RM2N 2019 Poster Abstracts


RM2N 2019

Student Poster Session


Caleb Dykema1, Gokul Gopalakrishnan Ph.D.2

1Swipe

University of Wisconsin-Platteville
Department of Mechanical Engineering1
Department of Engineering Physics2
1 University Plaza
Platteville, WI 53818

dykemac@uwplatt.edu

Although many avenues are used to teach in the classroom today, whiteboards offer the simplest, most economical medium, along with a large surface area for the extensive amounts of writing that is often required, especially in STEM classes. One downside to the use of whiteboards is that the large surface takes a lot of time and effort to erase. The only products on the market for this purpose are inefficient handheld erasers and rags.

1Swipe, a faster, more efficient alternative is an eraser bar that attaches to and spans the height of a whiteboard that can be pushed across to erase all the ink in its path. If a user decides to leave a section on the board, a handle can be pulled to avoid erasing. The first prototype functions well, and a provisional patent application has been filed through WiSys Technology Foundation. A second prototype is being developed currently.


Clayton Holst1, & Dakota Nufer2

Improvement of Water Softening Systems to Detect for Malfunctioning Ion Exchange Resin Beads

University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
Department of Physics1
Department of Chemistry2
800 W. Main Street
Whitewater, WI 53190

holstcl19@uww.edu

Water softening is a common household practice; one that sometimes comes with a many problems.  Depending on the area a client lives in, their water can contain any number of undesirable ions.  Most water softeners can remove these ions leaving the user with water that cleans more efficiently and tastes better.  Under normal conditions, a water softener will only need to be replaced or re-bedded once every ten years.  However in the presence of high concentration of chlorine, the ion exchange resin within the tank, which is responsible for removing hard ions from the water, will degrade and malfunction much more quickly than the ten years. The basis of our investigation is that we want to develop a sensor (likely both a conductivity and an optical) that will tell us when the resin within a water-softening tank has become depleted and is unable to be regenerated.  The details that we will be presenting will be mostly on our progress with our project as well as some of our results.


Kayla Golden, Charles Nelson, Grant Brewer, and Harold T. Evensen Ph.D.

Nanoscale Vacuum-Channel Field Emission Transistor

University of Wisconsin-Platteville
Department of Engineering Physics
1 University Plaza
Platteville, WI 53818

goldenk@uwplatt.edu

Before solid state electronics took off, vacuum tubes were the dominant component in electronics. Though modern transistors now dominate vacuum tubes, there are a few advantages to vacuum tubes that derive from their electrons traveling between electrodes through a vacuum rather than a material: fast switching speeds, extreme operating temperatures, and radiation hardness. We are pursuing the use of carbon nanotube (CNT) films to fabricate a modern-day version of the vacuum tube transistor: the nanoscale vacuum-channel FET (VFET). This presentation will discuss our use of thin films of purified semiconducting CNTs, our fabrication methods, and our progress thus far – including improvements to our design and fabrication process that successfully produced functioning CNT transistors. Additionally, we will present how we distinguish between conduction, field emission, and leakage currents. Future work will study the performance of the etched nanoscale vacuum channel, and improvements from use of aligned CNT films and conducting CNTs.


Zachary A Chambers1, Amanda Leichtfuss, Jennifer D. Shuttlefield Christus Ph.D.1

Comparison of Two Experimental Outreach Kits for the Discovery of Inexpensive, Effective Catalysts for Solar Energy Conversion

University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh
1Chemistry Department
800 Algoma Blvd
Oshkosh, WI 54901

chambz67@uwosh.edu

schuttlj@uwosh.edu

The Solar Energy Activity Lab (SEAL) and the Heterogeneous Anodes Rapidly Perused for Oxygen Overpotential Neutralization (HARPOON) outreach kits distributed by the NSF-funded Center for Chemical Innovation Solar Fuels were designed to use combinatorial screening for the discovery of inexpensive, effective catalysts for the conversion of solar energy to useable chemical fuel. The SEAL kit uses the production of photocurrent via illumination from LEDs to determine if a newly created catalysts is worth further analysis as a catalyst or possible light absorber, while the HARPOON kit utilizes direct detection of the oxygen evolved by mixed metal oxide materials during electrochemical water oxidation to assess catalyst activity. By analyzing various material combinations on both kits to investigate if a catalysts would be determined to have high activity on one kit then would it also be determined to have high activity on the alternate kit.


Angelica Drees1, Jonas Wagner1, Ben Thronson2, Nathan Shannon1, David Rohr1, Brandon Wisinski1, Adam Heuermann3, & Gokul Gopalakrishnan Ph.D.1

Shape Based Separation and Manipulation of Micro and Nanoscale Objects

University of Wisconsin-Platteville
1Department of Engineering Physics
3Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
1 University Avenue
Platteville, WI 53818

University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
2Department of Material Science and Engineering
105 Garfield Avenue
Eau Claire, WI 54702

dreesa@uwplatt.edu

While the separation of microscopic objects by size has been studied for decades, the more difficult problem of separating similarly sized objects with different shapes has gained interest over the last several years. Shape selective techniques are particularly important in the manipulation and detection of high-aspect ratio particles, from nanowires and nanotubes, to microbes such as E. Coli. We describe how such objects can be separated and spatially manipulated using nanopatterned sieves fabricated from single crystal silicon nanomembranes. We describe techniques developed for the creation of complex pores shapes, which must overcome challenges arising from the crystal structure of silicon. We also discuss the geometric constraints and limitations of this process and thereby evaluate the phase space of particle geometries that can be addressed by this technique.


Daniel Isaacs, & Nenad Stojilovic

Tailoring Properties of ZnO Nanofibers

University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh
Department of Physics and Astronomy
800 Algoma Boulevard
Oshkosh, WI 54901

isaacd34@uwosh.edu

ZnO is an inexpensive and non-toxic compound which, as such, is an excellent candidate for sustainable applications such as energy conversion. Its band gap of 3.37 eV corresponds to the UV region of the spectrum and shrinking this value down to the visible light range could increase its usefulness. In this project we produce Zinc Oxide (ZnO) nanofibers using electrospinning method followed by calcination. We explore how experimental conditions and doping these fibers with various nanoparticles affect their energy band gap. The morphology of these nanofibers was probed using Scanning Electron Microscopy whereas the structural properties are investigated using X-Ray Diffraction. The change in energy band-gap value was monitored using Ultraviolet-Visible Spectroscopy.


Karen Knoke1, Grace Baker1, Doug Dunham Ph.D.1, Yana Astter2, Grace Kozisek2, Matthew Koviekis2, Spencer Bingham2, & John Kirk2

Characterization of Silica Colloid Thin Films with an Introduction of Gold Nanoparticles

University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
1Materials Science and Engineering Center
Phillips Science Hall 177
101 Roosevelt Avenue
Eau Claire, WI 54702

Carthage College
2Chemistry Department
2001 Alford Park Drive
Kenosha, WI 53140

Silica colloid films are technologically important as they can serve as the matrix to hold nanoparticles for fabrication of thin film sensors.  Thin film sensors need to be durable to function in a variety of environments.  Nanoindentation tests were performed to determine the hardness and reduced modulus of silica colloid thin films that were sintered at temperatures ranging from 800⁰ C to 1100⁰ C or spin coated with different number of coats. Gold particles were then introduced within the silica which was all placed onto glass slides by spin coating.  The thin films were prepared by undergraduates in Dr. John Kirk’s research group at Carthage College.  Our findings indicated that the samples sintered at higher temperatures had a higher hardness, and the hardness of the un-sintered spin coated samples were fairly consistent in hardness with the varying layers.


Laura Cullen, Sawyer Buck, Karen Knoke, Grace Baker, & Doug Dunham Ph.D.

Bacillus Psuedofirmus and Bacillus Cohnii’s Calcium Carbonate Production in Self-Healing Concrete Applications

University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
Materials Science and Engineering Center
Phillips Science Hall 177
101 Roosevelt Avenue
Eau Claire, WI 54702

Concrete production produces about 7% of carbon dioxide (CO₂) emissions annually, by reducing the rate at which concrete needs to be replaced the amount of CO₂ being released into the atmosphere will be reduced. Concrete is a highly utilized material all over the world, but crack formation is a common occurrence in concrete structures due to networking microcracks. Two different types of calcium carbonate (limestone) producing bacteria were introduced onto surface cracks of cement samples to seal cracks and prevent crack propagation. Bacillus psuedofirmus and bacillus cohnii produce calcium carbonate proceeding exposure to calcium lactate and water. Controlled surface cracks measuring around 1cm in length and 800 µm in width are to be monitored. Procedures are specified in the articles Application of bacteria as self-healing agent for the development of sustainable concrete and Qualification of crack-healing in novel bacteria-based self-healing concrete which will be similarly followed to recreate a self-sustaining concrete. The end goals of our research are to create a concrete that can sustain the calcium carbonate producing bacteria that can endure the harsh environment as well as the internal and external forces of cured and uncured concrete. Presumably, to achieve this goal, the concrete mixture will need to be aerated to ensure large enough pore sizes for the bacteria to live and/or to surround the bacteria spores with a protective coating.


Ethan Laferriere, Colin Fackler, Anthony Doan, & Matthew C. Jewell Ph.D.

Wire Positioning and Degradation in Superconducting Cables Subjected to Electromagnetic Cycling

University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
Materials Science & Engineering Program
105 Garfield Avenue
Eau Claire, WI 54702

The goal of this research is to use image analysis techniques to understand the impact of electromagnetic cycles on superconducting cable-in-conduit conductors for fusion reactors that contain brittle Nb3Sn superconducting filaments. We wish to identify a set of ideal operating conditions that will minimize the mechanical and electrical degradation of the superconductor.

In this study we are comparing virgin conductors that have been manufactured but not tested with those that have undergone electromagnetic testing and in which performance degradation has been observed. Our process involves two main tasks: (1) to mechanically disassemble the conductors and look for visual evidence of wire and filament damage, and (2) to look for wire rearrangement during testing by doing digital image analysis on transverse cross-sections (see figure) that have been epoxy impregnated to freeze the wire positions within the conductor. Using this technique we are able to quantify the overall areal density of the wires in the cross-section relative to the Lorentz force direction, the fraction of wires in contact with other wires, and the extent of plastic deformation of the wires.

We expect these analyses will allow us to identify the mechanical source(s) of the electrical degradation, propose design improvements for future conductors, and help specify a safe operating envelope that minimizes damage.


Timothy J. Lui1, Yibing Huang2, Hanping Miao2, & Matthew C. Jewell Ph.D.1

The Impact of Powder Source on the Processing Uniformity of Bi2Sr2CaCu2O8-x (Bi-2212) Superconducting Wire Using Digital Image Analysis

University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
1Materials Science & Engineering Program
105 Garfield Avenue
Eau Claire, WI 54702

2Bruker OST
600 Milik Street
Carteret, NJ, 07008

This study investigates the quantitative and qualitative geometric differences between two powder-in-tube wires using different powder sources. To do this, the transverse cross section of the wire is mounted, polished and imaged with a scanning electron microscope (SEM). The SEM images are then analyzed using the ImageJ program. Within ImageJ, a thresholded image of wire filaments allows for quantitative digital image analysis of parameters such as filament size, circularity, and spacing, the latter as measured by the nearest edge distance of each filament to an adjoining filament. Statistically significant differences were found for filament size and filament spacing as a function of powder source, and for circularity as a function of location within the drawn billet. Quantifying the differences between these wires helps us understand how powder quality impacts the processing and overall uniformity of the wire, and allows the wire manufacturer to optimize their techniques and ultimately improve the wire performance.

Acknowledgments: This work was financially supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of High Energy Physics, award DE-FG02-13ER42036, and benefited from the support of the Materials Science & Engineering Center at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.


Joshua Luoma, & Harold Evensen Ph.D.

Aligned and Network Carbon Nanotube Transistors for Sensing Applications

University of Wisconsin-Platteville
Department of Engineering Physics
1 University Plaza
Platteville, WI 53818

luomajo@uwplatt.edu

Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) hold great potential in the field of material science and engineering. Extensive research on this material has led to the ability to produce carbon nanotubes with high purity at low costs, opening the doors for integrating nanotubes into electric components. Specifically, single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) are of interest for the development of nanometer-sized transistors. The applications of such transistors includes the sensing of aromatic organic compounds1.

The sensing capabilities of SWCNT transistors may increase through nanotube alignment in devices containing many CNTs. These improvements were verified by developing aligned and network SWCNT transistors and comparing the responses of the devices to doping with benzoic acid. The strength of the transistor response upon doping was determined by measuring the gate voltage shift in the Ids-Vgs curve. Recovery of the original device characteristics was also investigated after removing the dopant.

1A. Star, T-R. Han, J-C. Gabriel, K. Bradley, and G. Gruner, Nano Letters. 3 (2003) 1421.


William N. Hartnett1, Javier Ramirez1,3, Yifei Zhang2, & Matthew C. Jewell Ph.D.1

Characterization of REBCO Superconducting Tape Damage Induced by Various Sample Preparation Methods

University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
1Materials Science & Engineering Program
105 Garfield Avenue
Eau Claire, WI 54702

2SuperPower, Inc.
450 Duane Ave.
Schenectady, NY 12304

3University of Wisconsin-Fox Valley
1478 Midway Road
Menasha, WI 54952

Superconductors are materials that conduct electricity with no resistance at low temperatures. Superconductors have abundance of applications ranging from MRIs to fusion reactors. Rare-earth barium-copper-oxide (REBCO) superconductors are high-temperature superconductors fabricated in a tape geometry. The sample preparation procedures for mechanical testing and for industrial slitting of the tape can introduce cracks and micro-peels in the REBCO layer, thus potentially limiting its electrical performance of the conductor, or reducing the mechanical strength of the composite tape. In this work, we investigated the damage found in the REBCO layer after industrial slitting and after guillotine cutting in a laboratory environment by imaging the samples using laser confocal microscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and digital image analysis. We subsequently quantified the extent of fracture propagation along the slit or cut edge of the samples and the area of the REBCO layer absent. The average fracture extent exhibited on the superconducting layer is 23.3 µm in the slit samples and correlations with the slitting process geometry were observed. In the slit samples, fracture events in the buffer layers are found to correlate to those in the REBCO layer. With a better understanding of different sample preparation techniques the manufacturing process can be improved to provide a more mechanically stable and cost effective superconductor.

Acknowledgements: This work was financially supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office and High Energy Physics, award DE-FG02-13ER42036, and benefited from the support of the Materials Science & Engineering Center at UW-Eau Claire. The authors thank SuperPower, Inc. for providing the samples under investigation.


Jacob Sina1, Max Wirtz2, David Kelm2, Charles Shackett2, Paul Evans Ph.D.2, Lee Farina Ph.D.1, & Gokul Gopalakrishnan Ph.D.1

Fabrication, Simulation, and Characterization of Silicon Nanomembranes for MEMS Pressure Sensors

University of Wisconsin-Madison
1Department of Materials Science & Engineering
1509 University Avenue
Madison, WI 53706

University of Wisconsin-Platteville
2Department of Engineering Physics
1000 Southwest Rd
Platteville, WI 53818

sinaj@uwplatt.edu

Silicon nanomembranes are an innovation in semiconductor technology, and deliver several advantages over the significantly thicker membranes currently used in a number of devices, from microscopic pressure sensors with promising energy savings in GPS applications. Nanomembranes promise much smaller device footprints and better performance, but have been difficult to produce economically. We have developed an inexpensive method to fabricate nanomembranes. Our process includes chemical etches, pattern transfer by photolithography, surface activation and thermal annealing produces flat, ultrathin membranes that are robust and suitable for implementing in micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) and microfluidic devices.  A critical step in the ability to make flat membranes is reverses conventional protocol for dealing with a phenomenon known as stiction. While stiction is carefully avoided in traditional MEMS fabrication, our process embraces it. In this presentation, we describe the fabrication steps, as well as the testing and numerical modeling of nanomembranes when subjected to pressure differences.


Zachary Gotto1, Trevor Wavrunek1, Bridget White1, Gokul Gopalakrishnan Ph.D.1, Lee Farina Ph.D.1, & James Hamilton Ph.D.2

A Polymer-Based Alternative to Solvent Treatment in Silicon Microfabrication

University of Wisconsin-Platteville
1Department of Engineering Physics
2Department of Chemistry
Platteville, WI 53818

gottoz@uwplatt.edu

Volatile organic solvents are frequently used in the cleaning of surfaces and in silicon microfabrication processes. Even a small laboratory can produce notable quantities of volatile waste, which is dangerous and costly to transport off-site for recovery. Thus, we propose alternative and additional procedures to three traditionally solvent-based practices using a precision optical cleaning polymer, First-Contact™. This polymer has been increasingly used beyond its original purpose, and we explore its ability to remove photoresist, perform liftoff on thin metal films, and remove inorganic contamination, characterizing our results using nanoscale microscopy techniques. This polymer offers the potential to reduce solvent waste in the laboratory through a safe, non-toxic method, offering advantages in cleaning efficacy at the price of a slower and less delicate method.


Brandon Wisinski1, Nathan Shannon1, David Rohr1, Jacob Sina1, Angelica Drees1, Adam Heuermann2, Lee Farina Ph.D.1, & Gokul Gopalakrishnan Ph.D. 1

Patterning Silicon Nanomembranes

University of Wisconsin-Platteville
1Engineering Physics
2Electrical and Computer Engineering
1 University Plaza
Platteville, WI, 53818

wisinskib@uwplatt.edu

Silicon nanomembranes are thin suspended sheets of crystalline silicon, with thicknesses smaller than a micrometer and areas exceeding thousands of square micrometers. Patterning the nanomembranes adds to the world of nanotechnology with applications such as molecular sieving and detection, alignment of nanowires and tubes, nanoscale shadow masking, and thermal cloaking through phononic band engineering. Our process allows for the customization of pore shapes in a nanomembrane by adapting bulk micromachining processes and utilizing them to create nanoscale pores. Our presentation focuses on the evolution of our device patterning procedure, which uses electron beam lithography and selective etching to improve upon the size range and precision of existing membrane-based filters.


Megan Hottmann, Kendra Berry, & Elizabeth Glogowski Ph.D.

Studying the Smart Properties of mPEG-Block-PDMAEMA Using Interfacial Tension with Varying Compositions

University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
Department of Materials Science and Engineering
Phillips Science Hall 177
101 Roosevelt Avenue
Eau Claire, WI 54701

hottmamm4129@uwec.edu

berrykk8222@uwec.edu

“Smart polymers” are polymers that can modify their properties to external stimuli. For example, a polymer can switch from being hydrophilic to hydrophobic as the temperature and pH are increased. The smart polymer poly(ethylene glycol)-block-poly(2-dimethylaminoethyl methacrylate) (mPEG-block-PDMAEMA) is a diblock copolymer composed of two covalently bonded polymers. Molecular weights of the blocks can be controlled through synthesis allowing for different molar ratios between the two blocks. Therefore, the impact of the ratio on smart properties can be determined. Pendant drop tensiometry was used to measure the interfacial tension between two liquid phases that do not mix, like that of aqueous polymer and toluene. Polymer solutions were tested using differing pH, buffer concentration, and polymer concentrations. The differing compositions were then tested under varying conditions such as needle size and temperature. Through testing, a wide range of potential applications such as enhanced oil recovery and wastewater treatment have been determined.