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  1. Abstract

    The multi‐principal element alloy nanoparticles (MPEA NPs), a new class of nanomaterials, present a highly rewarding opportunity to explore new or vastly different functional properties than the traditional mono/bi/multimetallic nanostructures due to their unique characteristics of atomic‐level homogeneous mixing of constituent elements in the nanoconfinements. Here, the successful creation of NiCoCr nanoparticles, a well‐known MPEA system is reported, using ultrafast nanosecond laser‐induced dewetting of alloy thin films. Nanoparticle formation occurs by spontaneously breaking the energetically unstable thin films in a melt state under laser‐induced hydrodynamic instability and subsequently accumulating in a droplet shape via surface energy minimization. While NiCoCr alloy shows a stark contrast in physical properties compared to individual metallic constituents, i.e., Ni, Co, and Cr, yet the transient nature of the laser‐driven process facilitates a homogeneous distribution of the constituents (Ni, Co, and Cr) in the nanoparticles. Using high‐resolution chemical analysis and scanning nanodiffraction, the environmental stability and grain arrangement in the nanoparticles are further investigated. Thermal transport simulations reveal that the ultrashort (≈100 ns) melt‐state lifetime of NiCoCr during the dewetting event helps retain the constituent elements in a single‐phase solid solution with homogenous distribution and opens the pathway to create the unique MPEA nanoparticles with laser‐induced dewetting process.

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  2. In this study, we describe reducing the moisture vapor transmission through a commercial polymer bag material using a silicon-incorporated diamond-like carbon (Si-DLC) coating that was deposited using plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition. The structure of the Si-DLC coating was analyzed using scanning electron microscopy, Raman spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, selective area electron diffraction, and electron energy loss spectroscopy. Moisture vapor transmission rate (MVTR) testing was used to understand the moisture transmission barrier properties of Si-DLC-coated polymer bag material; the MVTR values decreased from 10.10 g/m2 24 h for the as-received polymer bag material to 6.31 g/m2 24 h for the Si-DLC-coated polymer bag material. Water stability tests were conducted to understand the resistance of the Si-DLC coatings toward moisture; the results confirmed the stability of Si-DLC coatings in contact with water up to 100 °C for 4 h. A peel-off adhesion test using scotch tape indicated that the good adhesion of the Si-DLC film to the substrate was preserved in contact with water up to 100 °C for 4 h. 
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  3. null (Ed.)
    Silica nanosprings (NS) were coated with gallium nitride (GaN) by high-temperature atomic layer deposition. The deposition temperature was 800 °C using trimethylgallium (TMG) as the Ga source and ammonia (NH3) as the reactive nitrogen source. The growth of GaN on silica nanosprings was compared with deposition of GaN thin films to elucidate the growth properties. The effects of buffer layers of aluminum nitride (AlN) and aluminum oxide (Al2O3) on the stoichiometry, chemical bonding, and morphology of GaN thin films were determined with X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), high-resolution x-ray diffraction (HRXRD), and atomic force microscopy (AFM). Scanning and transmission electron microscopy of coated silica nanosprings were compared with corresponding data for the GaN thin films. As grown, GaN on NS is conformal and amorphous. Upon introducing buffer layers of Al2O3 or AlN or combinations thereof, GaN is nanocrystalline with an average crystallite size of 11.5 ± 0.5 nm. The electrical properties of the GaN coated NS depends on whether or not a buffer layer is present and the choice of the buffer layer. In addition, the IV curves of GaN coated NS and the thin films (TF) with corresponding buffer layers, or lack thereof, show similar characteristic features, which supports the conclusion that atomic layer deposition (ALD) of GaN thin films with and without buffer layers translates to 1D nanostructures. 
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  4. Abstract

    Control over the concurrent occurrence of structural (monoclinic to tetragonal) and electrical (insulator to the conductor) transitions presents a formidable challenge for VO2-based thin film devices. Speed, lifetime, and reliability of these devices can be significantly improved by utilizing solely electrical transition while eliminating structural transition. We design a novel strain-stabilized isostructural VO2epitaxial thin-film system where the electrical transition occurs without any observable structural transition. The thin-film heterostructures with a completely relaxed NiO buffer layer have been synthesized allowing complete control over strains in VO2films. The strain trapping in VO2thin films occurs below a critical thickness by arresting the formation of misfit dislocations. We discover the structural pinning of the monoclinic phase in (10 ± 1 nm) epitaxial VO2films due to bandgap changes throughout the whole temperature regime as the insulator-to-metal transition occurs. Using density functional theory, we calculate that the strain in monoclinic structure reduces the difference between long and short V-V bond-lengths (ΔVV) in monoclinic structures which leads to a systematic decrease in the electronic bandgap of VO2. This decrease in bandgap is additionally attributed to ferromagnetic ordering in the monoclinic phase to facilitate a Mott insulator without going through the structural transition.

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  5. We provide insights pertaining the dependence of undercooling in the formation of graphite, nanodiamonds, and Q-carbon nanocomposites by nanosecond laser melting of diamond-like carbon (DLC). The DLC films are melted rapidly in a super-undercooled state and subsequently quenched to room temperature. Substrates exhibiting different thermal properties—silicon and sapphire, are used to demonstrate that substrates with lower thermal conductivity trap heat flow, inducing larger undercooling, both experimentally and theoretically via finite element simulations. The increased undercooling facilitates the formation of Q-carbon. The Q-carbon is used as nucleation seeds for diamond growth via laser remelting and hot-filament chemical vapor deposition. 
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