Like us on Facebook  Follow us on Twitter  View our profile on LinkedIn   Society of Vacuum CoatersNovember 2014
In This Issue


"While researchers have found many materials that help to reduce friction, conventional lubricants often have chemical limitations. A recent analysis at the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory has identified the properties of a newer, exceptionally wear-resistant substance that works in a broader range of environments.

Nanoscientists at Argonne's Center for Nanoscale Materials and Argonne's Energy Systems division applied a one-atom-thick layer of graphene in between a steel ball and a steel disk. They found that just the single layer of graphene lasted for more than 6,500 "wear cycles," a dramatic improvement over conventional lubricants like graphite or molybdenum disulfide. When the graphene monolayer eventually starts to wear away, hydrogen atoms leap in to repair the lattice, like stitching a quilt back together. The Argonne study is the first to explain the extraordinary wear resistance of one-atom-thick graphene


Image: Argonne National Laboratory

Barrier Layers for Flexible Electronics are Reaching Technological Maturity and a $200m Market by 2024

From IDTechEx, October 2014:

"OLED displays are the biggest opportunity for flexible encapsulation and for that reason IDTechEx has highlighted the most significant advances in the technology in its recently updated report on the topic "Barrier Layers for Flexible Electronics 2015-2025: Technologies, Markets, Forecasts".

The market is expected to reach over $200 million by 2024, driven mainly by the proliferation of flexible displays for mobile platforms such as phones, tablets and wearables. Understanding technology trends of major adopters is key, starting with Samsung and LG. Samsung seems to be ahead of the other major adopters." The report compares thin film encapsulation (TFE) to barrier film lamination

Tailored Flexible Illusion Coatings Hide Objects From Detection

From Penn State University, October 13, 2014, by A'ndrea Elyse Messer:

"Developing the cloak of invisibility would be wonderful, but sometimes simply making an object appear to be something else will do the trick.

Previous attempts at cloaking using a single metasurface layer were restricted to very small-sized objects. Also, the act of cloaking would prevent an enclosed antenna or sensor from communicating with the outside world.

Electrical engineers at Penn State have developed a metamaterial coating with a negligible thickness that allows coated objects to function normally while appearing as something other than what they really are, or even completely disappearing.  The researchers employ what they call "illusion coatings," coatings made up of a thin flexible substrate with copper patterns designed to create the desired result. They can take a practical size metal antenna or sensor, coat it with the patterned film and when the device is probed by a radio frequency source, the scattering signature of the enclosed object will appear to be that of a prescribed dielectric material like silicon or Teflon. Conversely, with the proper pattern, they can coat a dielectric and it will scatter electromagnetic waves the same as if it were a metal object.

Another application of this material would be to protect objects from other emitting objects nearby while still allowing electromagnetic communication between them.

Image: Penn State University/Zhihao Jiang 

Thin Films Make Certain QDs Glow Brighter

September 16, 2014


"A team at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and the University of Oklahoma probed the behavior of four types of quantum dots (QDs) manufactured by chemical synthesis. Some had protective shells; others did not. In addition, some of the dots had cores made of binary materials, while others had ternary-material cores.

The researchers found that ultrathin aluminum oxide made quantum dots glow brighter.  The effect was much stronger in QDs that did not have protective shells. This could lead to the development of smaller QDs without sacrificing brightness, the team wrote.

Image:  University of Alabama (Huntsville)/ Dr. Seyed Sadeghi

Nanoribbon Film Keeps Glass Ice-Free

From Rice University, September 16, 2014, by Jade Boyd


"Rice University scientists who created a de-icing film for radar domes have now refined the technology to work as a transparent coating for glass.  The material is made of graphene nanoribbons.

The new films are between 50 and 200 nanometers thick - a human hair is about 50,000 nanometers thick - and retain their ability to heat when a voltage is applied. The researchers were also able to preserve their transparency.

Glass skyscrapers could be kept free of fog and ice, but also be transparent to radio frequencies. Signals can't get through anything that's metallic in nature, but these layers are so thin they won't have any trouble penetrating

Image:  Rice University

ZSW Brings World Record Back to Stuttgart

From ZSW, September 22, 2014

"The Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW) has set a new world record in thin-film photovoltaics. Scientists in Stuttgart achieved 21.7 percent efficiency with a solar cell made of copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS). ZSW succeeded in bringing the record back to the institute with this cell's performance. Swedish researchers achieved a new best mark in June, which has now been surpassed by 0.7 percentage points. The progress underway in the southwest of Germany is helping to make solar power more affordable."

Image:  ZSW

Mass Producing Super-thin Films that can 'Squeeze' Electricity

From Nanowerk Today
September 12, 2014

"(Nanowerk News) Today, we might take it for granted that mobile-phone cameras, desktop printers, medical equipment, automobile parts and other everyday items will continue to get smaller, lighter and more reliable.These enhancements seem so natural and gradual that we might not even realise it on a day-to-day basis.

However, many technological advances are needed to improve and miniaturise such devices. One such advance is the growing use of a type of thin material known as "piezoelectric" film. The European Union (EU)-funded project PIEZOVOLUME (now PiezoMEMS: focused on speeding the production of this material. The research team worked to develop high-volume production tools and methods that are expected to help make the high-tech devices and systems of the future faster, lighter and more efficient."


Image:  Nanowerk Today

Competition for Graphene

From Lawrence Berkeley Lab
August 26, 2014
by Lynn Yarris


"A new argument has just been added to the growing case for graphene being bumped off its pedestal as the next big thing in the high-tech world by the two-dimensional semiconductors known as MX2 materials. An international collaboration of researchers led by a scientist with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)'s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has reported the first experimental observation of ultrafast charge transfer in photo-excited MX2 materials. The recorded charge transfer time clocked in at under 50 femtoseconds, comparable to the fastest times recorded for organic photovoltaics." 


Image:  Berkeley Lab

Promising Power Source for Wearable Electronics

From Materials Today, September 1, 2014 by Cordelia Sealy

"Researchers from Kyung Hee University (Korea) and electronics giant Samsung (Korea) have developed a textile-based organic photovoltaic (OPV) cell with potential to be stitched into and power wearable electronics on fabric or clothing.  "The device is comprised of an ITO bottom electrode, a ZnO electron transport layer, a P3HT:PCBM (poly(3-hexylthiophene):[6,6]-phenyl C61-butyric acid methyl ester fullerene) bulk heterojunction photoactive layer, and an MoO3 hole transport layer. Finally, a thin Ag layer can be deposited as a top electrode or the entire device can be mounted on an Au textile electrode instead."

Image:  Materials Today

GaN Micro-Rods Grown on Graphene Yield Flexible LEDs

From Semiconductor Today
September 25, 2014:



"Currently, most flexible electronic and optoelectronic devices are fabricated using organic materials. However, for these devices inorganic compound semiconductors such as gallium nitride (GaN) can provide advantages over organic materials - including superior optical, electrical and mechanical properties - but they are difficult to grow on flexible substrates.

Now, researchers at Seoul National University (SNU) led by professor Gyu-Chul Yi have grown GaN micro-rods on graphene to create transferrable LEDs and enable the fabrication of bendable and stretchable devices (Kunook Chung et al, APL Materials, 2, 092512 (2014))"


Image: Semiconductor Today

Germanium Tin Could Mean Better and Cheaper Infrared Cameras in Smartphones

From University of Arkansas Newswire, September 18, 2014:

"Engineering researchers at the University of Arkansas have fabricated a new semiconductor material -- germanium tin deposited in layers on a substrate of silicon -- that could be used to build better and less expensive infrared cameras for smartphones and vehicles.

"The performance of these simple structures indicates a promising future for germanium tin photodetectors," said Fisher Yu, associate professor of electrical engineering. "The crystalline growth of these samples in a commercially available reactor allows for these infrared detectors to be available for expedient commercial implementation."  The research group is collaborating with ASM International, a private company that builds most machine-epitaxy tools for fabricating microelectronics devices.

Image: University of Arkansas

Graphene-Based Energy Storage Device Research

From Energy Harvesting Journal, October 1, 2014:

 "Tsu-Wei Chou, Pierre S. du Pont Chair of Engineering at the University of Delaware, is part of an international research group that recently reported successful fabrication of stretchable and transparent supercapacitors based on graphene films. Supercapacitors play a transitional role between conventional capacitors and batteries as energy storage devices due to their combination of high power density, long cycle life, outstanding cycle stability, and moderate energy density. Their applications range from memory backup devices and hybrid vehicles to a variety of electronic devices." 


How to Make a "Perfect" Solar Absorber

From MIT, September 29, 2014
by David L. Chandler:

 "The key to creating a material that would be ideal for converting solar energy to heat is tuning the material's spectrum of absorption just right: It should absorb virtually all wavelengths of light that reach Earth's surface from the sun.

Now researchers at MIT say they have accomplished the development of a material that comes very close to the "ideal" for solar absorption. The material is a two-dimensional metallic dielectric photonic crystal, and has the additional benefits of absorbing sunlight from a wide range of angles and withstanding extremely high temperatures. Perhaps most importantly, the material can also be made cheaply at large scales.

The material works as part of a solar-thermophotovoltaic (STPV) device: The sunlight's energy is first converted to heat, which then causes the material to glow, emitting light that can, in turn, be converted to an electric current. The material is made from a collection of nanocavities, and you can tune the absorption just by changing the size of the nanocavities.


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   Upcoming Conferences of Interest

AVS International Symposium and Exhibition

November 9-14, 2014

Baltimore Convention Center

Baltimore, Maryland

The AVS International Symposium and Exhibition addresses cutting-edge issues associated with materials, processing, and interfaces in both the research and manufacturing communities. The weeklong Symposium fosters a multidisciplinary environment featuring papers from AVS technical divisions, technology groups, and focus topics on emerging technologies. The equipment exhibition is one of the largest in the world and provides an excellent opportunity to view the latest products and services offered by over 200 participating companies. More than 2,000 scientists and engineers gather from around the world to attend.

2014 MRS Fall Meeting & Exhibit


November 30-December 5, 2014

Hynes Convention Center

Boston, Massachusetts USA


The 2014 Materials Research Society Fall Meeting & Exhibit features many new and emerging areas of materials research as well as an exciting mix of well-established and popular topics, including: biomaterials and soft materials, electronics and photonics, energy and sustainability, nanomaterials and synthesis, theory, characterization and modeling. With 52 technical symposia, more than 6000 oral and poster presentations, an exhibition featuring over 250 international exhibitors from all sectors of the global materials science and engineering communities, and many special events, the 2014 MRS Fall Meeting & Exhibit offers attendees a wide-range of knowledge-building opportunities.

For the most up-to-date information on the 2014 MRS Fall Meeting, visit: 


BIT 1st Annual World Congress of Smart Materials - 2015


March 23-25, 2015

Busan Exhibition & Convention Center (BEXCO)

Busan, Republic of Korea


WCSM-2015 is intended to provide a platform for professionals around the world to exchange state-of-the-art research and development and identify research needs and opportunities in this emerging field of Smart Materials. This is the Asian Branch of WCAM (World Congress of Advanced Materials). Smart materials are one of the most important researching directions in development of High-tech new materials and can help in removing the boundaries between structural and functional materials, which may result in significant revolution in materials science development. WCSM will bring about enormous benefits as well as open up a new and broader pathway for information and experience exchange all over the world.

January 15, 2015: Deadline for Abstract Submissions

Learn More and Register Online: 


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