Natural & Applied Sciences

Research Papers/Topics in Natural & Applied Sciences

Factors Effecting Real Time Optical Monitoring of Fused Filament 3-D Printing

This study analyzes a low-cost reliable real-time optimal monitoring platform for fused filament fabrication-based open source 3-D printing. An algorithm for reconstructing 3-D images from overlapping 2-D intensity measurements with relaxed camera positioning requirements is compared with a single camera solution for single side 3-D printing monitoring. The algorithms are tested for different 3-D object geometry and filament colors. The results showed that both of the algorithms with a single...

Fabricating ordered 2-D nano-structured arrays using nanosphere lithography

Recent advances in the use of plasmonic metamaterials to improve absorption of light in thin-film solar photovoltaic devices has created a demand for a scalable method of patterning large areas with metal nanostructures deposited in an ordered array. This article describes two methods of fabricating ordered 2D nanosphere colloidal films: spin coating and interface coating. The two methods are compared and parameter optimization discussed. The study reveals that: For smaller nanosphere sizes, ...

Micro­Raman Scattering of Nanoscale Silicon in Amorphous and Porous Silicon

Thesize effect of nanoscale silicon in both amorphous and porous silicon was investigated with micro­Raman spectroscopy. Silicon nanostructers in amorphous silicon were deposited on quartz substrates by plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) with deposition powers of 15, 30 and 50W. Micro­Raman spectra of the nanostructured silicon show the T 2g Raman active mode shifting from the 521 cm ­1 crystalline Si Raman line to 494, 499 and 504 cm ­1 as deposition power increased. Large...

Ambient-dependent Agglomeration and Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy Response of Self-Assembled Silver Nano-particles for Plasmonic Photovoltaic Devices

The agglomeration/dewetting process of thin silver films provides a scalable method of obtaining self-assembled nanoparticles (SANPs) for plasmonics based thin-film solar photovoltaic (PV) devices. Here, we show the effect of annealing ambiance on silver SANP average size, particle/cluster finite shape, substrate area coverage/particle distribution and how these physical parameters influence optical properties and surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) responses of SANPs. Statistical analys...

General Design Procedure for Free and Open-Source Hardware for Scientific Equipment

Distributed digital manufacturing of free and open-source scientific hardware (FOSH) used for scientific experiments has been shown to in general reduce the costs of scientific hardware by 90–99%. In part due to these cost savings, the manufacturing of scientific equipment is beginning to move away from a central paradigm of purchasing proprietary equipment to one in which scientists themselves download open-source designs, fabricate components with digital manufacturing technology, and the...

Open-source Parametric 3-D Printed Slot Die System for Thin Film Semiconductor Processing

Slot die coating is growing in popularity because it is a low operational cost and easily scaled processing technique for depositing thin and uniform films rapidly, while minimizing material waste. The complex inner geometry of conventional slot dies require expensive machining that limits accessibility and experimentation. In order to overcome these issues this study follows an open hardware approach, which uses an open source 3-D printer to both fabricate the slot die and then to functional...

Development of a Resilient 3-D Printer for Humanitarian Crisis Response

Rapid manufacturing using 3-D printing is a potential solution to some of the most pressing issues for humanitarian logistics. In this paper, findings are reported from a study that involved development of a new type of 3-D printer. In particular, a novel 3-D printer that is designed specifically for reliable rapid manufacturing at the sites of humanitarian crises. First, required capabilities are developed with design elements of a humanitarian 3-D printer, which include, (1) fused filament ...

Micromorphology analysis of sputtered indium tin oxide fabricated with variable ambient combinations

Micromorphology analysis of sputtered indium tin oxide fabricated with variable ambient combinations. Abstract This study experimentally investigates the fractal nature of the 3-D surface morphology of sputtered indium tin oxide (ITO) fabricated with five sets of ambient combinations. The samples were prepared on glass substrates by DC magnetron sputtering using argon, argon with oxygen, argon with oxygen and nitrogen, argon with oxygen and hydrogen and argon with oxygen, nitrogen and hydroge...

Effects of silver catalyst concentration in metal assisted chemical etching of silicon

A systematic investigation is performed to determine the effects of the concentration of silver on metal assisted chemical etching (MaCE) on nanostructure formation mechanisms on silicon as well as their resultant optical properties. Silver nitrate concentrations of 0.008M, 0.004M, 0.003M and 0.002M with hydrogen fluoride were used for the preparation of p-type silicon nanostructures. Experimentally it is observed that when the catalysis molarity concentration is decreased in the etching proc...

Properties of Al-Doped Zinc Oxide and In-Doped Zinc Oxide Bilayer Transparent Conducting Oxides towards Solar Cell Applications

Novel aluminum and indium doped zinc oxide bilayer transparent conducting oxide thin films have been developed by simple sol gel spin coating and annealed at 500 C for an hour under nitrogen ambient towards solar cell applications. The structural, electrical and optical properties of both the as deposited and annealed bilayer thin films are characterized. X-ray diffraction studies showed a hexagonal wurtzite-type structure of ZnO with (002) orientation, which was enhanced with annealing. In a...

Design Optimization of Polymer Heat Exchanger for Automated Household-Scale Solar Water Pasteurizer

A promising approach to reducing the >870,000 deaths/year globally from unsafe water is flow-through solar water pasteurization systems (SWPs). Unfortunately, demonstrated systems have high capital costs, which limits access for the poor. The most expensive component of such systems is the heat exchanger (HX). Thus, this study focuses on cost optimization of HX designs for flow-through SWPs using high-effectiveness polymer microchannel HXs. The theoretical foundation for the cost optimization...

Expanding the Consumer Bill of Rights for Material Ingredients

In President John F. Kennedy’s original Consumer Bill of Rights speech to the United States Congress he called for the “right to be informed”. At the time, materials science was in its infancy and only crude information technology was available, so the need for consumers to know what materials their products were made up of was outweighed by the difficulty of providing the information. Fifty-five years later the basic material ingredients are largely unknown for the vast majority of con...

Anisotropic Mechanical Property Variance Between ASTM D638-14 Type I and Type IV Fused Filament Fabricated Specimens

The open source introduction of fused filament fabrication (FFF) enables distributed manufacturing of consumer products. However, with a wide range of low-cost FFF 3-D printers and settings possible, there is a lack of information on the variability in printed mechanical properties. This paper utilizes a large pool of 47 user-assembled 3-D printers to quantify the mechanical property variations of ultimate tensile strength (UTS) and yield strength of FFF printed components using ASTM D638-14 ...

Optimal Design of Thin-film Plasmonic Solar Cells using Differential Evolution Optimization Algorithms

An approach using a differential evolution (DE) optimization algorithm is proposed to optimize design parameters for improving the optical absorption efficiency of plasmonic solar cells (PSC). This approach is based on formulating the parameters extraction as a search and optimization process in order to maximize the optical absorption in the PSC. Determining the physical parameters of three-dimensional (3-D) PSC is critical for designing and estimating their performance, however, due to the ...

Self-sufficiency of 3-D printers: utilizing stand-alone solar photovoltaic power systems

A self-replicating rapid prototyper (RepRap) is a type of 3-D printer capable of printing many of its own components in addition to a wide assortment of products from high-value scientific or medical tools to household products and toys. There is some evidence that these printers could provide low-cost distributed manufacturing in underprivileged rural areas. For the most isolated communities without access to the electric grid, a low-cost alternative energy is needed. Solar energy can be har...


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