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Organic-inorganic nano-composite films for photonic applications made by multi-beam multi-target pulsed laser deposition with remote control of the plume directions
Author(s): Abdalla M. Darwish; Shaelynn Moore; Aziz Mohammed; Deonte' Alexander; Tyler Bastian; Wydglif Dorlus; Sergey S. Sarkisov; Darayas N. Patel; Paolo Mele; Brent Koplitz
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Paper Abstract

There has been an explosive interest in the technique of laser assisted deposition of polymer nano-composite films exploiting the matrix assisted pulsed laser evaporation (MAPLE) with regard to the polymer host as can be judged form recent publications.1-4 In MAPLE, a frozen solution of a polymer in a relatively volatile solvent is used as a laser target. The solvent and concentration are selected so that first, the polymer of interest can dissolve to form a dilute, particulate free solution, second, the majority of the laser energy is initially absorbed by the solvent molecules and not by the solute molecules, and third, there is no photochemical reaction between the solvent and the solute. The light-material interaction in MAPLE can be described as a photothermal process. The photon energy absorbed by the solvent is converted to thermal energy that causes the polymer to be heated but the solvent to vaporize. As the surface solvent molecules are evaporated into the gas phase, polymer molecules are exposed at the gas-target matrix interface. The polymer molecules attain sufficient kinetic energy through collective collisions with the evaporating solvent molecules, to be transferred into the gas phase. By careful optimization of the MAPLE deposition conditions (laser wavelength, repetition rate, solvent type, concentration, temperature, and background gas and gas pressure), this process can occur without any significant polymer decomposition. The MAPLE process proceeds layer-by-layer, depleting the target of solvent and polymer in the same concentration as the starting matrix. When a substrate is positioned directly in the path of the plume, a coating starts to form from the evaporated polymer molecules, while the volatile solvent molecules are evacuated by the pump from the deposition chamber. In case of fabrication of polymer nanocomposites, MAPLE targets are usually prepared as nano-colloids of the additives of interest in the initial polymer solutions. Mixing the components of different nature, organic polymers and inorganic dopants, in the same target at a certain proportion and exposing them to the same laser beam not necessarily brings good quality nano-composite films. The laser pulse energy and wavelength cannot be optimized for each component individually. Also, the mixing proportion in the composite film is dictated by the initial proportion of the target and thus cannot be changed in the process. These limitations were removed in the recently proposed method of multi-beam and multi-target deposition (in its doublebeam/ dual-target variation) using a MAPLE polymer target and one inorganic target, each being concurrently exposed to laser beams of different wavelengths.5-14 Using the method, nano-composite films of polymer poly(methyl methacrylate) known as PMMA doped with a rare earth (RE) inorganic upconversion phosphor compounds were prepared. Also, a nano-composite film of thermoelectric film of inorganic aluminum-doped ZnO known as AZO was impregnated with PMMA nano-fillers with the purpose of improving electrical conductivity and thermoelectric performance.10, 14 The polymer target was a frozen (to a temperature of liquid nitrogen) PMMA solution in chlorobenzene exposed to a 1064- nm laser beam from a Q-switched Nd:YAG pulsed laser. The inorganic targets were the pellets made of the compressed micro-powders of highly efficient RE-doped NaYF4 or the sintered powder of AZO concurrently ablated with the

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 September 2016
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 9958, Photonic Fiber and Crystal Devices: Advances in Materials and Innovations in Device Applications X, 995802 (15 September 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2237538
Show Author Affiliations
Abdalla M. Darwish, Dillard Univ. (United States)
Shaelynn Moore, Dillard Univ. (United States)
Aziz Mohammed, Dillard Univ. (United States)
Deonte' Alexander, Dillard Univ. (United States)
Tyler Bastian, Dillard Univ. (United States)
Wydglif Dorlus, Dillard Univ. (United States)
Sergey S. Sarkisov, SSS Optical Technologies, LLC (United States)
Darayas N. Patel, Oakwood Univ. (United States)
Paolo Mele, Hiroshima Univ. (Japan)
Brent Koplitz, Tulane Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9958:
Photonic Fiber and Crystal Devices: Advances in Materials and Innovations in Device Applications X
Shizhuo Yin; Ruyan Guo, Editor(s)

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