• G U Kulkarni

      Articles written in Bulletin of Materials Science

    • Submicron particles of Co, Ni and Co–Ni alloys

      P Saravanan T A Jose P John Thomas G U Kulkarni

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      Magnetic sub-micron sized particles (with diameters in the range 100–600 nm) of Co, Ni and Co–Ni alloys, protected with polyvinylpyrrolidone have been prepared in gram quantities using the polyol process. Experiments carried out with different metal precursors and starting compositions have yielded reliable routes to produce particles of the desired diameters in the 100–600 nm range. The particles were characterized with X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive X-ray analysis, thermogravimetric analysis and magnetic measurements. The particles are found to be stable under ambient conditions indefinitely. The coercivity values of the Co and Ni particles are ∼ 50% higher compared to the corresponding bulk values. The alloy particles follow a trend similar to the bulk alloys.

    • A method employing STM for the estimation of relative changes in the work function of modified metal tips

      R B Sharma C P Vinod G U Kulkarni

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      𝐼–𝑧 spectroscopy measurements using a scanning tunnelling microscope (STM) were carried out to determine the change in the work function of a W tip following one monolayer (1 ML) deposition of Ni and subsequent annealing at 700 K. The variation in the actual gap voltage obtained from the 𝐼–𝑧 data of the clean tip was used in the calculation. The estimated values of the change in work function, 0.16 eV and 0.59 eV, for as-deposited and annealed tips, respectively match closely with the reported values. The method is generally applicable to chemically modified metal tips.

    • Optimizing growth conditions for electroless deposition of Au films on Si(111) substrates

      Bhuvana G U Kulkarni

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      Electroless deposition of Au films on Si(111) substrates from fluorinated-aurate plating solutions has been carried out at varying concentrations, deposition durations as well as bath temperatures, and the resulting films were characterized by X-ray diffraction, optical profilometry, atomic force microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. Depositions carried out with dilute plating solutions (< 0.1 mM) at 28°C for 30 min produce epitaxial films exhibiting a prominent Au(111) peak in the diffraction patterns, while higher concentrations or temperatures, or longer durations yield polycrystalline films. In both epitaxial and polycrystalline growth regimes, the film thickness increases linearly with time, however, in the latter case, at a rate an order of magnitude higher. Interestingly, the surface roughness measured using atomic force microscopy shows a similar trend. On subjecting to annealing at 250°C, the roughness of the film decreases gradually. Addition of poly (vinylpyrrolidone) to the plating solution is shown to produce a X-ray amorphous film with nanoparticulates capped with the polymer as evidenced by the core-level photoelectron spectrum. Nanoindentation using AFM has shown the hardness of the films to be much higher (∼ 2.19 GPa) than the bulk value.

    • Polystyrene as a zwitter resist in electron beam lithography based electroless patterning of gold

      T Bhuvana G U Kulkarni

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      The resist action of polystyrene (𝑀w, 2,600,000) towards electroless deposition of gold on Si(100) surface following cross-linking by exposing to a 10 kV electron beam, has been investigated employing a scanning electron microscope equipped with electron beam lithography tool. With a low dose of electrons (21 𝜇C/cm2), the exposed regions inhibited the metal deposition from the plating solution due to cross-linking—typical of the negative resist behaviour of polystyrene, with metal depositing only on the developed Si surface. Upon increased electron dosage (160 𝜇C/cm2), however, Au deposition took place even in the exposed regions of the resist, thus turning it into a positive resist. Raman measurement revealed amorphous carbon present in the exposed region that promotes metal deposition. Further increase in dosage led successively to negative (220 𝜇C/cm2) and positive (13,500 𝜇C/cm2) resist states. The zwitter action of polystyrene resist has been exploited to create line gratings with pitch as low as 200 nm and gap electrodes down to 80 nm.

    • ZnO(101) films by pulsed reactive crossed-beam laser ablation

      S Angappane N R Selvi G U Kulkarni

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      We have employed pulsed reactive crossed-beam laser ablation (PRCLA) to deposit a (101) oriented ZnO film. In this method, a supersonic jet of oxygen pulse is made to cross the laser plume from a zinc metal target while being carried to the Si(111) substrate. The obtained deposit was nanocrystalline ZnO as confirmed by a host of characterization techniques. When the substrate was held at varying temperatures, from room temperature to 900°C, the crystallinity of the obtained films increased as expected, but importantly, the crystallographic orientation of the films was varied. High substrate temperatures produced the usual (001) oriented films, while lower substrate temperatures gave rise to increasingly (101) oriented films. The substrate held at room temperature contained only the (101) orientation. The film morphology also varied with the substrate temperature, from being nanoparticulate to rod-like deposits for higher deposition temperatures. Surprisingly, the (101) orientation showed reactivity with acetone forming carbonaceous nanostructures on the surface.

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