Optical grating technique, where optical gratings are generated via light inference, has been widely used to measure charge carrier and phonon transport in semiconductors. In this paper, compared are three types of transient optical grating techniques: transient grating diffraction, transient grating heterodyne, and grating imaging, by utilizing them to measure carrier diffusion coefficient in a GaAs/AlAs superlattice. Theoretical models are constructed for each technique to extract the carrier diffusion coefficient, and the results from all three techniques are consistent. Our main findings are: (1) the transient transmission change obtained from transient grating heterodyne and grating imaging techniques are identical, even these two techniques originate from different detection principles; and (2) By adopting detection of transmission change (heterodyne amplification) instead of pure diffraction, the grating imaging technique (transient grating heterodyne) has overwhelming advantage in signal intensity than the transient grating diffraction, with a signal intensity ratio of 315:1 (157:1).
A high electrical and thermal conductivity coupled with low costs make copper (Cu) an enticing alternative to aluminum for fabrication of interconnects in packaging applications. To tap into the benefits of the ever-reducing size of transistors, it is required to increase the input/output (I/O) pin count on electronic chips and thus minimize the size of chip to board interconnects. Laser sintering of Cu nanoparticle (NP) inks can serve as a promising process for developing these micron sized, 3D interconnect structures. However, the exact processing windows for Cu NP sintering are not well known. Therefore, this paper presents an extensive experimental investigation of the sintering processing window with different lasers including femtosecond (fs), nanosecond (ns) and continuous-wave (CW) lasers. The dependence of the processing window on Cu layer thicknesses and laser exposure durations has also been investigated. A simplified model to estimate optimum laser sintering windows for Cu NPs using pulsed lasers is presented and the predicted estimates are compared against the experimental results. Given the simplicity of the model, it is shown to provide good estimates for fluence required for the onset of sintering and the processing window for good sintering of Cu NPs.
Silicon‐organic hybrid integrated devices show great potential in high‐speed optical interconnects and sensors. In this paper, a high‐speed modulator based on an electro‐optic (EO) polymer (SEO125) infiltrated sub‐wavelength grating (SWG) waveguide ring resonator is presented. The core of the SWG waveguide consists of periodically arranged silicon pillars along the light propagation direction, which provides large mode volume overlap with EO polymer. The optimized SWG shows a mode volume overlap of 36.2% with a silicon duty cycle of 0.7. The 3‐dB modulation bandwidth of the fabricated modulator is measured to be larger than 40 GHz occupying an area of 70 μm x 29 μm, which is the largest bandwidth and the most compact footprint that has been demonstrated for ring resonators on the silicon‐organic hybrid platform.
We develop a nanosecond grating imaging (NGI) technique to measure in-plane thermal transport properties in bulk and thin-film samples. Based on nanosecond time-domain thermoreflectance (ns-TDTR), NGI incorporates a photomask with periodic metal strips patterned on a transparent dielectric substrate to generate grating images of pump and probe lasers on the sample surface, which induces heat conduction along both cross- and in-plane directions. Analytical and numerical models have been developed to extract thermal conductivities in both bulk and thin-film samples from NGI measurements. This newly developed technique is used to determine thickness-dependent in-plane thermal conductivities (κx) in Cu nano-films, which agree well with the electron thermal conductivity values converted from four-point electrical conductivity measurements using the Wiedemamn–Franz law, as well as previously reported experimental values. The κx measured with NGI in an 8 nm x 8 nm GaAs/AlAs superlattice (SL) is about 10.2 W/m⋅K, larger than the cross-plane thermal conductivity (8.8 W/m⋅K), indicating the anisotropic thermal transport in the SL structure. The uncertainty of the measured κx is about 25% in the Cu film and less than 5% in SL. Sensitivity analysis suggests that, with the careful selection of proper substrate and interface resistance, the uncertainty of κx in Cu nano-films can be as low as 5%, showing the potential of the NGI technique to determine κx in thin films with improved accuracy. By simply installing a photomask into ns-TDTR, NGI provides a convenient, fast, and cost-effective method to measure the in-plane thermal conductivities in a wide range of structures and materials.
Metallic nanoparticles have unique optical properties such as localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) effect, which can be used to improve the energy absorption and photocatalytic properties of semiconductor bases. In this paper, we construct a model to study the influence of Ag or Au nanoparticles (cubes or spheres) on the solar energy absorption and photocatalytic properties of nitrogen doped TiO2 (or N-TiO2). Effects of specific nanoparticle coupling parameters, such as particle shape, size, doping period (metal–metal distance) and separation distance (metal–semiconductor distance), on the properties of N-TiO2 are studied in detail. We show that the photocurrent improvement can be optimized by setting suitable geometric parameters. In particular, the separation distance between metallic nanoparticles and N-TiO2D should be around 6–7 nm, and the period of doping P should be around 360 nm. The silver cubes with edge length show the best performance. The results can help the design of solar energy materials, in which metallic nanoparticles may play an important role.
Engineered functional neural interfaces (fNIs) serve as essential abiotic–biotic transducers between an engineered system and the nervous system. They convert external physical stimuli to cellular signals in stimulation mode or read out biological processes in recording mode. Information can be exchanged using electricity, light, magnetic fields, mechanical forces, heat, or chemical signals. fNIs have found applications for studying processes in neural circuits from cell cultures to organs to whole organisms. fNI-facilitated signal transduction schemes, coupled with easily manipulable and observable external physical signals, have attracted considerable attention in recent years. This enticing field is rapidly evolving toward miniaturization and biomimicry to achieve long-term interface stability with great signal transduction efficiency. Not only has a new generation of neuroelectrodes been invented, but the use of advanced fNIs that explore other physical modalities of neuromodulation and recording has begun to increase. This review covers these exciting developments and applications of fNIs that rely on nanoelectrodes, nanotransducers, or bionanotransducers to establish an interface with the nervous system. These nano fNIs are promising in offering a high spatial resolution, high target specificity, and high communication bandwidth by allowing for a high density and count of signal channels with minimum material volume and area to dramatically improve the chronic integration of the fNI to the target neural tissue. Such demanding advances in nano fNIs will greatly facilitate new opportunities not only for studying basic neuroscience but also for diagnosing and treating various neurological diseases.
Background Despite significant advancements of optical imaging techniques for mapping hemodynamics in small animal models, it remains challenging to combine imaging with spatially resolved electrical recording of individual neurons especially for longitudinal studies. This is largely due to the strong invasiveness to the living brain from the penetrating electrodes and their limited compatibility with longitudinal imaging.
Understanding brain functions at the circuit level requires time-resolved simultaneous measurement of a large number of densely distributed neurons, which remains a great challenge for current neural technologies. In particular, penetrating neural electrodes allow for recording from individual neurons at high temporal resolution, but often have larger dimensions than the biological matrix, which induces significant damage to brain tissues and therefore precludes the high implant density that is necessary for mapping large neuronal populations with full coverage. Here, it is demonstrated that nanofabricated ultraflexible electrode arrays with cross-sectional areas as small as sub-10 µm2 can overcome this physical limitation. In a mouse model, it is shown that these electrodes record action potentials with high signal-to-noise ratio; their dense arrays allow spatial oversampling; and their multiprobe implantation allows for interprobe spacing at 60 µm without eliciting chronic neuronal degeneration. These results present the possibility of minimizing tissue displacement by implanted ultraflexible electrodes for scalable, high-density electrophysiological recording that is capable of complete neuronal circuitry mapping over chronic time scales.
Conventional theory predicts that ultrahigh lattice thermal conductivity can only occur in crystals composed of strongly-bonded light elements, and that it is limited by anharmonic three-phonon processes. We report experimental evidence that is a departure from these long-held criteria. We measured a local room-temperature thermal conductivity exceeding 1000 W m-1 K-1 and an average bulk value reaching 900 W m-1 K-1 in bulk boron arsenide (BAs) crystals, where boron and arsenic are light and heavy elements, respectively. The high values are consistent with a proposal for phonon band engineering and can only be explained with higher order phonon processes. These findings yield new insight into the physics of heat conduction in solids and show BAs to be the first known semiconductor with ultrahigh thermal conductivity.
Laboratory batch experiments were performed to assess the impacts of temperature and mineralogy on the abiotic dechlorination of tetrachloroethene (PCE) or trichloroethene (TCE) due to the presence of ferrous minerals in natural aquifer clayey soils under anaerobic conditions. A combination of x-ray diffraction (XRD), magnetic susceptibility, and ferrous mineral content were used to characterize each of the 3 natural soils tested in this study, and dechlorination at temperatures ranging from 20 to 55 °C were examined. Results showed that abiotic dechlorination occurred in all 3 soils examined, yielding reduced gas abiotic dechlorination products acetylene, butane, ethene, and/or propane. Bulk first-order dechlorination rate constants (kbulk), scaled to the soil:water ratio expected for in situ conditions, ranged from 2.0 × 10−5 day−1 at 20 °C, to 32 × 10−5 day−1 at 55 °C in the soil with the greatest ferrous mineral content. For the generation of acetylene and ethene from PCE, the reaction was well described by Arrhenius kinetics, with an activation energy of 91 kJ/mol. For the generation of coupling products butane and propane, the Arrhenius equation did not provide a satisfactory description of the data, likely owing to the complex reaction mechanisms associated with these products and/or diffusional mass transfer processes associated with the ferrous minerals likely responsible for these coupling reactions. Although the data set was too limited to determine a definitive correlation, the two soils with elevated ferrous mineral contents had elevated abiotic dechlorination rate constants, while the one soil with a low ferrous mineral content had a relatively low abiotic dechlorination rate constant. Overall, results suggest intrinsic abiotic dechlorination rates may be an important long-term natural attenuation component in site conceptual models for clays that have the appropriate iron mineralogy.