Acquisition of a microwave plasma chemical vapor deposition (CVD) system with capability for ECR (electron cyclotron resonance) source, in situ heater stage, and DC bias will create a versatile CVD facility with capability for deposition over a wide range of pressures and temperatures. Additional components including 12 channel mass flow controllers, vacuum pump, traps, and pressure indicators/controllers will complete the CVD system. Furthermore, the 2 additional reactor chambers will avoid cross contamination because of the deposition of different materials by Co-PIs providing flexibility in cleaning without the reactor downtime. The microwave plasma CVD system will also be capable of enhancing chemical vapor deposition of hard-to-process and unique nonequilibrium materials/phases such as cubic boron nitride (c)-BN over a range of temperatures (including moderate to low temperatures) because of the ECR source and in situ heater stage. The system will have an initial capability for deposition of a broad range of high-tech materials/coatings required for several research projects of PI and Co-PIs. This CVD system will be used to synthesize advanced thin films/coatings and unique materials including in particular: (a) Carbide, nitride, or oxide coatings on a broad range of fibers to create engineered fiber-matrix interfaces for studying their roles on the micromechanics of crack bridging, fracture, and matrix cracking behaviors in a number of research, projects on fiber-reinforced ceramic composites; (b) Thermal/oxidation barrier coatings on superalloys and composites for aircraft/aerospace applications; (c) Ceramic thin films for electronics, sensor, and corrosion protection applications; and (d) Super-hard c-BN coating for cutting tool inserts because this material performance better than diamond coating for cutting iron-based alloys and several US companies like Kennametal, MegaDiamond, GE, and Milacron have showed interest in c-BN and thermal barrier coatings. While all of these are interesting materials, only a few important ones, such as oxidation resistant fiber coatings, c-BN, thermal/oxidation barrier (ZrO2/Al2O3) , and PZT will be synthesized initially. An interdisciplinary team consisting of several faculty from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and a Visiting Scholar will be using the proposed microwave plasma CVD system to process coatings for the current and future research projects. Together this team has over 40 years of cumulative experience with the processing of materials by CVD and characterization of their properties. The availability of the system will enhance their capabilities for synthesizing unique inorganic coatings for applications in fiber-reinforced composites, cutting tools, corrosion protection, electronics, and environmental-related areas. A strong interest is shown by a number of industries on research work that will become possible because of the availability of this facility.

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University of Cincinnati
United States
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