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Projects (2.0 ECTS)

In the framework of the course the students will perofrm a bibliographic study on topics related to thin film science (and technology) or topics in which thin films are of relevance.  The project will be performed by groups of two persons. The project's outcome  will be summarized in a short essay (6-8 pages, Times New Roman, Font Size 12, single line spacing). In addition the essay will be presented in front of the classs at the end of the course (approximately 20 minutes). The essay should be handed to the course responsible 10 days prior to the presentation and the course responsible will give feedback to the students on the essay  approximately 3 days prior to the presentation.

Topics for the literature study and relevant material are suggested here but students are  encouraged to come up with their own suggestions.

The schedule for the student project is as follow:

  • Week 14: Distribution of topics is finalized and posted in the "Course files" directory. No changles are possible after the schedule and distribution is finalized!
  • Week 16: Mandatory interim presentation students will present the progress of their respective projects and discuss questions and outstanding issues with the course responsible. Also, during the interim presentation sessions, the final presentations schedule will be finalized and posted in the "Course files" directory.
  • Weeks 20-21: Final presentations.

The presence of all students is mandatory during the intermim and final presentation sessions!

 

Suggested topics for student presentations

 

1. Thin films in low-emissivity windows

In modern architecture, a way to reduce buildings’ energy footprint is via the use of windows that emit low levels of radiant thermal energy (i.e., heat). This type of glazing reflects infrared radiation—which is the primary source of heat energy—and transmit visible light. Therefore, it can block solar heat from entering the premise and/or confine heat that is generated indoors leading to a considerable reduction of energy required for cooling and heating, respectively; concurrently ambient solar light is maintained. Thin films are vital components of these windows. In this project you will review the literature with respect to the use of thin films in low-emissivity (low-e) windows by focusing on layer architecture, material considerations, film microstrcture and morphology and how these affect windows performance. Methods for synthesizing thin films relevant for low-e windows could also be highlighted. 

2. The magnetocaloric effect and the use of thin films for solid-state refrigeration

The magnetocaloric effect (MCE) is a phenomenon that enables the temperature of a material to be altered by magnetic fields opening up possibilities for refrigeration without use of gas compression systems (i.e., solid-state refrigeration). This effect is known for more than 5 decades for bulk materials but recently thin films has also gained insterest due to the ability to better control atomic structure of thin films at the nanoscale. In this project you will review the literature with respect to the MCE in thin films by focusing on materials considerations and synthesis strategies with the ultimate goal to control atomic structure and morphology and how this affect the magnetocaloric figure-of-merit.

3. Growth mechanisms in thin film metallic glasses

Metallic glasses are peculiar metallic materials, usually alloys, that lack the long-range order observed in crystalline materials but at the same time are characterized by short- and medium-range order. Extensive research in the course of the past decades has revealed the internal structural organization of bulk metallic glasses but understanding of atomistic growth mechanisms during vapor-based synthesis of thin film metallic glasses is limited. In this project you will review the literature with respect to atomistic experimental and theoretical studies and structural characterization during growth of thin film metallic glasses by vapor deposition. Your focus will be on gaining an understanding of the mechanisms that determine nanoscale structure formation and self-organization.

4. Thin films in anti-reflective coatings

Anti-reflective (AR) coatings serve the purpose of reducing reflectance of light in opthalmic lenses, solar-cells, screens and panels. The AR function is based stacks of thin film layers with precice control of nanoscale structure and morphology. In this project you will review the literature with respect to the use of thin films in AR coatings by focusing on strategies for achieving AR function, material considerations, film microstrcture and morphology and how these affect the coating performance. Methods for synthesizing thin films relevant for AR coatings can also be highlighted.

5. Initial growth stages and shape evolution of metal films and nanoparticles on oxide surfaces

Growth of metal thin films and nanoparticles on oxide surfaces is of high relevance for a number of technology sectors, such as catalysis, sensing and microelectronics. Unlike homoepitaxial growth, large surface energy differences bewteen film and substrate drive the fomration 3D islands and give rise to a complex 3D shape evolution. In this project, you will review the literature with respect to experimental and theoretical studies of the dynamics and atomistic mechansims that determine nucleation of metallic islands on oxide surfaces and subsequent island shape evolution until the formation of a continuous film.

6. Thin films in plasmonic photocatalysis

Photocatalytic reactions use sunlight for environmental and energy applications. The rate of these reactions can be enhanced by the use of noble metal nanoparticles embedded into semiconductor matrices. This is facilitated by the interaction between these particles which give rises to the so-called surface plasmon resonance. In this project you wil review the litetature with respect to nanocomposite thin films that consist of noble metal particles disperded in transparent (semiconducting) matrices with focus on material considerations, microstructure and morphology, and synthesis strategies and how these affect photocatalytic performance.

7. Phase formation in immiscible multinary systems synthesized far-from-equilibrium

Multinary systems comprising two or more immiscible elements are, according to thermodynamics, able to only form the equilibrium phases of their constituents. However, when immiscible alloys are synthesized far from equilibrium, as in the case of thin films grown from the vapor phase, kinetics often lead to formation of metastable phases (e.g., solid solutions). In this project you will review the literature with regards to models, theories and experimental results describing the combine effect of thermodynamcis and kinetics on the phase formation and local atomic structure of multinary thin films grown far from equilibrium. Systems to be considered include (but not limited to), binary metallic systems and ternary cermics (nitrides, oxides etc).

8. Thin films in corrosion protection

Corrosion is the degradation of metal surfaces and components due to moisture, salt spary, oxidation or exposure to a variety of enviromental or industrial chemicals. Thin films can be used to protect surfaces from corrosion by e.g., acting as barriers between the surface and its ambients or preventing charge transfer between the surface and the corroding medium. In this project you will review the literature with regards to the use of coatings for corrosion protection focusing on anti-corrosive strategies and concepts, material considerations, film microstrcture and morphology and how these affect the coating performance. Methods for synthesizing thin films relevant for corrosion protection can also be highlighted. 


Responsible for this page: Kostas Sarakinos
Last updated: 02/01/16