PITA Fiscal Year 2007 Projects

Nanotechnology

Combinatorial Development of Multi-Component Materials
Multi-component materials often display chemical, electrical and mechanical properties that are superior to those of their individual components. Optimization of complex compositions for specific applications is complicated by the need to prepare and characterize materials that span a broad compositional parameter space. The ideal approach to this problem is to develop high throughput experimental techniques.

In the first year of the project, we designed and constructed a multi-component, evaporative doser for deposition of thin films of multi-component materials, AxByC1-x-y , with continuous lateral composition gradients across their surfaces. We refer to this as the Gradient Film Evaporator (GFE). Films prepared using the GFE doser will serve as materials libraries whose properties can be spatially resolved in order to measure properties as a function of composition, x and y. Also in the first year, we developed analytical tools and preparative chemistries to support implementation of the doser. For the continuation in the coming year, we propose to apply the GFE doser to exploration of property-composition relationships in two important technical areas. The first application is optimization of PdxCu1-x alloys for hydrogen separation and purification. The second application is optimization of II-VI CdxZn1-xS1-y-zSeyTez semiconductors for optical absorption across the solar spectrum.