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ResearchslashSRA 01

Project 1.3.1: Nanostructured Hybrid Interfaces

Nanostructured organic-inorganic interfaces give rise to phenomena not present in corresponding bulk materials. We propose to design and fabricate unique nanostructured ceramic-polymeric interfaces which facilitate charge transport while serving as a barrier to phonon transport (or vice versa). The oxidative chemical vapor deposition (oCVD) of robust flexible organic polymeric transport layers will be integrated with the novel inorganic ceramics fabricated via thin-film (reactive physical vapor deposited (PVD), atomic-layer deposition (ALD)), solid-state and sol-gel techniques. Both methods are compatible with traditional device fabrication schemes. The oCVD makes possible strong covalent bond formation at the interface (grafting) whereas typical organic-inorganic interfaces have only weaker disperse forces between the layers. By exploiting novel solid-state chemistry routes and reactive PVD techniques, we will control the metastable crystal structures at ceramic surfaces (carbides, nitrides, and oxides). Such structures can be tuned to provide an order of magnitude change in electrical conductivities while leaving thermal conductivities relatively unchanged. Controlling the atomic structure of the ceramic-grafted polymer interface, along with incorporation of such novel interfaces into nanostructured metamaterial assemblies will achieve independent tuning of electrical and thermal properties, thereby leading to broad implications for thermal management, microelectronic, microphotonic, thermoelectric, energy storage, thermal circuitry, selective directional transport, thermal cloaking, etc. The grafted interfaces are also anticipated to enhance mechanical properties. Thus, the coupled mechanics governing the formation of the novel organic/inorganic interfaces will be invested using micromechanical modeling, with a goal of providing a comprehensive fundamental understanding of the interplay between electrical, thermal, and mechanical behavior. The mechanical models will guide the design of high surface areas structures and will also prove to be valuable in understanding the subsequent mechanical behavior of these interfaces upon integration into devices. Additionally, controlled deformation mechanisms and pathways will be explored as means to create novel microstructures with tailored electronic, thermal, and mechanical performance.


Project 1.2.1 Researchers

Prof. Karen K. Gleason, Department of Chemical Engineering
Prof. Mary C. Boyce, Department of Mechanical Engineering
Prof. Kripa Varanasi, Department of Mechanical Engineering

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