference and Exhibition
September 15-19, 2014
Kongresshaus, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany

Early Bird Registration up to: July 1, 2014 (on-line only)

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Thursday, September 18, 2014
Non-Conventional Plasma Sources and Methods in Processing Technology
Hana Baránková and Ladislav Bárdos, Uppsala University, Sweden

The biennial PSE conference series is organized by the European Joint Committee on Plasma and Ion Surface Engineering. PSE provides an opportunity to present recent progress in research and development and industrial applications. Its topics span a wide range from fundamentals such as process modeling and simulation of plasmas or thin film physics, through empirical studies, which establish the relationships between process parameters and the structural and functional properties of modified surfaces and/or thin films, towards the application in industrial production.

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