Wednesday, April 20, 2016

NRL Reveals Novel Uniform Coating Process of p-ALD



Scientists at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) have devised a clever combination of materials - when used during the thin-film growth process - to reveal that particle atomic layer deposition, or p-ALD, deposits a uniform nanometer-thick shell on core particles regardless of core size, a discovery having significant impacts for many applications since most large scale powder production techniques form powder batches that are made up of a range of particles sizes. 


Artistic depiction of prior understanding of p-ALD (left) and new understanding of p-ALD (right) gained by NRL’s work, as well as implications for proactive applications using particle atomic layer deposition, which as UV, are captured in solar cells and abrasion resistance paints.
(U.S. Naval Research Laboratory) - See more at: http://www.nrl.navy.mil/media/news-releases/2016/NRL-Reveals-Novel-Uniform-Coating-Process-of-pALD#sthash.RLSdtwyU.dpuf


Artistic depiction of prior understanding of p-ALD (left) and new understanding of p-ALD (right) gained by NRL’s work, as well as implications for proactive applications using particle atomic layer deposition, which as UV, are captured in solar cells and abrasion resistance paints. (U.S. Naval Research Laboratory)

 


- See more at: http://www.nrl.navy.mil/media/news-releases/2016/NRL-Reveals-Novel-Uniform-Coating-Process-of-pALD#sthash.RLSdtwyU.dpuf

The original journal publication in JVSTA is given below as an abstract.


Growth per cycle of alumina atomic layer deposition on nano- and micro-powders

    Kedar Manandhar1,a), James A. Wollmershauser2, Janice E. Boercker2 and Boris N. Feigelson2,a)
    + View Affiliations
    a) Present address: Electronic Science and Technology Division, Naval Research Laboratory, 4555 Overlook Avenue SW, Washington DC 20375, USA. Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed; electronic addresses: borisf@estd.nrl.navy.mil; kedar.manandhar.ctr@nrl.navy.mil
    J. Vac. Sci. Technol. A 34, 021519 (2016); http://dx.doi.org/10.1116/1.4941918
     
    Core–shell powders consisting of a tungsten particle core and thin alumina shell have been synthesized using atomic layer deposition in a rotary reactor. Standard atomic layer deposition of trimethylaluminum/water at 150 °C utilizing a microdosing technique was performed on four different batches of powder with different average particle sizes. The particle size of the powders studied ranges from ∼25 to 1500 nm. The high mass-thickness contrast between alumina and tungsten in transmission electron microscopy images demonstrates that the particle core/shell interface is abrupt. This allows for the uncomplicated measurement of alumina thickness and therefore the accurate determination of growth per cycle. In agreement with prior works, the highest growth per cycle of ∼2 Å/cycle occurred on the batch of powder with the smallest average particle size and the growth per cycle decreased with increasing average particle size of a powder batch. However, the growth per cycle of the alumina film on an individual particle in a batch is shown to be independent of the size of an individual particle, and therefore, a powder batch which consists of particles size spanning orders of magnitude has constant shell thickness on all particles. This uniformity of thickness on different particle sizes in a particular batch is determined to be due to the difficulty of removing residual water molecules from the powder during the purging cycle of the atomic layer deposition(ALD) process. Therefore, rotary ALD on a single batch of powder with wide particle size distribution provides the same shell thickness regardless of individual particle size, which may have positive implications for particle ALD applications where the shell thickness determines critical parameters, such as particle passivation and manipulation of optical properties.