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June 2015
In This Issue
From Materials Views, March 6, 2015 by Sandra Kalveram:

"High-temperature shape memory alloys (HTSMAs) are materials that show actuation properties at temperatures above 100°C. These alloys can be utilized for development of actuators in energy, household, automotive, robotic and aerospace industries. Among these materials, Ti-Ta based alloys have recently received attention due to their excellent cold workability. They are also relatively cheaper compared to the previously reported HTSMAs (i.e. Ti-Ni-X (X= Au, Pd, Pt) alloys) with promising actuation properties. When fabricated as thin films, they can be employed as micro-actuators in micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) in such applications as valves, pumps, grippers.


Source: Materials Views,
Image: Materials Views

Strong Fab Equipment Spending Expected in 2015; Slowing but Positive in 2016

From Solid State Technology,
March 10, 2015:

""SEMI announced an update of the SEMI World Fab Forecast report which updates outlooks for 2015 and 2016. The SEMI report reveals that fab equipment spending in 2014 increased almost 20 percent and will rise 15 percent in 2015, increasing only 2-4 percent in 2016. The World Fab Forecast report tracks fab spending for construction and equipment, as well as capacity changes, and technology nodes transitions and product type changes by fab."

"Fab spending, such as construction spending and equipment spending, are fractions of a company's total capital expenditure (capex). Typically, if capex shows a trend to increase, fab spending will follow. Capex for most of the large semiconductor companies is expected to increase by 8 percent in 2015, and grow another 3 percent in 2016. These increases are driven by new fab construction projects and also ramp of new technology nodes. Spending on construction projects, which typically represents new cleanroom projects, will experience a significant -32 percent decline in 2015, but is expected to rebound by 32 percent in 2016."

Source: Solid State Technology,
Image: Wikimedia Commons,

Ultra-Thin Silicon Films Create Vibrant Optical Colors

From the University of Alabama in Huntsville, March 23, 2015:

"A new technology, which creates a rainbow of optical colors with ultra-thin layers of silicon, has been recently demonstrated by a research group at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH).

Vibrant optical colors are generated from ultra-thin single layer silicon films deposited on a thin aluminum film surface with a low cost manufacturing process. The optical colors are controlled by the thickness of silicon films. The thickness of the silicon films ranges from 20 to 200 nanometers for creating different colors. For reference, 100 nanometers is about 1/1000 of the thickness of a single sheet of paper. One nanometer is about two atomic layers of silicon. The silicon color coating process can be applied on almost any material surface. In fact, the team has colored quarters, turning them into a variety of colors.

Researchers published the result in a recent issue of Optics Express, vol. 22, issue 25, p. 31545 (2014)."

Source: University of Alabama in Huntsville,
Image: University of Alabama in Huntsville/Michael Mercier

Switchable Adhesion Principle Enables Damage-Free Handling of Sensitive Devices Even in Vacuum

From Leibniz Institute of New Materials (INM, Germany), March 24, 2015: 

"Components with highly sensitive surfaces are used in automotive, semiconductor and display technologies as well as for complex optical lens systems. During the production, these parts often have to be handled many times by pick-and-place processes. Each pick-up and release with conventional gripping systems involves the risk of either contamination of the surfaces with residues from transportation adhesives, or damage due to mechanical gripping. Suction cup systems diminish residues, but fail in a vacuum or on rough surfaces. Researchers at the Leibniz Institute for New Materials (INM) have now enhanced the Gecko adhesion principle such that adhesion can be switched on and off in vacuum.

Artificially produced microscopic pillars, so-called gecko structures, adhere to various items. By manipulating these pillars, the adhesion can be switched on and off. Thus, items can be lifted and released quickly and precisely.

Source: Leibniz Institute of New Materials,
Image: Leibniz Institute of New Materials/ Uwe Bellhäuser

'Smart Bandage' Detects Bedsores Before They are Visible to Doctors 

From University of California, Berkeley, March 17, 2015, by Sarah Yang:

"Engineers at UC Berkeley are developing a new type of bandage that does far more than stanch the bleeding from a paper cut or scraped knee.


Thanks to advances in flexible electronics, the researchers, in collaboration with colleagues at UC San Francisco, have created a new "smart bandage" that uses electrical currents to detect early tissue damage from pressure ulcers, or bedsores, before they can be seen by human eyes - and while recovery is still possible. '

Source: University of California, Berkeley,

Image: University of California, Berkeley

A Graphene Solution for Microwave Interference


From Graphene Flagship, March 20, 2015 by Francis Sedgemore:
"Ultra-high frequency wireless communication is now so common, with a resultant crowding of the spectral bands allocated to different communications channels, that interference and electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) are serious concerns. Rules governing EMC dictate that new equipment meet stringent requirements concerning microwave shielding of both components and systems. This is driving a search for new materials to be used as coating layers, shields and filters in future nanoelectronic devices.

Shielding electronic devices with a barrier that simply reflects incoming microwave radiation only shifts the electromagnetic pollution problem elsewhere. The focus is therefore on developing EMC coatings that absorb rather than reflect microwaves, with a practical emphasis on layers less than a thousandth of a millimeter thick."


Source: Graphene Flagship,
Image: Graphene Flagship/ (from Batrakov et al., Sci. Rep. 4:7191 - Creative Commons licence CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

Black Phosphorus is New 'Wonder Material' for Improving Optical Communication

From University of Minnesota, March 2, 2015:
"Phosphorus, a highly reactive element commonly found in match heads, tracer bullets, and fertilizers, can be turned into a stable crystalline form known as black phosphorus. In a new study, researchers from the University of Minnesota used an ultrathin black phosphorus film-only 20 layers of atoms-to demonstrate high-speed data communication on nanoscale optical circuits. 

The devices showed vast improvement in efficiency over comparable devices using the earlier "wonder material" graphene. The group demonstrated data speeds up to three billion bits per second, which is equivalent to downloading a typical HD movie in about 30 seconds."

Source: University of Minnesota,
Image: University of Minnesota

Graphene's Lightbulb Moment

From University of Manchester (UK), March 30, 2015: 

"A graphene light bulb with lower energy emissions, longer lifetime and lower manufacturing costs has been launched thanks to a University of Manchester research and innovation partnership.


Graphene Lighting PLC is a spin-out based on a strategic partnership with the National Graphene Institute (NGI) at The University of Manchester to create graphene applications. The UK-registered company will produce the light bulb, which is expected to perform significantly better and last longer than traditional LED bulbs. It is expected that the graphene light bulbs will be on the shelves in a matter of months, at a competitive cost."

Source: University of Manchester,
Image: University of Manchester,

Glass Coating Improves Battery Performance

From University of California, Riverside, March 2, 2015 by Sean Nealon:  


"Lithium-sulfur batteries have been a hot topic in battery research because of their ability to produce up to 10 times more energy than conventional batteries, which means they hold great promise for applications in energy-demanding electric vehicles."

However, there have been fundamental road blocks to commercializing these sulfur batteries. One of the main problems is the tendency for lithium and sulfur reaction products, called lithium polysulfides, to dissolve in the battery's electrolyte and travel to the opposite electrode permanently. This causes the battery's capacity to decrease over its lifetime."

Source: University of California, Riverside,
Image: University of California, Riverside

New Paint Makes Tough Self-Cleaning Surfaces

From University College London, March 5, 2015:

"A new paint that makes robust self-cleaning surfaces has been developed by a team led by University College London (UCL) researchers. The coating can be applied to clothes, paper, glass and steel and when combined with adhesives, maintains its self-cleaning properties after being wiped, scratched with a knife and scuffed with sandpaper.

The study, involving researchers from UCL, Imperial College London and Dalian University of Technology (China) and published in Science, shows how the new paint made from coated titanium dioxide nanoparticles can give a wide-range of materials self-cleaning properties, even during and after immersion in oil and following damage to the surface."

Source: University College London,
Image: University College London

Nanotechnology Materials: Opportunities and Challenges Go Hand in Hand

From Nanowerk Spotlight, March 27, 2015 by Michael Berger:  

"Novel materials designed and fabricated with the help of nanotechnologies offer the promise of radical technological development. Many of these will improve our quality of life, and develop our economies, but all will be measured against the overarching principle that we do not make some error, and harm ourselves and our environment by exposure to new forms of hazard.

A publication by the European Commission - "Nanomaterials' functionality"(free pdf download) -explores recent developments in nanomaterials research, and possibilities for safe, practical and resource-efficient applications."

Source: Nanowerk Spotlight,
Image: Nanowerk Spotlight

The First Ever Photograph of Light as Both a Particle and Wave

From École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), March 2, 2015:  

"Quantum mechanics tells us that light can behave simultaneously as a particle and as a wave. However, there has never been an experiment able to capture both natures of light at the same time; the closest we have come is seeing either wave or particle, but always at different times. Taking a radically different experimental approach, EPFL scientists have now been able to take the first ever snapshot of light behaving both as a wave and as a particle. The breakthrough work is published in Nature Communications."

The research team at EPFL carried out an experiment with a clever twist: using electrons to image light. The researchers have captured, for the first time ever, a single snapshot of light behaving simultaneously as both a wave and a stream of particles particle. Imaging was carried out EPFL's ultrafast energy-filtered transmission electron microscope - one of the two in the world"

Source: École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne,
Image: École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne,

New Imaging Technique Finds Formation of Aluminum Alloys to Blame for Next-Gen Battery Failures

From National Institute of Standards Tech Beat, March 3, 2015:  

"Researchers working at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the University of Maryland, and Sandia National Laboratories, have for the first time imaged the inner workings of experimental solid-state batteries as they charged and discharged while making detailed measurements of their electrochemical health. Their work has helped explain why the batteries rapidly lose performance and suggests a way for improving them.

In commercially available lithium-ion batteries the anode is usually made of carbon. But in these new solid-state batteries, scientists have been experimenting with other materials, including aluminum because it's so light, an important consideration for mobile devices. Researchers know that these batteries' performance degrades rapidly after a small number of charge and discharge cycles."

Source: National Institute of Standards,
Image: National Institute of Standards

Hybrid Nanowires Eyed for Computers, Flexible Displays

From Purdue University,
March 10, 2015:  

"Highly conductive copper nanowires are essential for efficient data transfer and heat conduction in many applications like high-performance semiconductor chips and transparent displays," said doctoral student Ruchit Mehta, working with Zhihong Chen, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at Purdue University.

They have developed a technique for encapsulating the wires with graphene and have shown that the hybrid wires are capable of 15 percent faster data transmission while lowering peak temperature by 27 percent compared with uncoated copper nanowires."

Source: Purdue University,
Image: Purdue University

KAIST Develops Ultrathin Polymer Insulators Key to Low-Power Soft Electronics

From Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology 
(KAIST, Republic of Korea) March 9, 2015:  

"A group of researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) developed a high-performance ultrathin polymeric insulator for field-effect transistors (FETs). The researchers used vaporized monomers to form polymeric films grown conformally on various surfaces including plastics to produce a versatile insulator that meets a wide range of requirements for next-generation electronic devices. Their research results were published online in Nature Materials"

Source: KAIST,
Image: KAIST

Hot Spots, Cold Spots: When Temperature Goes Quantum

From University of Arizona, March 5, 2015 by Daniel Stolte:   

"Imagine setting a frying pan on the stove and cranking up the heat, only to discover that in a few spots the butter isn't melting because part of the pan remains at room temperature. Researchers at the University of Arizona have discovered that what seems like an impossible scenario in the kitchen is exactly what happens in the strange world of quantum physics.

The findings, published in the scientific journal Physical Review B, suggest that quantum effects play a role in how heat moves through a material, challenging that classic notion that heat simply diffuses from a hot spot to a cold spot until the temperature is the same throughout."

Source: University of Arizona,
Image: University of Arizona / Charles Stafford

Landmark Study Proves that Magnets Can Control Heat and Sound

From Ohio State University, March 23, 2015 by Pam Frost Gorder:  

"Researchers at The Ohio State University have discovered how to control heat with a magnetic field. They describe how a magnetic field roughly the size of a medical MRI reduced the amount of heat flowing through a semiconductor by 12 percent in the journal Nature Materials.

The study is the first ever to prove that acoustic phonons-the elemental particles that transmit both heat and sound-have magnetic properties."

Source: The Ohio State University,
Image: The Ohio State University / Renee Ripley

ORNL Microscopy Directly Images Problematic Lithium Dendrites in Batteries

From Oak Ridge National Laboratory, March 6, 2015:   

"Scientists at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) have captured the first real-time nanoscale images of lithium dendrite structures known to degrade lithium-ion batteries. The ORNL team's electron microscopy could help researchers address long-standing issues related to battery performance and safety."

Source: Oak Ridge National Laboratory,
Image: Oak Ridge National Laboratory
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   Upcoming Conferences of Interest 



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: 

The 13th International Symposium on Sputtering and Plasma Processes

July 8-10, 2015

Kyoto Research Park, Kyoto, Japan  



The 13th International Symposium on Sputtering and Plasma Processes (ISSP2015) been held biennially and has gathered 135+ presentations and 210+ attendees. The topics of this symposium include: fundamentals of sputtering and plasma processes, sputtering processes, plasma processes, plasma induced process technologies, thin films, micro- and nano-technologies, applications, and others. The program will consist of invited, contributed talks and poster presentations. To encourage young scientists' contributions, poster awards will be given to three outstanding poster presentations.


Contact: ISSP 2015 Office,


Visit the Web Site:

SEMICON West 2015

SEMICON West 2015

July 14-16, 2015

Moscone Center, San Francisco.  



Connect to the latest in microelectronics R&D, design, manufacturing, advanced materials, and processes. Attend keynotes, the session on CMP technical and market trends, and 65 hours of technical programs.
Engage with 650+ exhibitors, people, products, and companies driving microelectronics innovation.


The 10th Asian-European International Conference on Plasma Surface Engineering

AEPSE 2015/span>

September 20-24, 2015

Ramada Plaza Jeju Hotel, Jeju Island, Korea  


The 10th Anniversary Asian-European International Conference on Plasma Surface Engineering (AEPSE2015) will be held from September 20 to September 24, 2015, in Jeju, Republic of Korea. The AEPSE conference has attracted growing interest as a global open forum for contributing to scientific and industrial progress in applied plasma science and engineering fields.

  • Abstract Submission Deadline - May 15, 2015
  • Notification of Abstract Acceptance - Jun 15, 2015
  • Early Bird Registration Deadline - Jul 31, 2015
  • Manuscript Submission Deadline - Oct 30, 2015

Learn More at 

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