SVConnections March 2015
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In This Issue
From SPIE Newsroom,
December 18, 2014, by Wenlin Liao,
et al: 

"In modern optical systems (e.g., space x-ray optics and extreme UV lithography), the specifications for surface accuracy and smoothness of mirrors are becoming ever more stringent. In general, nanometer-or even sub-nanometer-magnitudes are required for these parameters. Advanced fabrication technologies are therefore needed for the manufacture of high-accuracy and high-quality optical surfaces. Ion sputtering processes-such as ion beam figuring (IBF)-are promising techniques for the fabrication of ultra-smooth surfaces.

Zerodur (produced by Schott AG) is a lithium aluminosilicate glass-ceramic that contains both non-crystalline (amorphous silica) and crystalline (quartz) composites. Researchers at National University of Defense Technology, Changsha, China use a deterministic method to deposit a layer of a suitable material on the Zerodur substrate. This method is known as deterministic ion beam adding (IBA). They then use an IBF step to smooth this surface layer. The addition of the thin layer of material on the Zerodur substrate has no influence on later processing of the optical component."


Image: SPIE Newsroom  

W.J. Meng

Micro-Pillar Measurements of Plasticity in Confined Cu Thin Films

From Extreme Mechanics Letters (, December 3, 2014, by Yang Mu 

"Researchers at Louisiana State University and Harvard University have demonstrated a new approach for evaluating the mechanical integrity of interfaces between hard coatings and substrates. Polycrystalline Cu and CRN films were sputter deposited sequentially onto Si(100) substrates. The resulting "predominantly <111> oriented Cu thin films of varying thicknesses were confined between Si and CrN."  Researchers fabricated cylindrical micro-pillars of CrN/Cu/Si(100) by focus ion beam (FIB) milling with interfaces at pre-determined inclination angles with respect to the pillar axes."

Image: Figure 2: Quantitative measurements of plasticity in confined Cu thin films

with a micro-pillar protocol"

Courtesy of

Y. Mu, J. W. Hutchinson, W. J. Meng

Fraunhofer IWM

Waves, Folds and Plastic Flow: Detecting the First Signs of Wear on Metal Surfaces

From Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials (IWM), December 16, 2014:

"A great deal of scientific research has been carried out on minimizing wear in metal-based systems. Most of this work focused on the phenomenological level. Low-wear metal surfaces will, however, only be achieved if one has a fundamental understanding of the processes involved in friction at the atomic level.

A team of expert scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials IWM in Freiburg has carried out a large-scale atomistic material 3D computer simulation and succeeded in visualizing the nanoscale mechanisms involved in the friction process on a polycrystalline metal surface before the wear actually becomes visible. In order to reduce friction and wear, one must cope with these mechanisms. Experiments carried out by a group headed by Martin Dienwiebel from the Microtribology Center µTC confirm the IWM's computer simulation findings.

The computer simulation showed that different grain orientations in the polycrystalline metal structure are responsible for the folds and swirls. The simulation made it possible to see each individual grain and proved that some grains yield readily while others resist the abrasive pressure, depending on crystal orientation."

Source: Fraunhofer Institute of Mechanics of Materials (IWM)
Image: Fraunhofer Institute of Mechanics of Materials (IWM)

Advanced materials and Processes

Variable Glass Coatings to Stop Condensation on Windows

From Advanced Materials & Processes, January 2015: 

"Triple glazing is intended to keep as much of the expensive heating energy inside houses as possible, but a drop in outside temperature causes the outermost pane to cool down significantly overnight, and moisture in the air is deposited as condensation, resulting in misty windows.

The Megatron sputtering system, developed by researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering in Thin Films IST, Germany opens the way to development of entirely new coating systems for a variety of applications.  In the case of triple glazing on windows, researchers deliberately contaminate the coating material with niobium in order to make it conductive. Unlike conventional sputtering systems, Megatron allows users to vary the doping concentration to any required level.  It also enables users to increase the coating rate and obtain a smoother surface.

The system allows entirely new coatings to be created by combining materials in a film that cannot be mixed in the form of a target, and were previously impossible to produce."

Image: Advanced Materials & Processes
Global Purchasing Magazine

Sensors Heat up Electronic Components Market

From Global Purchasing, December 30, 2014, by Victoria Fraza Kickham:

 "Sensors are among the hottest technologies in the electronic components market these days, as the drive to connect everything from industrial systems to health monitoring equipment to the Web creates new demand for sophisticated products that incorporate a higher number of sensors. This is especially true in the wearable electronic devices market, where sensor shipments are expected to increase nearly seven-fold between 2013 and 2019, according to a recent industry report from researcher IHS Technology.

IHS predicts that shipments of sensors for wearable electronics will hit 466 million units by 2019, up from 67 million units in 2013. Sensor shipments will rise more quickly than the market for wearable devices themselves, the researcher added, forecasting that wearable devices shipments will increase to 135 million units by 2019, compared to 50 million in 2013.

The average wearable device shipped in 2019 will incorporate 4.1 sensor elements, up from 1.4 in 2013, according to IHS. The researcher also expects components such as humidity sensors and pulse sensors to move from handsets to wearables, further boosting sensor sales. Smart watches from brands such as Samsung and Apple are just one example.

Many industry-watchers say 2015 will mark an acceleration point for sensors. IHS points to a doubling of wearable sensor shipments next year, for instance. Sensors were also a key topic at October's Electronic Components Industry Association Executive Conference, as manufacturers and distributors discussed their potential across industrial, automotive, health, and fitness categories."

Image:  Global Purchasing
Argonne Ntl Lab

New Technique Simultaneously Determines Nanomaterials' Chemical Makeup, Topography 

From Argonne National Laboratory, December 2, 2014, by Angela Hardin

"A team of researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory and Ohio University have devised a powerful technique that simultaneously resolves the chemical characterization and topography of nanoscale materials down to the height of a single atom.

The technique combines synchrotron X-rays (SX) and scanning tunneling microscopy (STM). In experiments, the researchers used SX as a probe and a nanofabricated smart tip of a STM as a detector.

Using this technique, researchers detected the chemical fingerprint of individual nickel clusters on a copper surface at a two-nanometer (nm) lateral resolution, and at the ultimate single atom height sensitivity. By varying the photon energy, the researchers used the difference in photoabsorption cross sections for nickel and the copper substrate to chemically image a single-nickel nanocluster - thus opening the door to new opportunities for chemical imaging of nanoscale materials.  Until now, spatial limits of about only 10-nm was attainable, and the researchers would simultaneously sample a large sample area.  The researchers have improved the spatial resolution to 2 nm."

Argonne National Laboratory

Nanoscale Sliding Friction Phenomena at the Interface of Diamond-Like Carbon (DLC) and Tungsten




From Materials Today, December 4, 2014, by Pantcho Stoyanov, et al: 
"Macroscopic tribometry is linked to classical atomistic simulations in order to improve understanding of the nanoscale interfacial processes during sliding of hydrogenated DLC (a-C:H) against tungsten (W) in dry and lubricated conditions"

Researchers measured higher frictional resistance and more material transfer when dry sliding hydrogenated DLC against tungsten  than in lubricated conditions.  Molecular dynamic simulations supported this by showing higher average shear stresses and clear material transfer for dry conditions as compared as compared to using the lubricant, hexadecane. Researchers found that with lubrication, lower shear stress and absence of material transfer are caused by hexadecane monolayers bonded to the hydrogenated DLC surface.  The lubrication greatly reduces adhesion and mechanical mixing between the two surfaces."


Image: Wikimedia Commons
NYC Building Glass

Growing Pains in Glass Industry

From Glass Magazine,
January 30, 2015, by Katy Devlin: 

"The North American glass industry-first mired in the Recession and then in the construction market's unsteady, sluggish recovery-is at last headed for a year of significant growth. U.S. employment has rebounded, confidence is high, and commercial construction is headed for double-digit growth, according to forecasts.

"For the first time in 10 years or more, all of the economic segments [affecting the glass industry] are positive-in construction, institutional, hospitality, office, health care; in residential, new and remodeling; and automotive. All forecasts point to positive growth," says Pat Kenny, director of marketing for PPG Industries.

Companies throughout the glass supply chain are beginning to witness improving market conditions. "Some of the leading façade companies are sitting on unprecedented backlogs of booked projects. Our industry lags the market by a couple of years, so the workload for these companies should continue to ramp up through 2015 and remain strong at least through 2016," says Mic Patterson, director of strategic development for

However, as glass companies prepare for the busiest year since before the Recession, they face the pressures of increased demand in a much-changed industry. In the last six years, float plants have closed, lines have shut down-the industry has lost capacity. A substantial number of workers have left, and many aren't expected to return. And, long-depressed prices and material costs are now beginning to rise. "There is enough building activity in the boom markets to stress supply chains, resulting in longer lead times, labor shortages and rising prices; all can be expected through 2015," Patterson says.

Glass companies celebrate the busiest year since before the recession, while preparing for the challenges of higher demand."

Source: Glass Magazine
Image: Wikipemedia Commons (New York YIMBY)

One Step Closer to a New Generation of Electric Car Battery

From University of Waterloo,
January 12, 2015: 


"An ultra-thin nanomaterial is at the heart of a major breakthrough by Waterloo scientists who are in a global race to invent a cheaper, lighter and more powerful rechargeable battery for electric vehicles.

A research team at the Faculty of Science at the University of Waterloo has announced a breakthrough in lithium-sulfur battery technology in a recent issue of
Nature Communications
Their discovery of a material that maintains a rechargeable sulfur cathode helps to overcome a primary hurdle to building a lithium-sulfur (Li-S) battery. Such a battery can theoretically power an electric car three times further than current lithium-ion batteries for the same weight - at much lower cost.

The group originally thought that porous carbons or graphenes could stabilize the polysulfides by physically trapping them. But in an unexpected twist, they discovered metal oxides could be the key.

Researchers found that nanosheets of manganese dioxide (MnO2) work even better than titanium oxides, their main goal was to clarify the mechanism at work. They found that the oxygenated surface of the ultrathin MnO2 nanosheet chemically recycles the sulfides in a two-step process involving a surface-bound intermediate, polythiosulfate. The result is a high-performance cathode that can recharge more than 2000 cycles."

Image:  University of Waterloo
EE Times Asia

Samsung CEO: Collaboration is Key to IoT Progress

From EE Times - Asia, January 8, 2015, by Junko Yoshida: 


"At this year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES), keynote speaker Samsung Electronics CEO Boo-Keun Yoon called for the industry to "unlock the infinite possibilities of the Internet of Things," while suggesting that other companies follow what Samsung has set in place. He emphasized the importance of an "open ecosystem" for IoT, noting that "cross-industry collaboration is the key."

Yoon was less than subtle in reminding the audience of Samsung's unequivocal dominance in the global consumer electronics market today, and the company's commitment to the IoT market of tomorrow. He noted that Samsung put 665 million products in the hands of consumers last year. "That's 20 devices a second," he said."

Backed by its prowess in mass production, marketing and technology, Samsung will call the tune in the IoT market. He promised that by 2017, 90 per cent of Samsung devices will be IoT devices. Yoon said he hopes to make that 100 per cent within the next five years.

The Samsung CEO described the challenges of IoT today as the lack of an "open ecosystem" and a need for "cross-industry collaboration." On that note, Yoon declared, "Our IoT components and devices will be open." He said Samsung will be committing $100 million toward bolstering its IoT programs with developers and startups.

Image: YouTube, Samsung's keynote video
Gallium Arsenide Art9

Electronic Materials: Bright Prospects for Chips and Displays

From Chemical and Engineering News, January 12, 2015,
by Jean-François Tremblay: 


"Buoyed by strong demand for digital displays and mass production of a new generation of microchips, makers of electronic materials anticipate a solid performance in 2015.

Last year was already positive for companies, with leading players such as Dow Chemical, Shin-Etsu Chemical, and JSR enjoying strong growth. For instance, JSR posted a 32% increase in sales of semiconductor materials in the first half of the fiscal year that ends March 31.

This year will also be expansionary, according to JSR President Mitsunobu Koshiba, because the chip industry will shrink circuit lines from 20 nm to 14 nm. Increasing circuitry fineness translates into higher demand for specialized materials, he says.  "Demand for electronic materials for semiconductors could increase by 40%" in 2015, Koshiba says. "It's not that the number of silicon wafers being processed will increase by that much but rather that processes are getting more complicated, which leads to more layers applied.

Image: Wikimedia Commons / "Gallium arsenide crystal" by W. Oelen

World's Largest Camera' Secures Key DOE Approval

January 12, 2015: 

"The U.S. Department of Energy has granted intermediate approval for construction of a 3.2-gigapixel CCD camera to be integrated into the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST).

Components of the 3-ton camera will be built by an international collaboration led by the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, where the camera will be assembled and tested. The Department of Energy has endorsed the organization's request for $168 million. Another review process will begin next summer, the last requirement before fabrication of the camera can begin.

Preliminary, privately funded work has already started on the telescope's 8.4-m primary mirror, its 3.5-m secondary mirror, and the initial excavation of its site atop Cerro Pachon, a mountain in northern Chile. The National Science Foundation has pledged up to $473 million for the telescope project.

The LSST is set to begin taking digital images of the entire visible southern sky in 2022. Over a 10-year period, it will detect tens of billions of objects and will produce movies based on 6 million GB of details captured per year.

Brookhaven NL

Microscopy Reveals How Atom-High Steps Impede Oxidation of Metal Surfaces

From Brookhaven National Laboratory, December 29, 2014:

"A new study performed at the Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN) at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory reveals that certain features of metal surfaces can stop the process of oxidation in its tracks.

The findings, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, could be relevant to understanding and perhaps controlling oxidation in a wide range of materials-from catalysts to the superalloys used in jet engine turbines and the oxides in microelectronics.

The experiments were performed by a team led by Binghamton University, in collaboration with CFN, a DOE Office of Science User Facility. The team used a low-energy electron microscope (LEEM) to capture changes in the surface structure of a nickel-aluminum alloy as "stripes" of metal oxide formed and grew under a range of elevated temperatures."

Source: Brookhaven National Laboratory

Image Source: Brookhaven National Laboratory

A Molecular Thread

From A*STAR Institute of Materials Research and Engineering,
December 3, 2014: 

"The ability to 'thread' a molecular ligand through a metal-organic framework (MOF) to alter the pore size of the material - and yet allow the MOF to retain its crystallinity and principal structural features - has been demonstrated in a new study by A*STAR.

MOFs are three-dimensional, coordination networks comprising metal ions and organic molecules and usually are crystalline, porous materials with many applications including storage of gases such as hydrogen and carbon dioxide. While 'threaded' MOFs have been synthesized in the past, they remain challenging to easily and reliably produce.

Now, Andy Hor and colleagues at the A*STAR Institute of Materials Research and Engineering and the National University of Singapore show how solvate molecules adhering to the surface of the channels on a cadmium-based coordination polymer can be replaced with nitrogen-containing ligands that form a bridge between two metal ions of the MOF. These dipyridyl ligands of lengths varying from 0.28 to 1.10 nanometers are then threaded through the pores of the framework to form flexible MOF structures with different porosities."

Image Source: A*STAR Institute of Materials Research and Engineering

Detecting Defects in Solar Cells

From National Physics Laboratory (U.K.), December 1, 2014:  

"Solar panels, or photovoltaic (PV) modules, are being rapidly deployed across the world as costs fall and the need for sustainable, low-carbon energy grows. Being able to effectively characterize PV cells is a key factor in quality control during manufacturing and understanding their long-term behavior.

NPL researchers, Simon Hall, Matt Cashmore and John Blackburn, have developed a new technique for efficiently detecting malfunctioning areas of a PV module.

Conventional testing involves scanning the PV cells, row by row, with a laser beam and measuring the current generated in response to the light at a series of points. Spatial variations in the cells' performance can then be identified, but the process is time consuming.

In the new method, patterns of light are projected onto the PV cells using a digital micromirror device, such as those found in many office projectors. A technique called compressed sensing is then used to make a map of the current generated by the cells in response to the light, in order to identify malfunctioning areas."

Source: National Physics Laboratory

Image Source: National Physics Laboratory
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SEMICON West 2015


Register Now for SEMICON West 2015, July 14-16, Moscone Center, San Francisco. Connect to the latest R&D in microelectronics design and manufacturing: advanced materials and processes, lithography, metrology, packaging, test, and more. Engage with the people, products, and companies driving microelectronics innovation. FREE registration until May 8 at


Vacuum Expo


Vacuum Expo, 14th & 15th October 2015, is a key event in Europe for vacuum technology event, it is co-located with the Vacuum Symposium. It embraces industry needs, emerging technologies and challenges for users of vacuum technology. The Symposium comprises meetings: Advances in Mass Spectrometry for RGA, Functional Thin Films, Surface Modification & Analysis, Technical Plasma Workshop 2015.



   Upcoming Conferences of Interest 

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

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MRS Spring 2015

2015 MRS Spring Meeting & Exhibit

April 6-10, 2015

San Francisco, California

The 2015 MRS Spring Meeting and Exhibit will be held in San Francisco, California. All technical sessions and non-technical events will be held at the Moscone West Convention Center, San Francisco Marriott Marquis and The Westin San Francisco Market Street. 



2015 MRS Spring Meeting Symposia:

  • Energy
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  • General- Fabrication and Characterization
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6th International Conference on Fundamentals and Industrial Applications on HIPIMS

June 8-11, 2015

Braunschweig, Germany

Civic Centre, Stadthalle Braunschweig


Offering SVC Tutorial Courses:

Venue: Fraunhofer-Institute IST, Bienroder Weg 54 E, BS

June 8, 2015

C-323 High Power Impulse Magnetron Sputtering | Arutiun P. Ehiasarian

June 9, 2015

C-338 Application of Reactive Sputtering, Ralf Bandorf, Holger Gerdes (half day/AM)

C-333 Practice and Applications of High Power Impulse Magnetron Sputtering (HIPIMS) Ralf Bandorf, Arutiun P. Ehiasarian (half day/PM)


HIPIMS 2015 will provide a forum for high-level networking and exchange of knowledge and expertise in the field of HIPIMS between researchers, scientists, and engineers from industry, research labs, and academia. The conference will cover the full range of research and application from fundamental scientific aspects to industrial applications and products. Special emphasis will be given to commercial plasma and material development, commercial equipment and industrial processes. 


As a truly international conference, HIPIMS 2015 will present the most recent results of scientific research as well as new applications in the field of HIPIMS technology.


Submit your abstract to:


SEMICON West 2015

SEMICON West 2015

July 14-16, 2015

Moscone Center, San Francisco.  



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