Nanosystems in Ceramic
Oxides Created by Means
of Ion Implantation

By Marijn Arnout Van Huis
December 2003
Delft University Press
ISBN: 90-407-2442-3
156 pages, Illustrated, 6 " x 9 "
$57.50 Paper Original


This is a Ph.D. dissertation. Cluster science offers the opportunity to tailor material properties to fit one's wishes. In the selection of materials for a design, the properties of materials are often considered to be fixed. These properties apply to bulk materials, which contain large numbers of atoms. However, when the number of atoms is reduced below a critical amount, the material properties can change dramatically. Examples are structural phase transformations, metal-insulator transitions, changing linear and non-linear optical properties, different melting temperatures and widening of the band gap of semiconductors.

Most changes occur below a number of atoms of approximately 10,000. These small quantities of material are called clusters. When these clusters are used in nanotechnological devices, the material properties of the cluster materials can be tailored (within certain limits) by selecting the size of the clusters. In order to stabilize the crystallographic and electronic properties of the nanoclusters and to prevent them from agglomerating, nanoclusters are often embedded in solutions or solid matrices. Ion implantation of the cluster atoms into solid target materials is a convenient way to achieve embedded nanoclusters. In general, additional post-implantation treatment (thermal annealing, laser exposure, ion irradiation) is necessary in order to induce clustering of the implanted atoms. In this study, all clusters were created by means of ion implantation and, mainly, large clusters in the nanometer size range (1 to 10 nm) are investigated. At an atomic density of typically 10^29 atoms m^-3, these clusters contain some 100 to 10,000 atoms. In this thesis the focus is both on the creation of the nanoclusters by ion implantation and subsequent thermal annealing, and on the study of the material properties of these nanoclusters.


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