Research Highlights Archive
Plasma-surface reactions and the spinning-wall method
V. M. Donnelly, J. Guha, and L. Stafford
J. Vac. Sci. Technol. A 29, 010801 (2011);
Plasma processes enable a wide range of products from integrated circuits that are at the heart of many electronic devices to bags that keep potato chips fresh for many months. Plasmas are even used for healing wounds. All these applications involve interactions of plasmas with surfaces. Figuring out what happens on a surface exposed to plasma is an intellectually challenging problem, not only because plasma-surface interactions are complex but also our tool kit for studying these interactions is very limited. The standard tools of surface science work only in ultra high vacuum (UHV) and cannot be used in the plasma environment. A major addition was made to the arsenal of plasma and surface scientists a few years ago when Vincent Donnelly and coworkers at the University of Houston invented “the spinning-wall method.” In this method, the surface of interest is shuttled between a plasma chamber and a UHV analysis chamber using high-speed rotation. In the Jan/Feb issue of JVST A, Donnelly and coworkers review the tools for studying plasma-surface interactions and describe the progress in understanding plasma-surface interaction in various material systems relevant to plasma processing: V. M. Donnelly, J. Guha and L. Stafford, “Critical review: Plasma-surface reactions and the spinning wall method,” J. Vac. Sci. Technol. A 29, 010801 (2011).
Interfacial organic layers: Tailored surface chemistry for nucleation and growth
Kevin J. Hughes and James R. Engstrom
J. Vac. Sci. Technol. A 28, 1033 (2010);
The use of interfacial organic layers to promote nucleation and growth of inorganic thin films is reviewed. The focus is on the fundamental aspects of inorganic-organic interface formation using transition metal coordination complexes and atomic layer deposition. Three factors are identified as important in terms of promoting both chemisorption and subsequent smooth thin film growth and these are the identity, density, and dimensionality or spatial distribution of the functional groups in the organic layer. Correlations are sought between phenomena occurring in the monolayer regime and that occurring in both the nucleation and the steady-state stages of thin film growth.
Interface-mediated ultrafast carrier conduction in oxide thin films and superlattices for energy
J. Vac. Sci. Technol. A 27, 1126 (2009); doi:10.1116/1.3186616
The role of interfaces in influencing high temperature carrier transport is a fascinating problem in solid state ionics. Understanding how internal interfaces or surfaces influence kinetics and thermodynamics of charge and mass transport can lead to design and discovery of novel energy materials. Chemical stability studies and electrolytic domain boundary identification in interface-controlled oxides can provide insights into the nature of carriers that are responsive under electrochemical potentials. The ability to design and synthesize ultra-fast ion conductors that are thermally and chemically stable in a range of temperatures and oxygen pressures could potentially impact electrochemical energy conversion and storage technologies including but not limited to solid oxide fuel cells.
Mechanics of stretchable inorganic electronic materials
J. Song, H. Jiang, Y. Huang, J. A. Rogers
J. Vac. Sci. Technol. A 27, 1107 (2009); doi:10.1116/1.3168555
Brittle inorganic electronic materials can be deposited onto compliant substrates to develop stretchable electronics through the nonlinear buckling process. This paper reviews the mechanics of these materials, which reveals the fundamental physics and provides practical strategies for the construction of stretchable electronics.