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Discovery of disordered nanolayers in intermetallic alloys: Resolving alloys’ strength-ductility trade-off and thermal instability

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Home > Press > Discovery of disordered nanolayers in intermetallic alloys: Resolving alloys’ strength-ductility trade-off and thermal instability

(A) Atom maps reconstructed using 3D-APT show the distribution of each element. Iron (Fe), cobalt (Co), and boron (B) are enriched (darker in colour) at the nanolayer, whereas nickel (Ni), aluminum (Al), and titanium (Ti) are depleted (lighter in colour) correspondingly. (B) and (C) also show the same results. CREDIT
Photo source: DOI number: 10.1126/science.abb6830
(A) Atom maps reconstructed using 3D-APT show the distribution of each element. Iron (Fe), cobalt (Co), and boron (B) are enriched (darker in colour) at the nanolayer, whereas nickel (Ni), aluminum (Al), and titanium (Ti) are depleted (lighter in colour) correspondingly. (B) and (C) also show the same results. CREDIT
Photo source: DOI number: 10.1126/science.abb6830

Abstract:
Intermetallic alloys potentially have high strength in a high-temperature environment. But they generally suffer poor ductility at ambient and low temperatures, hence limiting their applications in aerospace and other engineering fields. Yet, a research team led by scientists of City University of Hong Kong (CityU) has recently discovered the disordered nanoscale layers at grain boundaries in the ordered intermetallic alloys. The nanolayers can not only resolve the irreconcilable conflict between strength and ductility effectively, but also maintain the alloy’s strength with an excellent thermal stability at high temperatures. Designing similar nanolayers may open a pathway for the design of new structural materials with optimal alloy properties.

Discovery of disordered nanolayers in intermetallic alloys: Resolving alloys’ strength-ductility trade-off and thermal instability


Hong Kong, China | Posted on July 24th, 2020

This research was led by Professor Liu Chain-tsuan, CityU’s University Distinguished Professor and Senior Fellow of the Hong Kong Institute for Advanced Study (HKIAS). The findings were just published in the prestigious scientific journal Science, titled “Ultrahigh-strength and ductile superlattice alloys with nanoscale disordered interfaces”.

Just like metals, the inner structure of intermetallic alloys is made of individual crystalline areas knows as “grains”. The usual brittleness in intermetallic alloys is generally ascribed to the cracking along their grain boundaries during tensile deformation. Adding the element boron to the intermetallic alloys has been one of the traditional approaches to overcome the brittleness. Professor Liu was actually one of those who studied this approach 30 years ago. At that time, he found that the addition of boron to binary intermetallic alloys (constituting two elements, like Ni3Al) enhances the grain boundary cohesion, hence improving their overall ductility.

A surprising experimental result

In recent years, Professor Liu has achieved many great advances in developing bulk intermetallic alloys (intermetallic alloy is also called superlattice alloy, constructed with long-range, atomically close-packed ordered structure). These materials with good strengths are highly attractive for high-temperature structural applications, but generally suffer from serious brittleness at ambient temperatures, as well as rapid grain coarsening (i.e. growth in grain size) and softening at high temperatures. So this time, Professor Liu and his team have developed the novel “interfacial nanoscale disordering” strategy in multi-element intermetallic alloys, which enables the high strength, large ductility at room temperature and also excellent thermal stability at elevated temperatures.

“What we originally tried to do is to enhance the grain boundary cohesion through optimizing the amount of boron,” said Dr Yang Tao, a postdoc research fellow at CityU’s Department of Mechanical Engineering (MNE) and IAS, who is also one of the co-first authors of the paper. “We expected that, as we increased the amount of boron, the alloy would retain ultrahigh strength due to its multi-element constituents.”

According to conventional wisdom, adding trace amounts (0.1 to 0.5 atomic percent (at. %)) of boron substantially improves their tensile ductility by increasing grain-boundary cohesion. When excessive amounts of boron were added, this traditional approach would not work. “But when we added excessive amounts of boron to the present multicomponent intermetallic alloys, we obtained completely different results. At one point I wondered whether something went wrong during the experiments,” Dr Yang recalled.

To the team’s surprise, when increasing boron to as high as 1.5 to 2.5 at. %, these boron-doped alloys became very strong but very ductile. Experiment results revealed that the intermetallic alloys with 2 at. % of boron have an ultrahigh yield strength of 1.6 gigapascals with tensile ductility of 25% at ambient temperatures.

By studying through different transmission electron microscopies, the team discovered that when the concentration of boron ranged from 1.5 to 2.5 at. %, a distinctive nanolayer was formed between adjacent ordered grains. Each of the grains was capsulated within this ultrathin nanolayer of about 5nm thick. And the nanolayer itself has a disordered atomic structure. “This special phenomenon had never been discovered and reported before,” said Professor Liu.

Their tensile tests showed that the nanolayer serves as a buffer zone between adjacent grains, which enables plastic-deformation at grain boundaries, resulting in the large tensile ductility at an ultrahigh yield strength level.

Why is the disordered nanolayer formed?

The team found that the further increase in boron has substantially enhanced the “multi-element co-segregation” – the partitioning of multiple elements along the grain boundaries. With the advanced three-dimension atom probe tomography (3D APT) at CityU, the only one of its kind in Hong Kong and southern China, they observed a high concentration of boron, iron and cobalt atoms within the nanolayers. In contrast, the nickel, aluminium and titanium were largely depleted there. This unique elemental partitioning, as a result, induced the nanoscale disordering within the nanolayer which effectively suppresses the fractures along grain boundaries and enhances the ductility.

Moreover, when evaluating the thermal response of the alloy, the team found that the increase in grain size was negligible even after 120 hours of annealing at a high temperature of 1050°C. This surprised the team again because most of the structural materials usually show the rapid growth of grain size at high temperature, resulting in strength decrease quickly.

A new pathway for developing structure materials for high-temperature uses

They believed that the nanolayer is pivotal in suppressing growth in grain size and maintain its strength at high temperature. And the thermal stability of the disordered nanolayer will render this type of alloy suitable for high-temperature structural applications.

“The discovery of this disordered nanolayer in the alloy will be impactful to the development of high-strength materials in future. In particular, this approach can be applied to structural materials for applications at high-temperature settings like aerospace, automotive, nuclear power, and chemical engineering,” said Professor Liu.

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Professor Liu is the corresponding author of the paper. The co-first authors are Dr Yang Tao and Dr Zhao Yilu from MNE department at CityU. Other co-authors from CityU included: Professor Huang Chih-ching, Chair Professor of Materials Science and Executive Director of HKIAS, Professor Kai Jijung, Chair Professor of Nuclear Engineering, Li Wanpeng from Department of Materials Science and Engineering, and Dr Luan Junhua at the Inter-University 3D APT Unit.

The funding support of the study included CityU, the Hong Kong Research Grant Council and the National Natural Science Foundation of China.

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SEMI Partners with GLOBALFOUNDRIES to Offer Apprenticeship Program Aimed at Building the Electronics Talent Pipeline

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Home > Press > SEMI Partners with GLOBALFOUNDRIES to Offer Apprenticeship Program Aimed at Building the Electronics Talent Pipeline

Abstract:
SEMI, the industry association serving the global electronics design and manufacturing supply chain, today launched a new collaborative apprenticeship program to make it easier for companies to offer training and for more workers to pursue careers in electronics. The competency-based SEMI Industry Approved Apprenticeship Program (IAAP) is designed to identify skills gaps and deliver targeted training that efficiently meets industry employers’ hiring needs.

SEMI Partners with GLOBALFOUNDRIES to Offer Apprenticeship Program Aimed at Building the Electronics Talent Pipeline


Milpitas, CA | Posted on August 11th, 2020

SEMI developed the IAAP in partnership with GLOBALFOUNDRIES® (GF®), the largest pure-play semiconductor foundry in the U.S. and the world’s leading specialty foundry. Designed to be scaled to meet industry demand for technicians, the program leverages SEMI’s Unified Competency Model (UCM), which was formed with industry input as a new skills standard and is endorsed by the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration (USDOL-ETA). The UCM is posted on DOL-ETA’s Competency Model Clearinghouse.
“GLOBALFOUNDRIES has long been committed to building educational partnerships that benefit both our employees and the region, particularly in developing a highly skilled workforce to ensure our industry and the U.S. remains at the forefront of innovation for years to come,” said Ron Sampson, senior vice president and general manager of U.S. Fab Operations at GF. “Through SEMI’s new Industry Approved Apprenticeship Program, we look forward to helping our employees advance their careers, while playing an important role in workforce training and boosting the semiconductor manufacturing talent pool.”

“The IAAP is designed to help the microelectronics industry and advanced manufacturers overcome the talent shortage by enabling companies to fill skills gaps more effectively and at lower cost,” said Mike Russo, vice president of Industry Advancement and Government Programs at SEMI. “SEMI will continue to work to ensure the IAAP lays a path for employers to pursue government-registered apprenticeship programs and qualify for reimbursement of related training expenses.”

Hudson Valley Community College (HVCC) will offer the apprenticeship program courses, the first certified under the SEMI Certs program, online. The course curriculum is aligned with UCM to ensure course curriculum supports the development of skills required by the electronics industry.

“We are excited to be a partner in this pilot program that is expected to graduate approximately 50 apprentices by the end of this year and more than 100 apprentices by the end of 2021,” said Roger Ramsammy, president of Hudson Valley Community College. “Hudson Valley’s participation in the SEMI Certs program has ensured our courses are aligned with industry requirements and that participants receive college credits to help them pursue related degrees and support career laddering. In addition, we hope the program will ultimately be a New York State Registered Apprenticeship Program, providing access to tuition reimbursement for Required Technical Training.”

Along with GLOBALFOUNDRIES and HVCC, SEMI partnered with SUNY Polytechnic Institute, the Manufacturing Association of Central New York (MACNY) and the Center for Economic Growth (CEG), a nonprofit economic and business development organization that serves as the primary point of contact for businesses interested in growing in or moving to New York’s eight-county capital region, to develop the apprenticeship program.

The apprentice program marks a milestone in the evolution of SEMI Works™, the first U.S. electronics workforce development program developed under a partnership with the National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education (NSF-ATE) Program, the USDOL-ETA and academic partner SUNY Polytechnic Institute in New York.

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About SEMI
SEMI® connects more than 2,400 member companies and 1.3 million professionals worldwide to advance the technology and business of electronics design and manufacturing. SEMI members are responsible for the innovations in materials, design, equipment, software, devices, and services that enable smarter, faster, more powerful, and more affordable electronic products. Electronic System Design Alliance (ESD Alliance), FlexTech, the Fab Owners Alliance (FOA) and the MEMS & Sensors Industry Group (MSIG) are SEMI Strategic Technology Communities, defined communities within SEMI focused on specific technologies. Visit www.semi.org to learn more, contact one of our worldwide offices, and connect with SEMI on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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Materials science researchers develop first electrically injected laser: The diode laser uses semiconducting material germanium tin and could improve micro-processing speed and efficiency at much lower costs

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Home > Press > Materials science researchers develop first electrically injected laser: The diode laser uses semiconducting material germanium tin and could improve micro-processing speed and efficiency at much lower costs

Fisher Yu, University of Arkansas CREDIT
University of Arkansas
Fisher Yu, University of Arkansas CREDIT
University of Arkansas

Abstract:
Materials science researchers, led by electrical engineering professor Shui-Qing “Fisher” Yu, have demonstrated the first electrically injected laser made with germanium tin.

Materials science researchers develop first electrically injected laser: The diode laser uses semiconducting material germanium tin and could improve micro-processing speed and efficiency at much lower costs


Fayetteville, AR | Posted on August 11th, 2020

Used as a semiconducting material for circuits on electronic devices, the diode laser could improve micro-processing speed and efficiency at much lower costs.

In tests, the laser operated in pulsed conditions up to 100 kelvins, or 279 degrees below zero Fahrenheit.

“Our results are a major advance for group-IV-based lasers,” Yu said. “They could serve as the promising route for laser integration on silicon and a major step toward significantly improving circuits for electronics devices.”

The research is sponsored by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and the findings have been published in Optica, the journal of The Optical Society. Yiyin Zhou, a U of A doctoral student in the microelectronics-photonics program authored the article. Zhou and Yu worked with colleagues at several institutions, including Arizona State University, the University of Massachusetts Boston, Dartmouth College in New Hampshire and Wilkes University in Pennsylvania. The researchers also collaborated with Arktonics, an Arkansas semiconductor equipment manufacturer.

The alloy germanium tin is a promising semiconducting material that can be easily integrated into electronic circuits, such as those found in computer chips and sensors. The material could lead to the development of low-cost, lightweight, compact and low power-consuming electronic components that use light for information transmission and sensing.

Yu has worked with germanium tin for many years. Researchers in his laboratory have demonstrated the material’s efficacy as a powerful semiconducting alloy. After reporting the fabrication of a first-generation, “optically pumped” laser, meaning the material was injected with light, Yu and researchers in his laboratory continue to refine the material.

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Advance in programmable synthetic materials: Reading sequence of metal atoms in MOFs allows encoding of multiple chemical functions

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Home > Press > Advance in programmable synthetic materials: Reading sequence of metal atoms in MOFs allows encoding of multiple chemical functions

Rods of multivariate MOFs (left) can be programmed with different metal atoms (colored balls) to do a series of chemical tasks, such as controlled drug release, or to encode information like the ones and zeros in a digital computer. CREDIT
UC Berkeley image by Omar Yaghi and Zhe Ji
Rods of multivariate MOFs (left) can be programmed with different metal atoms (colored balls) to do a series of chemical tasks, such as controlled drug release, or to encode information like the ones and zeros in a digital computer. CREDIT
UC Berkeley image by Omar Yaghi and Zhe Ji

Abstract:
Artificial molecules could one day form the information unit of a new type of computer or be the basis for programmable substances. The information would be encoded in the spatial arrangement of the individual atoms – similar to how the sequence of base pairs determines the information content of DNA, or sequences of zeros and ones form the memory of computers.

Advance in programmable synthetic materials: Reading sequence of metal atoms in MOFs allows encoding of multiple chemical functions


Berkeley, CA | Posted on August 11th, 2020

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, and Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) have taken a step towards this vision. They showed that atom probe tomography can be used to read a complex spatial arrangement of metal ions in multivariate metal-organic frameworks.

Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are crystalline porous networks of multi-metal nodes linked together by organic units to form a well-defined structure. To encode information using a sequence of metals, it is essential to be first able to read the metal arrangement. However, reading the arrangement was extremely challenging. Recently, the interest in characterizing metal sequences is growing because of the extensive information such multivariate structures would be able to offer.

Fundamentally, there was no method to read the metal sequence in MOFs. In the current study, the research team has successfully done so by using atom probe tomography (APT), in which the Bochum-based materials scientist Tong Li is an expert. The researchers chose MOF-74, made by the Yaghi group in 2005, as an object of interest. They designed the MOFs with mixed combinations of cobalt, cadmium, lead, and manganese, and then decrypted their spatial structure using APT.

Li, professor and head of the Atomic-Scale Characterisation research group at the Institute for Materials at RUB, describes the method together with Dr. Zhe Ji and Professor Omar Yaghi from UC Berkeley in the journal Science, published online on August 7, 2020.

Just as sophisticated as biology

In the future, MOFs could form the basis of programmable chemical molecules: for instance, an MOF could be programmed to introduce an active pharmaceutical ingredient into the body to target infected cells and then break down the active ingredient into harmless substances once it is no longer needed. Or MOFs could be programmed to release different drugs at different times.

“This is very powerful, because you are basically coding the behavior of molecules leaving the pores,” Yaghi said.

They could also be used to capture CO2 and, at the same time, convert the CO2 into a useful raw material for the chemical industry.

“In the long term, such structures with programmed atomic sequences can completely change our way of thinking about material synthesis,” write the authors. “The synthetic world could reach a whole new level of precision and sophistication that has previously been reserved for biology.”

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The work was supported by the Center of Excellence for Nanomaterials and Clean Energy Applications at King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology.

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Robert Sanders
510-915-3097

@UCBerkeley

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Researchers capture X-ray images with unprecedented speed and resolution: Ghost imaging approach could enable detailed movies of the heart with low-dose x-rays August 7th, 2020

Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals/White papers/Posters

Materials science researchers develop first electrically injected laser: The diode laser uses semiconducting material germanium tin and could improve micro-processing speed and efficiency at much lower costs August 11th, 2020

May the force be with you: Detecting ultrafast light by its force: From cell phones to solar cells – research has implications for improvements in a wide range of technologies August 7th, 2020

High-sensitivity atomic force microscopy opens up for photosensitive materials August 7th, 2020

Researchers capture X-ray images with unprecedented speed and resolution: Ghost imaging approach could enable detailed movies of the heart with low-dose x-rays August 7th, 2020

Grants/Sponsored Research/Awards/Scholarships/Gifts/Contests/Honors/Records

Highly sensitive dopamine detector uses 2D materials August 7th, 2020

Study: Mapping crystal shapes could fast-track 2D materials: Experts call for global effort to clear hurdles to mass production July 27th, 2020

‘Blinking” crystals may convert CO2 into fuels: Unusual nanoparticles could benefit the quest to build a quantum computer July 17th, 2020

Membrane technology could cut emissions and energy use in oil refining July 17th, 2020

Source: http://www.nanotech-now.com/news.cgi?story_id=56293

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