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  • Recent Developments of Crystallographic Analysis Methods in the Scanning Electron Microscope for Applications in Metallurgy
    Crit. Rev. Solid State Mater. Sci. (IF 5.656) Pub Date : 2017-10-26
    Rafael Borrajo-Pelaez, Peter Hedström

    The field of metallurgy has greatly benefited from the development of electron microscopy over the last two decades. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) has become a powerful tool for the investigation of nano- and microstructures. This article reviews the complete set of tools for crystallographic analysis in the SEM, i.e., electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD), transmission Kikuchi diffraction (TKD), and electron channeling contrast imaging (ECCI). We describe recent relevant developments in electron microscopy, and discuss the state-of-the-art of the techniques and their use for analyses in metallurgy. EBSD orientation measurements provide better angular resolution than spot diffraction in TEM but slightly lower than Kikuchi diffraction in TEM, however, its statistical significance is superior to TEM techniques. Although spatial resolution is slightly lower than in TEM/STEM techniques, EBSD is often a preferred tool for quantitative phase characterization in bulk metals. Moreover, EBSD enables the measurement of lattice strain/rotation at the sub-micron scale, and dislocation density. TKD enables the transmitted electron diffraction analysis of thin-foil specimens. The small interaction volume between the sample and the electron beam enhances considerably the spatial resolution as compared to EBSD, allowing the characterization of ultra-fine-grained metals in the SEM. ECCI is a useful technique to image near-surface lattice defects without the necessity to expose two free surfaces as in TEM. Its relevant contributions to metallography include deformation characterization of metals, including defect visualization, and dislocation density measurements. EBSD and ECCI are mature techniques, still undergoing a continuous expansion in research and industry. Upcoming technical developments in electron sources and optics, as well as detector instrumentation and software, will likely push the border of performance in terms of spatial resolution and acquisition speed. The potential of TKD, combined with EDS, to provide crystallographic, chemical, and morphologic characterizations of nano-structured metals will surely be a valuable asset in metallurgy.

  • Hierarchical and Complex ZnO Nanostructures by Microwave-Assisted Synthesis: Morphologies, Growth Mechanism and Classification
    Crit. Rev. Solid State Mater. Sci. (IF 5.656) Pub Date : 2018-03-09
    E. Mohammadi, M. Aliofkhazraei, M. Hasanpoor, M. Chipara

    Zinc Oxide is an important and multi-purpose material in various industries due to its particular chemical and physical properties. Discovering a cheap, fast, clean, safe, and easy to use method, to synthesize this oxide nanoparticle has attracted a lot of attention in recent applications. The unique properties of the microwave and its special heating capabilities have yielded desirable outcomes by combining different synthesis methods. In the recent years, the vast majority of studies focus on the microwave-assisted synthesis of zinc oxide nanoparticles. This review article attempts to go over the recent advancements on the synthesis of zinc oxide nanoparticles with the aid of microwave, different morphologies and applications obtained by this method. Various microwave-assisted synthesis methods are classified, including the solution-based methods such as hydrothermal, sol-gel, and combustion methods. Morphology of the nanoparticles can affect the properties, and subsequently, applications of these nanoparticles. On the other hand, there is great diversity of morphological and synthesis conditions of zinc oxide nanoparticles. Thus, categorizing the synthesis techniques and providing features of them, facilitates the selection of appropriate method for designing new hierarchical structures with potential properties for future applications. Also it is endeavored to focus on the formation mechanisms of these methods. Finally, the various morphologies obtained under microwave radiation and their formation mechanisms are discussed and the effective factors in the synthesis are analyzed and presented. The potential and suitable fields of development and progress in the future studies are also proposed.

  • Recent Advances in Friction Stir Welding/Processing of Aluminum Alloys: Microstructural Evolution and Mechanical Properties
    Crit. Rev. Solid State Mater. Sci. (IF 5.656) Pub Date : 2017-09-18
    Z. Y. Ma, A. H. Feng, D. L. Chen, J. Shen

    Friction stir welding (FSW), a highly efficient solid-state joining technique, has been termed as “green” technology due to its energy efficiency and environment friendliness. It is an enabling technology for joining metallic materials, in particular lightweight high-strength aluminum and magnesium alloys which were classified as unweldable by traditional fusion welding. It is thus considered to be the most significant development in the area of material joining over the past two decades. Friction stir processing (FSP) was later developed based on the basic principles of FSW. FSP has been proven to be an effective and versatile metal-working technique for modifying and fabricating metallic materials. FSW/FSP of aluminum alloys has prompted considerable scientific and technological interest since it has a potential for revolutionizing the manufacturing process in the aerospace, defense, marine, automotive, and railway industries. To promote widespread applications of FSW/FSP technology and ensure the structural integrity, safety and durability of the FSW/FSP components, it is essential to optimize the process parameters, and to evaluate thoroughly the microstructural changes and mechanical properties of the welded/processed samples. This review article is thus aimed at summarizing recent advances in the microstructural evolution and mechanical properties of FSW/FSP aluminum alloys. Particular attention is paid to recrystallization mechanism, grain boundary characteristics, phase transformation, texture evolution, characteristic microstructures, and the effect of these factors on the hardness, tensile and fatigue properties as well as superplastic behavior of FSW/FSP aluminum alloys.

  • A Review of Recent Progress in Solid State Fabrication of Composites and Functionally Graded Systems Via Friction Stir Processing
    Crit. Rev. Solid State Mater. Sci. (IF 5.656) Pub Date : 2017-09-15
    Sandeep Rathee, Sachin Maheshwari, Arshad Noor Siddiquee, Manu Srivastava

    Friction stir processing (FSP) is a rapidly emerging newer solid-state technique for composite fabrication. It involves surface modification which in turn enables successful adaptation of surface properties through plastic deformations in solid state. During initial years of FSP inception, it was primarily employed in development of metal matrix composites of light metal alloys like aluminum. However, recently, it has gained an alluring role in fabrication of composites of various nonferrous and ferrous metal alloys as well as of polymers. In addition to composite fabrication, FSP has evolved as a revolutionary technique in developing functionally graded systems/surfaces (FGS) of metal matrix. This article covers all aspects of FSP in which reinforcement particles are embedded in the base matrix to develop composites and FGS. It presents a critical review on domains of recent developments, effects of different types of reinforcement particles and properties enhancement of composites, and FGS fabrication. In addition to this, various issues, challenges, and future work that demand attention are systematically addressed.

  • Overview of Hydroxyapatite–Graphene Nanoplatelets Composite as Bone Graft Substitute: Mechanical Behavior and In-vitro Biofunctionality
    Crit. Rev. Solid State Mater. Sci. (IF 5.656) Pub Date : 2017-06-30
    Wan Jeffrey Basirun, Bahman Nasiri-Tabrizi, Saeid Baradaran

    Hydroxyapatite (HA) and related materials have been frequently studied as ceramic-based bone graft materials due to their outstanding biocompatibility and osteoconduction. Since the bones are the load supporting parts of a vertebrate, they must have good fracture toughness (KIC) to avoid fracture at high loading during limb movements. However, the main shortcomings of HA are the poor fracture toughness and brittleness. The mechanical properties of HA need to be improved for orthopedic applications, therefore it is often fabricated with other materials into a composite. This article focuses on the effect of carbon nanostructures (CNSs) especially graphene nanoplatelets (GNPs) on the mechanical, physicochemical properties and in-vitro bio-functional performances of HA. We provide an overview on the preparation and characterization of the HA–GNPs composites. To conclude, the challenges in the fabrication of multi-substituted HA–GNPs composites and future outlooks in the biomedical domain are discussed.

  • The Role of Intra-Yarn Shear in Integrated Multi-Scale Deformation Analyses of Woven Fabrics: A Critical Review
    Crit. Rev. Solid State Mater. Sci. (IF 5.656) Pub Date : 2017-08-21
    M. Haghi Kashani, A. Hosseini, F. Sassani, F. K. Ko, A. S. Milani

    This article attempts to bring an enhanced insight into the analysis of in-plane shear behavior of woven fabrics. Two common methods have been used to characterize the shear behavior of woven preforms, namely the Bias Extension (BE) and Picture Frame (PF) tests. In spite of the identical macro-scale shear deformation of fabrics in these two characterization procedures, the current study demonstrates that their underlying micro- and meso-scale deformation mechanisms are quite distinct. The trellising mechanism, which is based on the well-known Pin-Joint Theory (PJT), has been regarded for a long time as the sole model to describe the meso-scale deformation of woven fabrics in both the BE and PF tests. Throughout this article, this mechanism is challenged for the PF test by undertaking a multi-scale analysis along with a critical review and integration of the previous experimental, analytical, and numerical studies. Intra-yarn shear, which has not been fully understood yet, is substantiated as a potential meso-level deformation mechanism occurring in the PF test. Accordingly, a new meso-level deformation model is proposed and compared with the trellising shear pattern in the BE setup. Afterward, the comparison is extended from meso-level to macro-level in order to provide more in-depth hypotheses for explaining differences reported in the literature between the shear characteristics of fabrics using BE and PF tests. Finally, some guidelines have been sought to select more reliable characterization method given a forming process.

  • Recent Advancements in Bulk Metallic Glasses and Their Applications: A Review
    Crit. Rev. Solid State Mater. Sci. (IF 5.656) Pub Date : 2017-09-18
    Muhammad Mudasser Khan, Ali Nemati, Zia Ur Rahman, Umair Hussain Shah, Hassnain Asgar, Waseem Haider

    Bulk metallic glasses (BMGs), that display extraordinary properties of high strength, corrosion resistance, polymer-like formability, and excellent magnetic properties, are emerging as modern quintessential engineering materials. BMGs have garnered significant research enthusiasm owing to their tremendous technological and scientific standing. In this article, the recent advancements in the field of BMGs and their applications are put in a nutshell. Novel state-of-the-art production routes and nano/microimprinting strategies with salient features capable of circumventing the processing related complexities as well as accelerating modern developments, are briefly summarized. Heterogeneous BMG composite systems that lead to incredible combination of otherwise conflicting properties are highlighted. Biocorrosion studies and recent developments in the field of magnetic BMGs are presented owing to their significance for prospective biomedical and magnetic applications, respectively. In the last section, the current status of BMGs applications in the field of catalysis, biomedical materials, structural materials, functional materials, microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), and micro/macro devices are summed up.

  • In2O3- and SnO2-based Ozone Sensors: Design and Characterization
    Crit. Rev. Solid State Mater. Sci. (IF 5.656) Pub Date : 2017-03-09
    G. Korotcenkov, V. Brinzari, B. K. Cho

    This article describes in detail the SnO2 and In2O3 metal oxides as materials for designing solid state conductometric ozone sensors. The main focus of this article is on the description of the SnO2 and In2O3 films' structural parameters important for gas sensor design and on the establishment of the main regularities of the film parameters influence on the sensor characteristics. Advantages and disadvantages of approaches used for optimization of ozone sensor parameters are also analyzed. In particular, surface modification, bulk doping of SnO2 and In2O3, and the use of 1D structures and hybrid materials are considered. The main factors, controlling parameters of SnO2- and In2O3-based ozone sensors, are determined, and recommendations for the process of the SnO2 and In2O3 films deposition, facilitating the search of the film parameters and the fabrication technologies that optimize the ozone sensor performance, are formulated.

  • Graphene for Thermoelectric Applications: Prospects and Challenges
    Crit. Rev. Solid State Mater. Sci. (IF 5.656) Pub Date : 2017-05-10
    Tabitha A. Amollo, Genene T. Mola, M. S. K. Kirui, Vincent O. Nyamori

    Thermoelectric power generators require high-efficiency thermoelectric materials to transform waste heat into usable electrical energy. An efficient thermoelectric material should have high Seebeck coefficient and excellent electrical conductivity as well as low thermal conductivity. Graphene, the first truly 2D nanomaterial, exhibits unique properties which suit it for use in thermoelectric power generators, but its application in thermoelectrics is limited by the high thermal conductivity and low Seebeck coefficient resulting from its gapless spectrum. However, with the possibility of modification of graphene's band structure to enhance Seebeck coefficient and the reduction of its thermal conductivity, it is an exciting prospect for application in thermoelectric power generation. This article examines the electronic, optical, thermal, and thermoelectric properties of graphene systems. The factors that contribute to these material properties in graphene systems like charge carriers scattering mechanisms are discussed. A salient aspect of this article is a synergistic perspective on the reduction of thermal conductivity and improvement of Seebeck coefficient of graphene for a higher thermoelectric energy conversion efficiency. In this regard, the effect of graphene nanostructuring and doping, forming of structural defects, as well as graphene integration into a polymer matrix on its thermal conductivity and Seebeck coefficient is elucidated.

  • A Critical Review on Physical Vapor Deposition Coatings Applied on Different Engine Components
    Crit. Rev. Solid State Mater. Sci. (IF 5.656) Pub Date : 2017-06-15
    Q. M. Mehran, M. A. Fazal, A. R. Bushroa, Saeed Rubaiee

    Friction and wear in different engine components have crucial effects on the engine performance, combustion efficiency, oil consumption and lifetime of the internal combustion (IC) engine. Under certain loads, speeds, and temperatures, the metallic components of the IC engine, especially the piston and valve system suffer from a higher friction. Thin film coating is one of the novel techniques to reduce the frictional forces and improve the mechanical properties of engine components. Due to some versatile tribological properties, increasing attention has been paid to the physical vapor deposition (PVD) technology in the recent decade to deposit thin film coating on engine components. This article presents a comprehensive literature review on thin film coatings for IC engine components deposited by PVD technique. Issues related to tribological properties (wear and coefficient of friction) and mechanical properties (hardness and roughness) are also highlighted. Scientific improvements are presented in the light of literature. It is revealed that PVD coating is significantly effective on wear resistance, scuffling resistance, surface roughness, and friction of the components in IC engine. Laboratory test and data from actual service so far suggest that the plasma-activated electron beam evaporation coating is perhaps one of the best choices for smooth surface finishing with improved mechanical and tribological properties. However, there are still some problems in its practical usage. This compressive review paper presents the major shortcomings of PVD coatings on IC engine components and the possible solutions if any. Finally, a number of issues have been reported which need to be encountered for further studies.

  • Recent Progress on the Dispersion and the Strengthening Effect of Carbon Nanotubes and Graphene-Reinforced Metal Nanocomposites: A Review
    Crit. Rev. Solid State Mater. Sci. (IF 5.656) Pub Date : 2016-12-20
    Zeeshan Baig, Othman Mamat, Mazli Mustapha

    This article reviews the available literature published to date on the reinforcement of metals with carbon-nanofillers (CNTs and graphene), and also offers a specific focus on issues related to the mechanical and tribological properties of nanocomposites. Carbon-nanofillers (later denoted by C-nanofillers) are known to have extraordinary mechanical properties and multifaceted characteristics and are ideal candidates for the reinforcement of metals for numerous applications. However, their incorporation for practical applications has been challenging researchers for decades. The most important issue is uniform dispersion due to sizeable surface differences between carbon-nanofillers and metals. Other concerns are structural integrity, wetting with metals, and interfacial connections. Nanocomposite applications can only be effective when these challenges are properly addressed and overcome.

  • Recent Developments in Oxide-Based Ionic Conductors: Bulk Materials, Nanoionics, and Their Memory Applications
    Crit. Rev. Solid State Mater. Sci. (IF 5.656) Pub Date : 2016-12-20
    Tao Wan, Lepeng Zhang, Haiwei Du, Xi Lin, Bo Qu, Haolan Xu, Sean Li, Dewei Chu

    Oxide-based ionic conductors have attracted tremendous research interests due to their wide applications in energy storage and conversion devices, such as photovoltaics, fuel cells, batteries, and supercapacitors. Extensive efforts have been undertaken to improve the ionic conductivity of existing materials along with the development of novel conductors. The recent advance of ionic conductors in nanoscale demonstrated their ultra–high ionic conductivity for the promising applications in energy sector. In this work, recent progresses of conventional oxide conductors and the development of novel conductors are reviewed in details. The strategy to exploit the nanoionics of enhancing the ionic conductivity is discussed. Furthermore, the novel applications of nanoionics for the resistive switching memories are summarized.

  • Susceptor-Assisted Enhanced Microwave Processing of Ceramics - A Review
    Crit. Rev. Solid State Mater. Sci. (IF 5.656) Pub Date : 2016-09-19
    Madhuchhanda Bhattacharya, Tanmay Basak

    Susceptor-assisted microwave processing is a rapidly growing technology due to its superiority over the conventional processing. In contrast to the conventional heating from the surface, the microwave heating occurs volumetrically via direct interaction with the material. Correspondingly, the microwave heating rates are in general much faster than the heating rates in the conventional furnaces, where heat has to be transferred from the heat sources to the material via conduction, convection and radiation. The need for the susceptor stems from the fact that the majority of the ceramics are low lossy materials and they cannot couple well with the microwave at room temperatures. The susceptor provides an easy and non-invasive technique to exploit the rapid microwave processing even for the highly microwave transparent ceramics, such as alumina, silicon nitride, quartz, etc. This article critically evaluates the susceptor-assisted microwave sintering and solid state synthesis of ceramics which have been reported over the last two decades. A wide range of ceramics has been considered and each case has been analyzed in terms of the enhancement of the processing rates and product qualities (grain structure, material properties, etc.) compared to the conventional processing. It has been shown that the susceptor-assisted microwave processing can greatly reduce the processing time while providing an easy pathway to achieve the desired product qualities. The use of the appropriate susceptor is the key to achieve the fast, smooth, and reliable microwave processing of ceramics and this article provides the required database for the appropriate design of the susceptor based on the process requirement.

  • Ammonium Nitrate as an Eco–Friendly Oxidizer for Composite Solid Propellants: Promises and Challenges
    Crit. Rev. Solid State Mater. Sci. (IF 5.656) Pub Date : 2016-12-20
    Jisna Jos, Suresh Mathew

    Ammonium nitrate (AN) has received attraction globally not only as a nitrogenous fertilizer but also as an oxidizer in gas generators and propellants. Nowadays, great attention is being focused on the development of composite solid propellants with green oxidizers in realizing eco–friendly combustion products. The ammonium perchlorate (AP), which is the work horse oxidizer in composite propellant, needs replacement due to its environmental and human health issues. In this context, AN is regarded as an alternative to AP because of its easy availability and environmentally friendly chlorine free combustion products. However, AN has its own inherent drawbacks such as hygroscopicity, room temperature phase transition, and low burning rate. Recently, several studies have been focused on its phase stabilization and burning rate modification so as to develop solid propellants with improved properties. The knowledge of thermal characteristics of AN is a crucial factor for its applications in propellants and gas generators. This article details the different aspects of polymorphism, phase stabilization, thermal decomposition, hygroscopicity, specific impulse, and burn rate modification of AN and also addresses ways to overcome the inherent weakness of AN as a propellant oxidizer in formulating an effective propellant composition.

  • Noble Metal Decorated Graphene-Based Gas Sensors and Their Fabrication: A Review
    Crit. Rev. Solid State Mater. Sci. (IF 5.656) Pub Date : 2017-01-06
    Akshay V. Singhal, Hemant Charaya, Indranil Lahiri

    Research on graphene/nanostructure hybrid materials has been gaining momentum in recent years, with wide-ranging applications in gas sensing and detection. Specifically, noble metal decorated graphene-based novel structures were found to be extremely sensitive and selective owing to the synergistic effect of the compound configuration. In this article, recent developments in graphene/noble metal nanostructure hybrids and their promising potential in gas sensing applications has been highlighted. More significantly, an understanding of the electronic mechanism of gas sensing is presented with a specific emphasis on electron transfer and junctions effects at the graphene/nanostructure interfaces. Finally, the future research prospects of application of bi-metallic and tri-metallic nanostructure/graphene-based hybrids and the challenges in this new and rapidly growing domain are discussed.

Some contents have been Reproduced with permission of the American Chemical Society.
Some contents have been Reproduced by permission of The Royal Society of Chemistry.
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