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September 2015
In This Issue

Advanced Protective Coatings for Graphite Substrates

From NASA Tech Briefs, John H. Glenn Research Center, August 1, 2015: 

"The purpose of this innovation is to develop advanced multilayered coating architectures to protect graphite substrates from hot hydrogen attack. The concept consists of coating the graphite substrate with metallic and non-metallic layers consisting of ZrC; Nb, Mo, and/or Nb-Mo alloy; and/or Mo2C using a CVD process.

The coating architecture is designed with several factors in mind. First, a diffusion barrier coating must be developed to prevent or slow down the diffusion of the hydrogen through the ZrC coating to the graphite substrate during the operational life of the component. Second, the ZrC coating must be strengthened suitably to minimize the creep of the coating. Third, the coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) mismatch between the ZrC coating and the Gr substrate must be minimized to prevent coating debonding. Fourth, the elements forming the coating should have high melting points and possess low neutron absorption cross-section for nuclear applications. "


Source: NASA Tech Briefs, 
Image: NASA

Simulations Lead to Design of Near-Frictionless Material

From Argonne National Laboratory, July 21, 2015, by Jim Collins: 

"Argonne scientists used their Mira supercomputer to identify and improve a new mechanism for eliminating friction, which fed into the development of a hybrid material that exhibited superlubricity at the macroscale for the first time.

Researchers were amazed by what the computer simulations revealed. When the lubricant materials-graphene and diamond-like carbon (DLC)-slid against each other, the graphene began rolling up to form hollow cylindrical "scrolls" that helped to practically eliminate friction. These so-called nanoscrolls represented a completely new mechanism for superlubricity, a state in which friction essentially disappears. "


Source: Argonne National Laboratory, 
Image: Argonne National Laboratory / Sanket Deshmukh, Joseph Insley, and Subramanian Sankaranarayanan

New Trends in Orthopedic Implant Coatings

From Medical Design Briefs,
August 1, 2015, by Parimal Bapat, Orchid Orthopedic Solutions: 

"Most orthopedic implant manufacturers still rely heavily on traditional coatings for their implants, such as sintered bead and plasma-sprayed metallic and hydroxyapatite (HA) coatings. These technologies are well-established, and have accumulated large bodies of supporting clinical and patient data for validation. However, there are some challenges to traditional coatings-for example, sintered bead coatings do not work on substrates of a different composition, such as a titanium coating adhering to a cobalt-chrome surface. Plasma spray coatings require surface preparation before coating, which can reduce fatigue strength of the implant, especially in titanium implants. Both sintered bead and plasma sprayed coatings are high-temperature processes that require more time and greater control, respectively. 

Orthopedic implants that enhance bone growth, last longer, and have fewer problems will reduce the rates of re-hospitalization and corrective surgeries, as well as enhance quality of life for the patient. Three areas of technological innovation on the forefront of orthopedic research and development that will improve functionality, performance, and longevity of implants are:
  • Porous rough titanium coatings
  • Additive manufacturing technologies
  • Thin HA coatings"
Image: Medical Design Briefs

New Thermoelectric Materials Based on Thin Films of Chromium Nitride (CrN)

From CiQUS (Spain), July 8, 2015: 

"Although thermoelectric materials (TE) are well known and have been used for many years, even in the field of space engineering, the problem is that even [though] they are reliable, their performance is quite small and they are expensive. The most common materials used in commercial TE devices are based on lead (Pb), bismuth (Bi), tellurium (Te) and selenium (Se), which have several problems, as instability, toxicity or scarcity. So, the design of efficient TE materials to produce electricity from heat from industrial processes in a cleaner and more competitive way is one of the current challenges in materials science.

In this work, published at Advanced Materials, CiQUS researchers have demonstrated that rock salt structure-epitaxial CrN thin film, show an enhancement up to 250% of the thermoelectric figure of merit (a measure of the conversion efficiency) was reported in single-crystalline films of CrN at room temperature compared to bulk CrN."


Source: CiQUS
Image: CiQUS

A Low Cost Atmospheric Pressure PECVD

From Printed Electronics World,
July 22, 2015: 


"Flexible electronic devices such as organic Photovoltaics or OLED displays require encapsulation envelopes with extreme gas permeation barrier properties to achieve the required life time stability. A low cost manufacturing process for gas permeation barrier foils remains a critical success factor for massive market introduction of flexible electronic devices.

PECVD processing under atmospheric pressure is a technology with great promises, but the gas moisture barriers produced with this technology were not adequate for flexible electronic applications. Fujifilm recently developed a next generation of atmospheric PECVD technology and succeeded to use this new technology for the production of high quality moisture barrier films on PET foil."


Source: Printed Electronics World, 
Image: Printed Electronics World

Taking Chips to the Next Level: Fat Opportunity in Thin Films

From Chemical and Engineering News, July 6, 2015, by Alexander H. Tullo , Michael McCoy and Jean Francois Tremblay: 

"Today, ALD is being deployed through-out the computer chip at a rapidly increasing pace. By electronic materials advisory firm Linx Consulting's estimate, the global market for organometallic and organosilane ALD precursors was worth about $325 million last year and should jump almost $100 million this year alone. Linx expects it to approach $1 billion by 2019.

One new application is as a spacer in a process known as self-aligned multiple patterning. Suresh Rajaraman, global business director for advanced deposition materials at Air Products & Chemicals, explains that multiple patterning is an example both of the growing utility of ALD and of how the semiconductor industry solves the seemingly intractable problems that arise as chip geometry shrinks."


Source: Chemical and Engineering News, July 6, 2015 Volume 93, Number 27, p. 31   (page 34)
Image: Chemical and Engineering News

Diamond-like Coatings Save Fuel

From Fraunhofer Research News,
June 8, 2015: 


"Scientists already know how to coat components with diamond-like carbon to minimize friction. But now Fraunhofer researchers have developed a laser arc method with which layers of carbon almost as hard as diamond can be applied on an industrial scale at high coating rates and with high thicknesses. By applying carbon coatings to engine components such as piston rings and pins, fuel consumption can be reduced. "Systematic application of our new method could save more than 100 billion liters of fuel each year over the next ten years," says Prof. Andreas Leson from the Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology IWS in Dresden, referencing a study that was published in the journal Tribology International in 2012.

In a similar style to old-fashioned film projectors, the laser arc method generates an arc between an anode and a cathode (the carbon) in a vacuum. The arc is initiated by a laser pulse on the carbon target. This produces a plasma consisting of carbon ions, which is deposited as a coating on the workpiece in the vacuum. To run this process on an industrial scale, a pulsed laser is vertically scanned across a rotating graphite cylinder as a means of controlling the arc." 


Source: Fraunhofer, 
Image: Fraunhofer / Dirk Mahler

ORNL Demonstrates First Large-Scale Graphene Composite Fabrication

From Oak Ridge National Laboratory, May 14, 2015: 

"One of the barriers to using graphene at a commercial scale could be overcome using a method demonstrated by researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Graphene, a material stronger and stiffer than carbon fiber, has enormous commercial potential but has been impractical to employ on a large scale, with researchers limited to using small flakes of the material.

Now, using chemical vapor deposition, a team led by ORNL's Ivan Vlassiouk has fabricated polymer composites containing 2-inch-by-2-inch sheets of the one-atom thick hexagonally arranged carbon atoms. The findings, reported in the journal Applied Materials & Interfaces, could help usher in a new era in flexible electronics and change the way this reinforcing material is viewed and ultimately used "


Source: Oak Ridge National Laboratory, 
Image: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

New Design Brings World's First Solar Battery to Performance Milestone

From Ohio State University, August 3, 2015, by Pam Frost Gorder: 

"After debuting the world's first solar air battery last fall, researchers at The Ohio State University have now reached a new milestone. In the Journal of the American Chemical Society, they report that their patent-pending design-which combines a solar cell and a battery into a single device-now achieves a 20 percent energy savings over traditional lithium-iodine batteries. 


The 20 percent comes from sunlight, which is captured by a unique solar panel on top of the battery, explained Yiying Wu, professor of chemistry and biochemistry at Ohio State. The solar panel is now a solid sheet, rather than a mesh as in the previous design. Another key difference comes from the use of a water-based electrolyte inside the battery. Because water circulates inside it, the new design belongs to an emerging class of batteries called aqueous flow batteries. It is the first aqueous flow battery with solar capability. Or, as Wu and his team have dubbed it, the first "aqueous solar flow battery."

Source: Ohio State University, 
Image: Ohio State University / Jo McCulty

Sandia Lab to Assist Small Clean-Energy

From Sandia National Laboratory, July 9, 2015
"The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) chose Sandia National Laboratories as one of five leads in a pilot that will give small, clean-energy companies access to national laboratory expertise and resources. Sandia will receive $2.75 million of DOE's $20 million investment to launch the voucher pilot for small business assistance and collaborative research.

"Our pilot, which we've named Tech Assist Green (TAG), unites the three NNSA labs - Sandia, Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore - to provide a broad array of unique assets from the national lab system," said Jackie Kerby Moore, TAG team lead and Sandia's manager of technology and economic development.""

Source: Sandia National Laboratory, 
Image: Sandia National Laboratory / Randy Montoya

He Who Does Not Print, Vacuum Coats

From Printed Electronics World,
August 12, 2015: 


"Atmospheric vs. vacuum deposition in the flexible electronics era: Flexible and printed electronics are now a reality, as more and more devices with flexible form factors are being brought to market, while atmospheric additive deposition is already offering lower manufacturing costs and superior performance in many applications. This still leaves many applications where the merits of vacuum deposition outweigh the benefits of atmospheric processing, leading component and device manufacturers to choose vacuum processes over printing, or sometimes a combination of both, when that seems to be the ideal combination." 

Source: Printed Electronics World, 
Image: Wikipedia Commons

Considerations When Buying Flat Optics

From Photonics Spectra, June 2015 by Michael Naselaris (Sydor Optics): 

"Over the past several years, we have observed a few trends regarding precision flat optics. More and more customers are making the assumption of quality, in turn making delivery more important than pricing for the most part. The assumption of quality needs to be substantiated with more questions to ensure that the proper metrology and levels of verification are used. Increasingly, the demand is for thinner and thinner optics, along with tighter surface flatness and higher levels of cleanliness.

To simplify the process when purchasing flat optics, the author discusses the top six factors from a manufacturer's perspective, all of which affect the three major areas of the purchasing decision: quality, delivery and cost."


Source: : Photonics Spectra, 
Image: : Photonics Spectra

Modeling How Thin Films Break Up

From MIT News, June 18, 2015 by Denis Paiste: 
"Excess surface energy from unsatisfied bonds is a significant driver of dimensional changes in thin-film materials, whether formation of holes, contracting edges, or run-away corners. In general, this break-up of a material is known as dewetting. Recent MIT graduate Rachel V. Zucker has developed a range of mathematical solutions to explain various dewetting phenomena in solid films.

Working with collaborators at MIT as well as in Germany and Italy, Zucker developed a model for calculating fully-faceted edge retraction in two dimensions, but she says the crown jewel of her work is a phase field approach that provides a general method to simulate dewetting."

Source: MIT, 
Image: MIT/ Rachel Zucker

"Easy Does It" - Fabs Trim Spending Plans

From Semi, June 8, 2015, by Christian G. Dieseldorff: 
"Semiconductor capital expenditures (without fabless and backend) are expected to slow in rate, but continue to grow by 5.8 percent in 2015 (over US$66 billion) and 2.5 percent in 2016 (over $68 billion), according to the May update of the SEMI World Fab Forecast report. A significant part of this capex is fab equipment spending.

Fab equipment spending is forecast to depart from the typical historic trend over the past 15 years of two years of spending growth followed by one year of decline. Departing from the norm, equipment spending could grow every year for three years in a row: 2014, 2015, and 2016."

Source: Semi, 
Image: Semi

ASCENT Project Offers Unparalleled Access to European Nanoelectronics Infrastructure

From Imec News, June 10, 2015: 
"ASCENT opens the doors to the world's most advanced nanoelectronics infrastructures in Europe. Tyndall National Institute in Ireland, CEA-Leti in France and imec in Belgium, leading European nanoelectronics institutes, have entered into a collaborative open-access project called ASCENT (Access to European Nanoelectronics Network), to mobilize European research capabilities like never before. The €4.7 ($5.2) million project will make the unique research infrastructure of three of Europe's premier research centers available to the nanoelectronics modeling-and-characterization research community."
Source: : Imec News, 
Image: ASCENT Project:

Going Organic: The Cost-Down Route to Foldable Display Manufacture

From Solid State Technology, June 2015, by Dr. Michael Cowin (SmartKem Ltd, St Asaph, Wales): 
"Today a new breed of semiconductors - a key enabling component in the evolution of active matrix displays - are competing to offer manufacturers a route to the production of high performance curved, foldable and even roll-able displays.

This article demonstrates that the performance of organic thin-film transistors (OTFT) for display backplane application has reached a tipping point into market adoption. OTFTs are now equal and arguably greater than competitive technology solutions while also offering ultra-flexibility and a significant cost advantage in production and ownership over the more traditional inorganic equivalents. OTFTs are now a serious contender to fill a critical gap in the market for high performance, ultra-flexible TFT backplanes to drive the next generation of conformal displays."

Source: Solid State Technology, 
Image: Solid State Technology

A New Paradigm - Functional and Nonlinear Optical Metasurfaces

From Materials Views, May 12, 2015, by Kristin Mädefessel-Herrmann: 
"Optical metasurfaces are thin-layer subwavelength-patterned structures that interact strongly with light. Offering a wealth of useful functionalities, they are a logical extension of the field of metamaterials towards their practical applications. Their nonlinear effects can be enhanced with the help of metasurface engineering.

In their review, Yuri S. Kivshar and his co-authors from The Australian National University, Acton and the Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russian Federation introduce the basic concepts, sum up important historical aspects, and give an overview on the most interesting properties of photonic metasurfaces, demonstrating their useful functionalities such as frequency selectivity, wavefront shaping, and polarization control. They discuss the ways to achieve tunability of metasurfaces and also demonstrate that nonlinear effects can be enhanced with the help of metasurface engineering. "

Source: Materials Views, 
Image: Materials Views
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   Upcoming Conferences of Interest 

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

AEPSE 2015

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.

  • Manuscript Submission Deadline - Oct 30, 2015

Learn More at: 



OSA: Frontiers in Optics, FiO

The Fairmont San Jose

San Jose, CA

October 18-22, 2015



Frontiers in Optics FiO 2015 the 99th OSA Annual Meeting encompasses the breadth of optical science and engineering and provides an atmosphere that fosters the exchange of information between those working on fundamental research and those looking for solutions to engineering problems. Special symposia and other major events further highlight major advances in many selected areas.

FiO 1: Optical Design, Fabrication and Instrumentation

FiO 2: Optical Sciences

FiO 3: Optics in Biology and Medicine

FiO 4: Fiber Optics and Optical Communication

FiO 5: Integrated Photonics

FiO 6: Quantum Electronics

FiO 7: Vision and Color


Laser Science

This serves as the 31st Annual Meeting of the American Physical Society (APS) of its Division of Laser Science (DLS) and provides an important forum for presenting the latest work on laser applications and development, spanning a broad range of topics in physics, biology and chemistry.


In collaboration with colleagues at OSA, DLS will provide thorough coverage of mutually interesting topics in a number of joint sessions. Session schedules are coordinated to encourage your intellectual wanderings among DLS, OSA and joint sessions.


Learn More and Register:


AVS 62nd International Symposium and Exhibition

San Jose Convention Center

San Jose, CA

October 18-23, 2015  


The AVS 62nd International Symposium and Exhibition scheduled for October 18-23, 2015, in San Jose, California will address cutting-edge issues associated with materials, processing, and interfaces in both the research and manufacturing communities. The weeklong Symposium fosters a multidisciplinary environment that cuts across traditional boundaries between disciplines, 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.

Learn More at: 

AIMCAL Web Coating & Handling Conference

Naples Grande Beach Resort

Naples, Florida

October 25-28, 2015  


AIMCAL and SPE have once again joined forces to deliver a standard in technical education and networking, and bring attendees unsurpassed opportunities. SPE's FlexPackCon will join the 2015 AIMCAL Web Coating and Handling Conference and will include FlexPackCon's strong focus on flexible packaging materials, processes and new technology combined with AIMCAL's technology focus on web coating and handling.

For more information, visit: 


9th Symposium on Vacuum-Based Science and Technology

Kolobrzeg, Poland

November, 17-19, 2015


The 9th Symposium on Vacuum Based Science and Technology is organized by the Faculty of Technology and Education, Koszalin University of Technology, and the Clausius Tower Society under auspices of the Polish Vacuum Society and the German Vacuum Society and in collaboration with the BalticNet PlasmaTec and the Society of Vacuum Coaters.


The mission of the Symposium is to provide a forum for presentation and exchange of expertise and research results in the field of vacuum and plasma science.


Symposium topics

  • Plasma physics and techniques
  • Vacuum science, techniques and trends
  • Protective coatings and thin films
  • Characterization of surfaces and thin films
  • Thin films for solar cells and sensors
  • Plasma based surface treatment technologies

New trends and concepts of plasma based deposition processes Authors of contributions accepted for oral presentation during the Symposium are encouraged to submit their manuscripts to VACUUM.


Featuring the SVC Tutorial Course: 

Monday, Novermber 16, 2015 * 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
C-338 Application of Reactive Sputtering, by Ralf Bandorf and Holger Gerdes, Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engneering and Thin Films IST, Braunschweig, Germany


Manufacturers and sales companies offering vacuum equipment, measurement and control systems as well as components for vacuum based science and technology are invited to offer their products and promotion materials during the Industry Exhibition. 

Visit the Conference Web Page to learn more: 

Printed Electronics USA
November 18-19, 2015
Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA
The only event focused on the commercialization of printed, organic and flexible electronics. Meet customers, do business.

Our Mission
  • Focus on end-user needs and sector requirements: case studies, requirements, opportunities
  • Clarify the latest technology and product developments and their roadmaps: capabilities, costs, plans
  • Clear market insight and sector appraisal: profitability, market sizing
  • Network with large numbers of end-users/ adopters
Full coverage of related markets through relevant co-located events


2015 MRS Fall Meeting & Exhibit
November 29-December 4, 2015
Hynes Convention Center
Boston, Massachusetts USA 

The 2015 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
  • Nanomaterials and Synthesis
  • Mechanical Behavior and Failure of Materials
  • Electronics and Photonics
  • Energy and Sustainability
  • Theory, Characterization and Modeling
With 55 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 2015 MRS Fall Meeting & Exhibit offers attendees a wide-range of knowledge-building opportunities.

For the most up-to-date information on the 2015 MRS Fall Meeting, visit regularly.

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