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Laser Deposition of Polymer Nanocomposite Thin Films and Hard Materials and Their Optical Characterization

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Final rept. 15 Sep 2012-14 Sep 2013

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The funded instrumentations were essential to the continuation of the project and were integrated in the existing PLD system which was funded by other AFOSR grants. The project studies the feasibility of producing functional polymer nanocomposite films for light emitting applications using the new double pulsed laser deposition DPLD technique. The existing pulsed laser deposition vacuum chamber has been modified to accommodate two laser beams of different wavelengths for the in-situ ablation of two targets a polymer host and a rare-earth RE highly efficient upconversion emitting inorganic dopant. Special provisions were made for cooling the target to control the ablation of the polymer without interrupting the process. Nanocomposite films of acrylic polymer and nanoparticles of the compounds of the rare earth elements were fabricated by the proposed method with near-infrared laser radiation 1064-nm wavelength ablating the polymer targets and visible radiation 532 nm ablating the inorganic targets. The fabricated nanocomposite films were characterized using funded atomic force microscopy, X-ray diffraction, optical fluorescence spectroscopy, and visual observation of the fluorescence. It was discovered that the produced polymer nanocomposite films retained the crystalline structure and the upconversion fluorescence properties of the initial rare earth compounds mainly due to the better control of the deposition process of the materials of different nature. The proposed method can be used for making a wide variety of composite films.

Subject Categories:

  • Electrical and Electronic Equipment
  • Laminates and Composite Materials
  • Optics
  • Solid State Physics

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