In atmospheric pressure air preheated from 300 to 1000 K, the nanosecond repetitively pulsed (NRP) method has been used to generate corona, glow, and spark discharges. Experiments have been performed to determine the parameter space (applied voltage, pulse repetition frequency, ambient gas temperature, and interelectrode gap distance) of each discharge regime. In particular, the experimental conditions necessary for the glow regime of NRP discharges have been determined, with the notable result that there exists a minimum and maximum gap distance for its existence at a given ambient gas temperature. The minimum gap distance increases with decreasing gas temperature, whereas the maximum does not vary appreciably. To explain the experimental results, an analytical model is developed to explain the corona-to-glow (C-G) and glow-to-spark (G-S) transitions. The C-G transition is analyzed in terms of the avalanche-to-streamer transition and the breakdown field during the conduction phase following the establishment of a conducting channel across the discharge gap. The G-S transition is determined by the thermal ionization instability, and we show analytically that this transition occurs at a certain reduced electric field for the NRP discharges studied here. This model shows that the electrode geometry plays an important role in the existence of the NRP glow regime at a given gas temperature. We derive a criterion for the existence of the NRP glow regime as a function of the ambient gas temperature, pulse repetition frequency, electrode radius of curvature, and interelectrode gap distance.
An original surface passivation technique of indium tin oxide (ITO) used as anode in organic solar cells is proposed. We demonstrate that a thin MoO3 film (3.5 +/- 1 nm) at the interface ITO/organic donor allows improving significantly the devices' performances. The devices are based on the multiheterojunction structure copper phthalocyanine (CuPc)/fullerene (C-60)/aluminum tris(8-hydroxyquinoline) (Alq(3)). The deposition of MoO3 onto ITO improves the charge transfer from CuPc to ITO. The enhancement in the hole collection efficiency in the presence of an oxide layer can be explained in terms of the reduction in the effective barrier against hole transfer from CuPc into the ITO anode. The contact ITO/MoO3/CuPc behaves like a metal-insulator-semiconductor (MIS) structure, which allows reducing the energy barrier due to the difference between the work function of ITO and the highest occupied molecular orbital of CuPc. It is shown that the optimum MoO3 thickness corresponds to a compromise between an optimum ITO coverage and a sufficient transparency of the trapezoidal barrier for the tunneling of the charge carriers. The MoO3 thin films are discontinuous, and the passivation effect is improved when the oxide thin film is covered by an ultrathin gold film. Such behavior is discussed in the light of band scheme structures after contact and of geometrical considerations.
This Topical Review discusses insights into the physical mechanisms of nanostructure solar cell operation as provided by numerical device simulation using a state-of-the-art quantumkinetic framework based on the non-equilibrium Green's function formalism. After a brief introduction to the field of nanostructure photovoltaics and an overview of the existing literature on theoretical description and experimental implementation of such devices, the quantum-kinetic formulation of photovoltaic processes is discussed in detail, together with more conventional modeling approaches, such as global detailed balance theory and the semi-classical drift-diffusion-Poisson-Maxwell picture. Application examples provided subsequently include III-V semiconductor nanostructures ranging from ultra-thin absorbers to quantum well and quantum dot solar cell devices. The focus is on common features encountered in photovoltaic nanostructure architectures, such as the impact of configurational parameters and operating conditions on device characteristics, and the pronounced deviations from the semiclassical bulk picture. Ultra-thin absorbers are investigated with focus on the effect of built-in fields and contact configuration on radiative rates and currents. For the case of single and multi-quantum-well p-i-n devices, generation, recombination and escape of carriers are discussed, and quantum well superlattice solar cells are considered with regard to charge carrier transport regimes ranging from band-like transport in miniband states to sequential tunneling between neighboring periods. Double quantum well structures are further studied in the context of tunnel junctions for multi-junction solar cells. The investigation of quantum dots covers the fluorescence of colloidal nanoparticles for luminescent solar concentrators as well as the impact of configurational parameters on the photovoltaic properties of regimented quantum dot arrays, in both single-junction and intermediate-band configurations.
We assess the possibility of shear banding of semidilute rod-like colloidal suspensions under steady shear flow very close to the isotropic-nematic spinodal, using a combination of rheology, small angle neutron scattering, and laser Doppler velocimetry. Model systems are employed which allow for a length and stiffness variation of the particles. The rheological signature reveals that these systems are strongly shear thinning at moderate shear rates. It is shown that the longest and most flexible rods undergo the strongest shear thinning and have the greatest potential to form shear bands. Although we find a small but significant gradient of the orientational order parameter throughout the gap of the shear cell, no shear banding transition is tractable in the region of intermediate shear rates. At very low shear rates, gradient banding and wall slip occur simultaneously, but the shear bands are not stable over time.
Surface interactions involving biomembranes, such as cell-cell interactions or membrane contacts inside cells play important roles in numerous biological processes. Structural insight into the interacting surfaces is a prerequisite to understand the interaction characteristics as well as the underlying physical mechanisms. Here, we work with simplified planar experimental models of membrane surfaces, composed of lipids and lipopolymers. Their interaction is quantified in terms of pressure-distance curves using ellipsometry at controlled dehydrating (interaction) pressures. For selected pressures, their internal structure is investigated by standing-wave x-ray fluorescence (SWXF). This technique yields specific density profiles of the chemical elements P and S belonging to lipid headgroups and polymer chains, as well as counter-ion profiles for charged surfaces.
Surface interactions involving biomembranes, such as cell–cell interactions or membrane contacts inside cells play important roles in numerous biological processes. Structural insight into the interacting surfaces is a prerequisite to understand the interaction characteristics as well as the underlying physical mechanisms. Here, we work with simplified planar experimental models of membrane surfaces, composed of lipids and lipopolymers. Their interaction is quantified in terms of pressure–distance curves using ellipsometry at controlled dehydrating (interaction) pressures. For selected pressures, their internal structure is investigated by standing-wave x-ray fluorescence (SWXF). This technique yields specific density profiles of the chemical elements P and S belonging to lipid headgroups and polymer chains, as well as counter-ion profiles for charged surfaces.
Rapid thermal annealing was applied to transform sputter-deposited Fe51Pt49/Cu bilayers into L1(0) chemically ordered ternary (Fe51Pt49)(100-x) alloys with (001) texture on amorphous SiO2/Si substrates. It was found that for thin film samples, which were processed at 600 degrees C for 30 s, the addition of Cu strongly favors the L1(0) ordering and (001) texture formation. Furthermore, it could be revealed by transmission electron microscopy and electron backscatter diffraction that the observed reduction of the ordering temperature with Cu content is accompanied by an increased amount of nucleation sites forming L1(0) ordered grains. The change of the structural properties with Cu content and annealing temperature is closely related to the magnetic properties. While an annealing temperature of 800 degrees C induces strong perpendicular magnetic anisotropy (PMA) in binary Fe51Pt49 films, the addition of Cu systematically reduces the PMA. However, due to the enhancement of both the A1-L1(0) phase transformation and the development of the (001) texture with increasing Cu content, lowering of the annealing temperature leads to a shift of the maximum perpendicular magnetic anisotropy towards alloys with higher Cu content. Thus, for an annealing temperature of 600 degrees C, the highest perpendicular magnetic anisotropy energy is found for the (Fe51Pt49)(91)Cu-9 alloy. The smooth surface morphology, adjustable PMA, and high degree of intergranular exchange coupling make these films suitable for post-processing required for specific applications such as for sensorics or magnetic data storage. (C) 2012 American Institute of Physics. [http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4757038
The dynamical control of the dielectric response in magnetoelectric (ME) nanocomposites (NCs) renders an entire additional degree of freedom to the functionality of miniaturized magnetoelectronics and spintronics devices. In composite materials, the ME effect is realized by using the concept of product properties. Through the investigation of the microwave properties of a series of BaTiO3/Ni NCs fabricated by compaction of nanopowders, we present experimental evidence that the compaction (uniaxial) pressure in the range 33-230 MPa affects significantly the ME features. The Ni loading was varied from zero (BaTiO3 only) to 63 vol%. Our findings revealed that the ME coupling coefficient exhibits a large enhancement for specific values of the Ni volume fraction and compaction pressure. The coupling effects in the NCs were studied by looking at the relationships among the crystallite orientation and the magnetic properties. The magnetization curves for different directions of the applied magnetic field cannot be superimposed. We suggest that the average magnetization measurements on these NCs under compressive stress are dominated by strain anisotropy rather than magnetocrystalline anisotropy. Overall, these observations are considered to be evidence of stress-induced microstructural changes under pressure which strongly affect the elastic interaction between the magnetostrictive and piezoelectric phases in these NCs. These results have a potential technological impact for designing precise tunable ME NCs for microwave devices such as tunable phase shifters, resonators, and delay lines. (C) 2010 American Institute of Physics. [doi:10.1063/1.3465549
The demand for highly coupled high quality acoustic wave devices for radio-frequency (RF) signal processing based on passive devices has generated a strong innovative activity, yielding the investigation of new excitation principles and waveguide structures. Periodically poled transducers (PPTs) have been recently investigated [E. Courjon , J. Appl. Phys. 102 , 114107 (2007)], as an alternative to classical interdigital transducers (IDTs) for the excitation and detection of guided acoustic waves. PPTs have two principal advantages compared to IDTs: the robustness of the excitation versus defects or surface contamination and the possibility to excite waves exhibiting a wavelength equal to the poling period. Here a new acoustic resonator concept is suggested, allowing high frequency operation with a simplified package. The idea consists of using a waveguide based on a PPT fabricated on a ferroelectric single-crystal substrate such as lithium niobate or tantalate inserted between two single-crystal substrates allowing the guidance of elastic waves without losses. The concept analysis points out optimum configurations of the structure allowing the excitation of elastic waves compatible with RF applications.
We report an all-optical method to measure the pyroelectric coefficient p of electro-optic crystals. Through this technique, we first acquire the birefringence variation delta Delta n of the crystal as a function of its temperature T, both in closed and open-circuit conditions, using a Senarmont phase-compensation configuration. Then the pyroelectric field is deduced from the difference between these two measurements, so it leads to the material spontaneous polarization change, whose derivative with respect to the temperature finally gives p. This technique is applied on congruent and stoichiometric lithium niobate. (C) 2011 American Institute of Physics. [doi:10.1063/1.3544069
The development of lab-on-chip devices is expected to dramatically change biochemical analyses, allowing for a notable increase of processing quality and throughput, provided the induced chemical reactions are well controlled. In this work, we investigate the impact of local acoustic mixing to promote or accelerate such biochemical reactions, such as antibody grafting on activated surfaces. During microarray building, the spotting mode leads to low efficiency in the ligand grafting and heterogeneities which limits its performances. To improve the transfer rate, we induce a hydrodynamic flow in the spotted droplet to disrupt the steady state during antibody grafting. To prove that acoustic mixing increases the antibody transfer rate to the biochip surface, we have used a Love-wave sensor allowing for real-time monitoring of the biological reaction for different operating conditions (with or without mixing). An analysis of the impact of the proposed mixing on grafting kinetics is proposed and finally checked in the case of antibody-antigen combination.
The optical spectra of rubrene single crystals are reported and compared with those of the molecule in solution. From generalized ellipsometry and a proper biaxial model, the complex dielectric tensor is deduced in the spectral region of the excitonic transitions of the crystal between 2.2 eV band 4.4 eV, where the optical bands are assigned and rationalized on the basis of the molecular and crystal symmetries.
The thermal conductivity of Ge2Sb2Te5 (GST) layers, as well as the thermal boundary resistance at the interface between the GST and amorphous SiO2, was measured using a photothermal radiometry experiment. The two phase changes in the Ge2Sb2Te5 were retrieved, starting from the amorphous and sweeping to the face centered cubic (fcc) crystalline state at 130 °C and then to the hexagonal crystalline phase (hcp) at 310 °C. The thermal conductivity resulted to be constant in the amorphous phase, whereas it evolved between the two crystalline states. The thermal boundary resistance at the GST-SiO2 interface was estimated to be higher for the hcp phase than for the amorphous and fcc ones.