Deposition and Microfabrication

Physical structures ranging in size from miniature objects (nanomaterials) to electrical devices (thin films) with planned properties can be made using the deposition and microfabrication capability. Materials with specific surface, bulk and interfacial properties for energy and environmental applications can be designed and made using these integrated capabilities.

Resources and Techniques

  • Functionalized surfaces – Design and manufacture surfaces optimized for specific functions related to catalysis and other areas.
  • Model systems for geochemistry/biogeochemistry – Grow model oxide and mineral films with varying structure and complexity.
  • Materials with designed properties – Film growth and ion implantation for materials with specific properties.
  • Chemical and biological sensing – Film and surface layer deposition and modification, micro and nano-lithography, and solution synthesis capabilities.
  • Microfabrication – Engineering, software development and fabrication are used to design and fabricate next-generation components.

Additonal Information:

Description

Capability Details
• Unique oxygen-plasma-assisted molecular beam epitaxy system for designing and constructing high-quality oxide thin films
• Spin coating and wet chemical synthesis to prepare thin films and nanostructures
• Focused ion beam for nanolithography and deposition and manipulation of structures at the nano scale
• Microfabrication suite for designing and etching complex patterns into varied substrates
• Hybrid physical vapor deposition system for depositing thin films of metals, oxides, nitrides and alloys with high purity and thickness control
• Pulsed laser deposition for growing complex oxides films
• Low-energy ion deposition for preparing ultra-pure films of complex molecules, including biomolecules, through a mass-selected soft-landing process
• Diverse and unrivaled expertise in advanced signal acquisition and processing instrumentation, signal analysis algorithms, laboratory automation systems and scientific data management solutions

Instruments

This instrument is newly available to EMSL users. For more information about this instrument and the science it will help enable, see the ...
Custodian(s): Ryan Kelly, Hardeep S Mehta
The FEI Helios Nanolab dual-beam focused ion beam/scanning electron microscopy (FIB/SEM) microscope combines two important high-resolution...
Custodian(s): Bruce Arey
Only available at EMSL, the Discovery Deposition System has been customized to be a fully automated multi-functional "hybrid" instrument with...
This instrument is newly available to EMSL users. For more information about this instrument and the science it will help enable, see the ...
Custodian(s): Ryan Kelly, Hardeep S Mehta
The mass-selected ion deposition system is a new instrument constructed at EMSL. The apparatus, shown in Figure 1, includes a high-transmission...
Custodian(s): Julia Laskin

Publications

The role of iron sulfide (FeS) in initial cell activation and degradation in the Na-NiCl2 battery was investigated in this work. The research focused...
The stability of sub-nanometer size gold clusters ligated with organic molecules is of paramount importance to the scalable synthesis of monodisperse...
The scalable synthesis of subnanometer metal clusters containing an exact number of atoms is of interest due to the highly size-dependent catalytic,...
The oxygen reduction/evolution reaction (ORR/OER) mechanisms in nonaqueous Li-O2 batteries have been investigated by using electron paramagnetic...
Electrochemical performance of the existing state-of-the art capacitors is not very high, key scientific barrier is that its charge storage mechanism...

Science Highlights

Posted: December 19, 2014
Strontium titanate and other titanium oxides hold the promise of turning sunlight into fuel. They are excellent candidates for solar hydrolysis –...
Posted: September 10, 2014
Scientists at EMSL and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have generated a material that allows oxygen to efficiently move through it at...
Posted: August 07, 2013
Predictive models of biogeochemical interactions in soils are more accurate and scalable if they consider the reaction chemistry that occurs in...
Posted: July 29, 2013
Scientists have gained the first quantitative insights into electron transfer from minerals to microbes by studying that transfer in a nature-...
Posted: May 20, 2013
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory scientists working at EMSL wrote a review of how microfluidic devices are being used in scientific instruments...

Physical structures ranging in size from miniature objects (nanomaterials) to electrical devices (thin films) with planned properties can be made using the deposition and microfabrication capability. Materials with specific surface, bulk and interfacial properties for energy and environmental applications can be designed and made using these integrated capabilities.

Resources and Techniques

  • Functionalized surfaces – Design and manufacture surfaces optimized for specific functions related to catalysis and other areas.
  • Model systems for geochemistry/biogeochemistry – Grow model oxide and mineral films with varying structure and complexity.
  • Materials with designed properties – Film growth and ion implantation for materials with specific properties.
  • Chemical and biological sensing – Film and surface layer deposition and modification, micro and nano-lithography, and solution synthesis capabilities.
  • Microfabrication – Engineering, software development and fabrication are used to design and fabricate next-generation components.

Additonal Information:

The Role of FeS in Initial Activation and Performance Degradation of Na-NiCl2 Batteries.

Abstract: 

The role of iron sulfide (FeS) in initial cell activation and degradation in the Na-NiCl2 battery was investigated in this work. The research focused on identifying the effects of the FeS level on the electrochemical performance and morphological changes in the cathode. The x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy study along with battery tests revealed that FeS plays a critical role in initial battery activation by removing passivation layers on Ni particles. It was also found that the optimum level of FeS in the cathode resulted in minimum Ni particle growth and improved battery cycling performance. The results of electrochemical characterization indicated that sulfur species generated in situ during initial charging, such as polysulfide and sulfur, are responsible for removing the passivation layer. Consequently, the cells containing elemental sulfur in the cathode exhibited similar electrochemical behavior during initial charging compared to that of the cells containing FeS.

Citation: 
Li G, X Lu, JY Kim, MH Engelhard, JP Lemmon, and VL Sprenkle.2014."The Role of FeS in Initial Activation and Performance Degradation of Na-NiCl2 Batteries."Journal of Power Sources 272:398-403. doi:10.1016/j.jpowsour.2014.08.106
Authors: 
Li G
X Lu
JY Kim
MH Engelhard
JP Lemmon
VL Sprenkle
Instruments: 
Volume: 
Issue: 
Pages: 
Publication year: 
2014

Investigating the Synthesis of Ligated Metal Clusters in Solution Using a Flow Reactor and Electrospray Ionization Mass

Abstract: 

The scalable synthesis of subnanometer metal clusters containing an exact number of atoms is of interest due to the highly size-dependent catalytic, electronic and optical properties of these species. While significant research has been conducted on the batch preparation of clusters through reduction synthesis in solution, the processes of metal complex reduction as well as cluster nucleation, growth and post-reduction etching are still not well understood. Herein, we demonstrate a temperature-controlled flow reactor for studying cluster formation in solution at well-defined conditions. Employing this technique methanol solutions of a chloro(triphenylphosphine)gold precursor, 1,4-bis(diphenylphosphino)butane capping ligand and borane-tert-butylamine reducing agent were combined in a mixing tee and introduced into a heated capillary with an adjustable length. In this manner, the temperature dependence of the relative abundance of different ionic reactants, intermediates and products synthesized in real time was characterized using online mass spectrometry. A wide distribution of doubly and triply charged cationic gold clusters was observed as well as smaller singly charged metal-ligand complexes. The results demonstrate that temperature plays a crucial role in determining the relative population of cationic gold clusters and, in general, that higher temperature promotes the formation of doubly charged clusters and singly charged metal-ligand complexes while hindering the growth of triply charged clusters. Moreover, the distribution of clusters observed at elevated temperatures is found to be consistent with that obtained at longer reaction times at room temperature, thereby demonstrating that heating may be used to access cluster distributions characteristic of different stages of reduction synthesis in solution.

Citation: 
Olivares AM, J Laskin, and GE Johnson.2014."Investigating the Synthesis of Ligated Metal Clusters in Solution Using a Flow Reactor and Electrospray Ionization Mass Spectrometry."Journal of Physical Chemistry A 118(37):8464-8470. doi:10.1021/jp501809r
Authors: 
AM Olivares
J Laskin
GE Johnson
Facility: 
Volume: 
118
Issue: 
37
Pages: 
8464-8470
Publication year: 
2014

Size-dependent stability toward dissociation and ligand binding energies of phosphine-ligated gold cluster ions.

Abstract: 

The stability of sub-nanometer size gold clusters ligated with organic molecules is of paramount importance to the scalable synthesis of monodisperse size-selected metal clusters with highly tunable chemical and physical properties. For the first time, a Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometer (FT-ICR-MS) equipped with surface induced dissociation (SID) has been employed to investigate the time and collision energy resolved fragmentation behavior of cationic doubly charged gold clusters containing 7-9 gold atoms and 6-7 triphenylphosphine (TPP) ligands prepared by reduction synthesis in solution. The TPP ligated gold clusters are demonstrated to fragment through three primary dissociation pathways: (1) Loss of a neutral TPP ligand from the precursor gold cluster, (2) asymmetric fission and (3) symmetric fission and charge separation of the gold core resulting in formation of complementary pairs of singly charged fragment ions. Threshold energies and activation entropies of these fragmentation pathways have been determined employing Rice-Ramsperger-Kassel-Marcus (RRKM) modeling of the experimental SID data. It is demonstrated that the doubly charged cluster ion containing eight gold atoms and six TPP ligands, (8,6)2+, exhibits exceptional stability compared to the other cationic gold clusters examined in this study due to its large ligand binding energy of 1.76 eV. Our findings demonstrate the dramatic effect of the size and extent of ligation on the gas-phase stability and preferred fragmentation pathways of small TPP-ligated gold clusters.

Citation: 
Johnson GE, TA Priest, and J Laskin.2014."Size-dependent stability toward dissociation and ligand binding energies of phosphine-ligated gold cluster ions."Chemical Science 5:3275-3286. doi:10.1039/c4sc00849a
Authors: 
GE Johnson
TA Priest
J Laskin
Facility: 
Volume: 
Issue: 
Pages: 
Publication year: 
2014

The Mechanisms of Oxygen Reduction and Evolution Reactions in Nonaqueous Lithium-Oxygen Batteries.

Abstract: 

The oxygen reduction/evolution reaction (ORR/OER) mechanisms in nonaqueous Li-O2 batteries have been investigated by using electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy in this work. We identified the superoxide radical anion (O2•-) as an intermediate in the ORR process using 5,5-dimethyl-pyrroline N-oxide as a spin trap, while no O2•- in OER was detected during the charge process. These findings provide insightful understanding on the fundamental oxygen reaction mechanisms in rechargeable nonaqueous Li-O2 batteries.

Citation: 
Cao R, ED Walter, W Xu, EN Nasybulin, P Bhattacharya, ME Bowden, MH Engelhard, and J Zhang.2014."The Mechanisms of Oxygen Reduction and Evolution Reactions in Nonaqueous Lithium-Oxygen Batteries."ChemSusChem 7(9):2436-2440. doi:10.1002/cssc.201402315
Authors: 
R Cao
ED Walter
W Xu
EN Nasybulin
P Bhattacharya
ME Bowden
MH Engelhard
J Zhang
Instruments: 
Volume: 
7
Issue: 
9
Pages: 
2436-2440
Publication year: 
2014

Effect of Composition and Heat Treatment on MnBi Magnetic Materials.

Abstract: 

The metallic compound MnBi is a promising rare-earth-free permanent magnet material. Compare to other rare-earth-free candidates, MnBi stands out for its high intrinsic coercivity (Hci) and its large positive temperature coefficient. Several groups have demonstrated that the Hci of MnBi compound in thin film or in powder form can exceed 12 kOe and 26 kOe at 300 K and 523 K, respectively. Such steep increase in Hci with increasing temperature is unique to MnBi. Consequently, MnBi is a highly sought-after hard phase for exchange coupling nanocomposite magnets. The reaction between Mn and Bi is peritectic, so Mn tends to precipitate out of the MnBi liquid during the solidification process. As result, the composition of the Mn-Bi alloy with the largest amount of the desired LTP (low temperature phase) MnBi and highest saturation magnetization will be over-stoichiometric and rich in Mn. The amount of additional Mn required to compensate the Mn precipitation depends on solidification rate: the faster the quench speed, the less Mn precipitates. Here we report a systematic study of the effect of composition and heat treatments on the phase contents and magnetic properties of Mn-Bi alloys. In this study, Mn-Bi alloys with 14 compositions were prepared using conventional metallurgical methods such as arc melting and vacuum heat treatment, and the obtained alloys were analyzed for compositions, crystal structures, phase content, and magnetic properties. The results show that the composition with 55 at.% Mn exhibits the highest LTP MnBi content and the highest magnetization. The sample with this composition shows >90 wt.% LTP MnBi content. Its measured saturation magnetization is 68 emu/g with 2.3 T applied field at 300 K; its coercivity is 13 kOe and its energy product is 12 MGOe at 300 K. A bulk magnet fabricated using this powder exhibits an energy product of 8.2 MGOe.

Citation: 
Cui J, JP Choi, E Polikarpov, ME Bowden, W Xie, G Li, Z Nie, N Zarkevich, MJ Kramer, and DD Johnson.2014."Effect of Composition and Heat Treatment on MnBi Magnetic Materials."Acta Materialia 79:374-381. doi:10.1016/j.actamat.2014.07.034
Authors: 
J Cui
JP Choi
E Polikarpov
ME Bowden
W Xie
G Li
Z Nie
N Zarkevich
MJ Kramer
DD Johnson
Volume: 
Issue: 
Pages: 
Publication year: 
2014

In Situ One-Step Synthesis of Hierarchical Nitrogen-Doped Porous Carbon for High Performance Supercapacitors.

Abstract: 

Electrochemical performance of the existing state-of-the art capacitors is not very high, key scientific barrier is that its charge storage mechanism wholly depends on adsorption of electrolyte on electrode. We present a novel method for the synthesis of nitrogen -doped porous carbons and address the drawback by precisely controlling composition and surface area. Nitrogen-doped porous carbon was synthesized using a self-sacrificial template technique without any additional nitrogen and carbon sources. They exhibited exceptionally high capacitance (239 Fg-1) due to additional pseudocapacitance originating from doped nitrogen. Cycling tests showed no obvious capacitance decay even after 10,000 cycles, which meets the requirement of commercial supercapacitors. Our method is simple and highly efficient for the production of large quantities of nitrogen-doped porous carbons.

Citation: 
Jeon JW, R Sharma, P Meduri, BW Arey, HT Schaef, J Lutkenhaus, JP Lemmon, PK Thallapally, MI Nandasiri, BP McGrail, and SK Nune.2014."In Situ One-Step Synthesis of Hierarchical Nitrogen-Doped Porous Carbon for High Performance Supercapacitors."ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 6(10):7214-7222. doi:10.1021/am500339x
Authors: 
JW Jeon
R Sharma
P Meduri
BW Arey
HT Schaef
J Lutkenhaus
JP Lemmon
PK Thallapally
MI Nasiri
BP McGrail
SK Nune
Instruments: 
Volume: 
6
Issue: 
10
Pages: 
7214-7222
Publication year: 
2014

Microstructural Response of Variably Hydrated Ca-Rich Montmorillonite to Supercritical CO2.

Abstract: 

We report on ab initio molecular dynamics simulations of Ca-rich montmorillonite systems, in different hydration states in the presence of supercritical CO2. Analysis of the molecular trajectories provides estimates of the relative H2O:CO2 ratio per interspatial cation. The vibrational density of states in direct comparison with dipole moment derived IR spectra for these systems provide unique signatures that can used to follow molecular transformation. In a co-sequestration scenario, these signatures could be used to identify the chemical state and fate of Sulfur compounds. Interpretation of CO2 asymmetric stretch shift is given based on a detailed analysis of scCO2 structure and intermolecular interactions of the intercalated species. Based on our simulations, smectites with higher charge interlayer cations at sub-single to single hydration states should be more efficient in capturing CO2, while maintaining caprock integrity. This research would not have been possible without the support of the office of Fossil Energy, Department of Energy. The computational resources were made available through a user proposal of the EMSL User facility, a national scientific user facility sponsored by the Department of Energy's Office of Biological and Environmental Research and located at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

Citation: 
Lee MS, BP McGrail, and VA Glezakou.2014."Microstructural Response of Variably Hydrated Ca-Rich Montmorillonite to Supercritical CO2."Environmental Science & Technology 48(15):8612-8619. doi:10.1021/es5005889
Authors: 
MS Lee
BP McGrail
VA Glezakou
Instruments: 
Volume: 
48
Issue: 
15
Pages: 
8612-8619
Publication year: 
2014

Structures and Stabilities of (MgO)n Nanoclusters.

Abstract: 

Global minima for (MgO)n structures were optimized using a tree growth−hybrid genetic algorithm in conjunction with MNDO/MNDO/d semiempirical molecular orbital calculations followed by density functional theory geometry optimizations with the B3LYP functional. New lowest energy isomers were found for a number of (MgO)n clusters. The most stable isomers for (MgO)n (n > 3) are 3-dimensional. For n < 20, hexagonal tubular (MgO)n structures are more favored in energy than the cubic structures. The cubic structures and their variations dominate after n = 20. For the cubic isomers, increasing the size of the cluster in any dimension improves the stability. The effectiveness of increasing the size of the cluster in a specific dimension to improve stability diminishes as the size in that dimension increases. For cubic structures of the same size, the most compact cubic structure is expected to be the more stable cubic structure. The average Mg−O bond distance and coordination number both increase as n increases. The calculated average Mg−O bond distance is 2.055 Å at n = 40, slightly smaller than the bulk value of 2.104 Å. The average coordination number is predicted to be 4.6 for the lowest energy (MgO)40 as compared to the bulk value of 6. As n increases, the normalized clustering energy ΔE(n) for the (MgO)n increases and the slope of the ΔE(n)vs n curve decreases. The value of ΔE(40) is predicted to be 150 kcal/mol, as compared to the bulk value ΔE(∞) = 176 kcal/mol. The electronic properties of the clusters are presented and the reactive sites are predicted to be at the corners.

Citation: 
Chen M, AR Felmy, and DA Dixon.2014."Structures and Stabilities of (MgO)n Nanoclusters."Journal of Physical Chemistry A 118(17):3136-3146. doi:10.1021/jp412820z
Authors: 
M Chen
AR Felmy
DA Dixon
Instruments: 
Volume: 
118
Issue: 
17
Pages: 
3136-3146
Publication year: 
2014

Physical Properties of Ambient and Laboratory-Generated Secondary Organic Aerosol.

Abstract: 

The size and thickness of organic aerosol particles collected by impaction in five field campaigns were compared to those of laboratory generated secondary organic aerosols (SOA). Scanning transmission x-ray microscopy (STXM) was used to measure the total carbon absorbance (TCA) by individual particles as a function of their projection areas on the substrate. Because they flatten less upon impaction, particles with higher viscosity and surface tension can be identified by a steeper slope on a plot of TCA vs. size. The slopes of the ambient data are statistically similar indicating a small range of average viscosities and surface tensions across five field campaigns. Steeper slopes were observed for the plots corresponding to ambient particles, while smaller slopes were indicative of the laboratory generated SOA. This comparison indicates that ambient organic particles have higher viscosities and surface tensions than those typically generated in laboratory SOA studies.

Citation: 
O'Brien RE, A Neu, SA Epstein, A MacMillan, B Wang, ST Kelly, S Nizkorodov, A Laskin, RC Moffet, and MK Gilles.2014."Physical Properties of Ambient and Laboratory-Generated Secondary Organic Aerosol."Geophysical Research Letters 41(2):4347-4353. doi:10.1002/2014GL060219
Authors: 
RE O'Brien
A Neu
SA Epstein
A MacMillan
B Wang
ST Kelly
S Nizkorodov
A Laskin
RC Moffet
MK Gilles
Facility: 
Volume: 
41
Issue: 
2
Pages: 
4347-4353
Publication year: 
2014

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