High-throughput Experimental Capabilities for LightMAT Alloys

National Laboratory: 
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Characterization Class: 
Microscopy
Processing/Manufacturing Class: 
Fabrication and synthesis
Description: 

High-throughput experimental (HTE) capabilities include combinatorial synthesis, spatially resolved characterization, and semi-automated data analysis. Combinatorial synthesis features depositions of multi-element thin films with intentional and well-controlled composition, temperature, and other gradients using sputtering and other physical vapor deposition techniques. The spatially resolved characterization techniques include chemical composition (x-ray fluorescence and Rutherford backscattering spectrometry), crystallographic structure (x-ray diffraction; Raman), microstructure (scanning electron and atomic force microscopy), surface corrosion properties (photoemission and Kelvin probe spectroscopy), mechanical testing (hardness), optical properties (ultraviolet-visible-infrared spectroscopy, photoluminescence), electrical transport (electrical conductivity, Seebeck coefficient) —all as a function of position on the thin film and of the graded composition or temperature. Data analysis tools include custom-written processing and visualization routines for user-assisted data analysis. Follow-up bulk experiments to the high-throughput thin film composition/temperature screening also are possible.

Capability Bounds: 

Typically limited to 2 × 2-in. standard lateral sample size, but up to 3–4 inches in diameter also is possible.

Unique Aspects: 

The high-throughput combinatorial screening of chemical compositions may identify new LightMat alloys with desired structural, mechanical, and corrosion-resistance properties, particularly for chemically complex materials (three and more elements).

Availability: 

Certain reactive (e.g., Li and Ca) or expensive (e.g., Au or Pt) metals may not be available.

Single Point of Contact: 

Name: Andriy Zakutayev
Email: andriy.zakutayev@nrel.gov
Phone: 303-384-6467

References: 
  1. Same capability, different functionality: A. Zakutayev et al MRS Communications 1, 23 (2011)
  2. Same functionality, different (but similar) capability: C. H. Olk, D. B. Haddad, Appl. Phys. A 88, 249 (2007)
Supporting Document(s):