Abstract: In this study diamond like carbon (DLC) coatings with Si interlayers were deposited on 316L stainless steel with varying gas pressure and substrate bias voltage using plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) technology. Coating and interlayer thickness values were determined using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) which also revealed the presence of a gradient layer at the coating substrate interface. Coatings were evaluated in terms of the hardness, elastic modulus, wear behavior and adhesion. Deposition rate generally increased with increasing bias voltage and increasing gas pressure. At low working gas pressures, hardness and modulus of elasticity increased with increasing bias voltage. Reduced hardness and modulus of elasticity were observed at higher gas pressures. Increased adhesion was generally observed at lower bias voltages and higher gas pressures. All DLC coatings significantly improved the overall wear resistance of the base material. Lower wear rates were observed for coatings deposited with lower bias voltages. For coatings that showed wear tracks considerably deeper than the coating thickness but without spallation, the wear behavior was largely attributed to deformation of both the coating and substrate with some cracks at the wear track edges. This suggests that coatings deposited under certain conditions can exhibit ultra high flexible properties.
Abstract: Copper oxide (Cu2O)-based heterojunction solar cells were fabricated by spin-coating and electrodeposition methods, and photovoltaic properties and microstructures were investigated. Zinc oxide (ZnO) and Cu2O were used as n- and p-type semiconductors, respectively, to fabricate photovoltaic devices based on In-doped tin oxide/ZnO/Cu2O/Au heterojunction structures. Short-circuit current and fill factor increased by aluminum (Al) doping in the ZnO layer, which resulted in the increase of the conversion efficiency. The efficiency was improved further by growing ZnO and Cu2O layers with larger crystallite sizes, and by optimizing the Al-doping by spin coating.
Abstract: Metalloid and metal based oxides are an almost unavoidable component in the majority of solar cell technologies used at the time of writing this review. Numerous studies have shown increases of ≥1% absolute in solar cell efficiency by simply substituting a given layer in the material stack with an oxide. Depending on the stoichiometry and whether other elements are present, oxides can be used for the purpose of light management, passivation of electrical defects, photo-carrier generation, charge separation, and charge transport in a solar cell. In this review, the most commonly used oxides whose benefits for solar cells have been proven both in a laboratory and industrial environment are discussed. Additionally, developing trends in the use of oxides, as well as newer oxide materials, and deposition technologies for solar cells are reported.
Abstract: Diagnostic- and therapeutic release-aimed nanoparticles require the highest degree of biocompatibility. Some physical and chemical characteristics of such nanomaterials are often at odds with this requirement. For instance, metals with specific features used as contrast agents in magnetic resonance imaging need particular coatings to improve their blood solubility and increase their biocompatibility. Other examples come from the development of nanocarriers exploiting the different characteristics of two or more materials, i.e., the ability to encapsulate a certain drug by one core-material and the targeting capability of a different coating surface. Furthermore, all these “human-non-self” modifications necessitate proofs of compatibility with the immune system to avoid inflammatory reactions and resultant adverse effects for the patient. In the present review we discuss the molecular interactions and responses of the immune system to the principal nanoparticle surface modifications used in nanomedicine.
Abstract: The tribological protection of carbon fiber reinforced epoxy composites (CFC) is essential for broadening their use from structural to functional applications, e.g., to linear bearings in mechanical engineering. However, their wear resistance in sliding and rolling contacts is low. This work focusses on the possibility of improving their tribological properties by the application of thin hard multi-layered coatings. Chromium nitride (CrN) single layer and chromium-CrN multilayer coatings of ~4 µm thickness, partly finished with a 1 µm diamond-like carbon (DLC) top layer, were deposited by magnetron sputtering at low temperatures on soft CFC and for comparison of the mechanical behavior on comparatively hard austenitic steel substrates. Structural investigations showed especially that the multilayer coatings possess a very fine grained, columnar microstructure and a very low density of intercolumnar micro-cracks, while the single layer coatings possess a coarse structure. The indentation testing and the analysis of the deformed and fractured cross-sections revealed a tougher behavior with improved plastic deformability of the multilayers in comparison to CrN single layers. However, in wear testing only coatings with DLC top layers significantly improved the tribological material properties of CFC. This is due to the reduced shear forces in sliding on low-friction DLC coatings on the soft epoxy-based CFC, decreasing the total dynamic stresses during sliding under high loads.