Tutorial Sessions

The 2014 MRS Spring Meeting featured 11 tutorials covering a variety of topics to complement the scientific sessions.

The following tutorials were offered at this meeting:

Tutorial A

Thin-Film Silicon and Related Materials for Solar Cells and Displays
Monday, April 21, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Moscone West, Level 2, Room 2002

Eric A. Schiff, Syracuse University
Stefaan De Wolf, EPFL, Switzerland

Silicon and related thin films are applied widely in solar cells and backplane electronics of liquid crystal displays. This tutorial introduced the preparation methods, the materials properties, and the device engineering. While the emphasis was on silicon-related thin films, the fundamentals apply to other thin-film materials as well. Important chemical vapor deposition (CVD) techniques, including RF and VHF plasma-enhanced (PE), and hot-wire (HW) or Cat CVD, were surveyed. The techniques produce useful films ranging in structure from amorphous to nanocrystalline to polycrystalline, with highly variable chemical compositions including germanium alloys, carbides, nitrides and oxides. The tutorial covered the optical, electronic and dielectric properties of the films, and the applications of these properties in devices, including thin-film transistors for display, thin-film solar cells and heterojunction solar cells based on crystalline silicon. A special emphasis was placed on ultrahigh efficiency c-Si cell designs and the role and properties of thin-film passivation layers (such as nitride, alumina, a-Si:H). In this context, silicon heterojunction cells were presented in detail. An overview of light-trapping architectures for solar cells was introduced, including speculative architectures based on nanostructures and plasmonics.

Tutorial E/H

Defect Prediction and Measurement Techniques for Solar Energy Materials
Monday, April 21, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Moscone West, Level 2, Room 2003  

Anderson Janotti,  University of California, Santa Barbara
Matthew McCluskey
, Washington State University

The tutorial provided a rich framework for understanding, predicting, and measuring defects in semiconductors in order to give the researcher a strong foundation for conducting in-depth defect science.

9-11:30 a.m.

The morning session covered theoretical models for predicting defect outcomes, including which defects will form in materials, in what quantities, and whether they contribute deep or shallow energy levels. Anderson Janotti, an expert in theoretical defect prediction algorithms, led the theoretical component of the tutorial.  

Noon-1:30 p.m. Lunch
1:30-4 p.m.

The afternoon session covered methods for probing the defect properties of experimentally fabricated materials. Matthew McCluskey is an expert experimentalist with extensive knowledge of characterization methods; he presented the measurement component.

Both sessions covered multiple techniques, as well as ways to select the most applicable techniques.

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Tutorial N/O

Interfacial Reactions in Lithium-air Batteries and on Lithium Metal Surfaces 
Monday, April 21, 8-11:30 a.m.
Moscone West, Level 2, Room 2006

Bryan McCloskey, University of California, Berkeley
Jason Zhang, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

The tutorial covered the chemical and electrochemical reactions initiating on the interfaces between the electrode and the electrolyte by using Li-O2 system and lithium metal anode as platforms. With an effort to explore next-generation energy storage and conversion techniques, systems such as Li-O2 batteries or using pure lithium metal anode have attracted extensive interests because of their greatly improved energy density. However, many challenges exist in these beyond Li-ion battery systems, one of which is how to understand and control the interfacial reactions initiating on the electrode surfaces in the presence of various electrolytes and/or additives.

The tutorial was structured in two parts. In the first segment, presented by Bryan McCloskey, the fundamentals in Li-air batteries were discussed, including air chemistry/electrochemistry and advanced characterizations of electrochemical processes occurring in Li-O2 batteries. The second part, presented by Jason Zhang, focused on the challenges and opportunities of using lithium metal anode in the high-energy rechargeable lithium batteries. The formation mechanism of lithium metal dendrite, the approaches to inhibit the dendrite growth, and the factors that affect the microstructure evolution and Coulombic efficiency of lithium metal anode were discussed.

Tutorial BB

Device Materials for End-of-Roadmap Devices in Logic and Memory
Monday, April 21, 1:30-5 p.m.
Moscone West, Level 2, Room 2001

Robert Wallace, University of Texas at Dallas
Hyunsang Hwang, Postech, Korea

Microelectronics is developing at a rapid pace as dictated by Moore's law of scaling. This has led to the introduction of high-K oxides in the gate stack, and will likely lead to the replacement of Si by InGaAs or Ge high mobility semiconductors as the channels. It is also leading to the development of new nonvolatile memory concepts such as Resistive Random Access Memories (RRAM) to continue the performance already reached by Flash memories. Nonvolatile memory has become critically important for mobile applications.

1:30-3 p.m. 
Optimization of the III-V oxide interface of III-V MOSFETs
Robert Wallace

This segment reviewed the status of our knowledge of the interfaces of III-V semiconductors and gate oxides, as revealed from in-situ XPS measurements in conjunction with CV measurements. A wide range of III-Vs were considered, from GaAs and InGaAs, to InP and GaSb. Particular attention was paid to passivation of defects, and also to the location of the defects, whether they are in the oxide or at the interface with more semiconducting character.

3 p.m. Break

3:30-5 p.m. 
High-k Oxides for Resistive Random Access Memories

Flash is currently the dominant form of electrical non-volatile memory, and its market size has increased dramatically in recent years because of the large use of mobile electronic devices such as smart phones and tablet computers. However, the continued scaling of Flash memory may not remain dominant. Alternative memory technologies are sought, and Resistive Random Access Memory (RRAM) is a leading candidate. This segment of the tutorial reviewed the use of HfO 2 thin films in RRAM, the storage mechanism, its modeling, and device structures. The mechanism involves a conductive filament across the film. The development of selector devices for crossbar memory structures was covered.

Tutorial HH

Phase-Change Materials—From Basic Properties to Applications
Monday, April 21, 8:45 a.m.-2:45 p.m.
Moscone West, Level 2, Room 2004

Simone Raoux, Helmholtz Center Berlin for Energy and Materials, Germany
Marco Bernasconi, University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy
Bryan L. Jackson, Almaden Research Center

8:45 a.m.-10 a.m. 
Simone Raoux

Part I reviewed the unique physical properties of phase-change material and demonstrated how materials engineering can be used for optimization in view of different applications. It focused on the materials optimization for various solid-state memory applications such as storage-class memory or DRAM replacement. A short introduction to neuromorphic computing was given.

10 a.m. Break

10:30 a.m.-noon
Marco Bernasconi

Part II provided coverage of theoretical simulations on the structural and functional properties of phase-change materials. Insight gained from atomistic simulations on the chemical bonding, on the origin of the optical and electronic contrast between the amorphous and crystalline phases and on the crystallization dynamics, exploited in memory devices, was reviewed. Basics of glass formation and crystallization kinetics were briefly discussed. The emphasis was placed mostly, but not exclusively, on molecular dynamics simulations-based on density functional theory.

Noon-1:30 Lunch

1:30-2:45 p.m.
Bryan L. Jackson

Part III provided an introduction to reconfigurable electronics and cognitive applications-biology-inspired/neuromorphic devices. Neuromorphic engineering is a highly cross-disciplinary emerging field aiming at the design of artificial neural systems. The effort of developing cognitive systems on top of a neuromorphic computing architecture takes inspiration from biology, physics, mathematics, computer science and engineering. A state-of-the-art technology review was given.

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Tutorial RR

Fundamentals, State of the Art, and Recent Trends of Chemical Solution Deposition of Functional Oxide Thin Films
Monday, April 21, 1:30-5 p.m.
Moscone West, Level 2, Room 2011

Theodor Schneller, RWTH Aachen University, Germany

The tutorial covered the entire spectrum of CSD technology for the fabrication of functional metal-oxide thin films. It covered precursor solution chemistry, deposition techniques, processing and crystallization, and functions and applications.

In the first segment, the major prerequisites of precursor systems (metal alkoxides, metal carboxylates, mixed metallo-organic precursors, single source precursors) for CSD were explained. Standard strategies for the preparation of precursor solutions comprising sol-gel-, hybrid -, and MOD approaches are complemented by water-based solutions and polymer-based precursors. In addition, those analytical methods used for the characterization of the solutions and intermediate stages between solutions and films were also briefly covered here. The second part dealt with general routes and requirements for the film deposition. A comparison of the main techniques (spin-, spray-, dip coating) will be presented. Advanced techniques such as inkjet printing allowing for simultaneous patterning of the deposited films will complete the presentation. The third segment comprises the stages from the wet, as-deposited coating to the designated functional solid-oxide film enclosing thermodynamic aspects and the control of the microstructure (fine-crystalline, columnar, epitaxial, nanocomposite). The last part will summarize the different application areas of functional oxide thin films. It will focus on those applications which are suitable for CSD, such as piezoelectric MEMS, coated conductors, transparent conducting oxides, etc.

Tutorial SS

Fundamentals of Nonclassical Crystallization 
Monday, April 21, 1:30-5 p.m.
Moscone West, Level 2, Room 2009

Caue Ribeiro
, Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa)
R. Lee Penn, University of Minnesota

Part I
Caue Ribeiro  

The basic concepts of nonclassical crystal growth and mesocrystal formation were presented. Introductory topics, such as the thermodynamics of the crystal surface, crystallographic alignment, the role of crystalline defects (twinning, discordances), spontaneous particle alignment, and oriented attachment were covered. Aspects about kinetic models to describe non-classical crystal growth were reviewed.

Part II
R. Lee Penn  

The fundamental techniques for detecting and characterizing nonclassical crystallization and crystal growth events were covered. The application of transmission electron microscopy (TEM), especially cryo-TEM, high-resolution TEM, and fluid cell TEM, were emphasized. Correlative techniques, such as X-ray diffraction and scattering, as well as spectroscopic methods, were covered in order to support scholars in research planning.

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Tutorial WW

An Introduction to Materials Simulations
Monday, April 21, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
Moscone West, Level 2, Room 2000


Jeffrey Rickman, Lehigh University
Marco Buongiorno Nardelli, University of North Texas
David Prendergast, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Nicola Marzari, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, Switzerland  

The aim of the tutorial was to provide a foundation for sectors in the materials community with an interest in nucleating a computational effort in the spirit of materials genomics. To this end, a program encompassing fundamentals around computation tools, as well as discussion on experimental design and database construction, wasnecessary to adapt to the comprehensive research effort posed by current materials modeling and predictive trends. In this new scheme, predictive modeling will further populate the main scene in materials science. A habitual practice in adjacent fields such as theoretical physics, the mathematical prediction of new materials (along with their functionalities) will bear a profound impact in materials research, the extent of which is still uncertain. Adequate deployment of computational resources requires a foundational discussion aiming at predictive modeling, where perturbation potentials (key to, among others, structure-property relations) are introduced. A review of available computational resources were provided.

The tutorial concluded with a panel discussion.

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Tutorial YY

Recognizing and Addressing "Big Data" Problems 
Monday, April 21, 1:30-5 p.m.
Moscone West, Level 2, Room 2005

David Gene Morgan, Indiana University
Peter Wang, Continuum Analytics

The tutorial focused on recognizing problems that are addressable by "big data" approaches, and how to access knowledge and resources to accomplish such approaches.

David Morgan introduced the ways in which microscopists generally encounter "big data," and briefly discuss what must be done differently to handle such data.  Most importantly, he discussed how to recognize when your project can benefit from these different approaches.

Peter Wang followed with an in-depth discussion of data management techniques using Python, and provided practical examples of addressing the concerns that were identified in the first segment. 

The tutorial concluded with a panel discussion of available resources for accomplishing "big data" analyses: where to find computing resources, who to talk to, and how to express your need in terms that allow computer scientists to provide the best assistance.

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Tutorial AAA

Application of In-situ  X-ray Absorption, Emission and Powder Diffraction Studies in Nanomaterials Research—From the Design of an In-situ Experiment to Data Analysis  
Monday, April 21, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
Moscone West, Level 2, Room 2010

Matthias Bauer, Universität Paderborn, Germany
Kirsten Marie Ørnsbjerg Jensen, Columbia University

Part I
In-situ  X-ray Absorption and Emission Spectroscopy

Basics of X-ray Absorption (XAS) and Emission (XES) Spectroscopy
XAS/XES Data Reduction and Analysis
In-situ  XAS/XES Experimental Set-ups
In-situ  XAS/XES in Simultaneous Combination with Complementary Techniques

Part II  
In-situ  X-ray Diffractions

Basics of X-ray Diffraction and Powder X-ray Diffraction (PXRD) Experiments
In situ  Synchrotron PXRD Experiments and Setups
PXRD Data Analysis
Total Scattering and Pair Distribution Function (PDF) Analysis for in situ Studies

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Tutorial FFF

Safety First—Enhancing Safety in Academic Research Laboratories
Monday, April 21, 12:30-5 p.m.
Moscone West, Level 2, Room 2012 

Katherine R. Hurley, University of Minnesota
Elizabeth R. Kupp, The Pennsylvania State University
Alessandro F. Moretto, University of California, Santa Barbara
Lori Seiler, Dow Chemical Company
Amber Rose, Occupational Safety and Health Administration
David Shiraishi
, Occupational Safety and Health Administration

The most compelling reason for ensuring that proper safety practices are followed in academic laboratory settings is, of course, that the health and well-being of the researchers is of paramount importance. As such, it is in the best interests of Principal Investigators (PIs), health and safety personnel and school administrators to provide a safe laboratory environment and the researchers themselves to know and follow proper safety protocols to minimize the potential for laboratory accidents leading to injury or even death.

Other incentives for awareness and enforcement of safe lab practices include increasing government oversight from OSHA and the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board following a series of laboratory accidents resulting in serious injuries and/or deaths at universities across the U.S. In addition, the companies, government laboratories and universities that will hire students after graduation will require them to follow strict safety protocols. Knowing and having used correct safety protocols throughout their academic laboratory experiences enhances the students' marketability to these employers. A relatively high percentage of reportable safety infractions involve new hires in their first few years working in an industrial setting because these protocols are not ingrained in their minds and laboratory habits during their years in school.

In 2012, Dow Chemical Company embarked on a pilot-scale initiative to enhance the safety culture in materials science and engineering, chemistry and chemical engineering departments at three universities with which they have strategic alliances. This intense program involved visits by Dow personnel to the universities and students, visits by faculty and staff from the universities to Dow for a safety workshop, as well as a series of teleconferences on building an effective safety culture. While each department began at a different safe practices baseline, each came away with concrete steps to take to improve their safety culture. Dow is using feedback from each school to develop safety modules and resources, including short videos, that will be rolled out initially to all the schools in their strategic alliance network and, eventually, nationwide.

This tutorial was valuable to students and faculty involved in laboratory research at academic institutions of any size. It provided an interactive forum for discussing the positive effect of the Dow initiative at the three universities (Pennsylvania State University, University of Minnesota and University of California, Santa Barbara) on the safety cultures at these schools.

Tutorial participants were provided with resources and strategies to accomplish an enhanced safety culture at their own institutions and learned ways to effectively initiate or enhance an effective safety culture by communicating, incentivizing and positively enforcing safety initiatives.

Outline and Timeline

Part I 

Brief presentations by Lori Seiler, Katie Hurley, Alex Moretto and Libby Kupp on the Dow-University pilot safety program initiative and the safety journey experiences at each institution.

Part II  

Presentation and discussion with OSHA representatives: Amber Rose, Industrial Hygienist, and David Shiraishi, Area Director, Oakland Area OSHA Office, about the changes in safety regulations and oversight at universities as a result of several fatal and severe injury laboratory accidents.

Part III

Breakout Session Topics:

  • Hazard assessment
  • Priority issues and potential actions—what works, what doesn't
  • Creating a sustainable safety culture—achieving buy-in by PIs and other administrative personnel and researchers using personalization
  • Developing standard operating procedures
  • Utilizing safety resources—online and EHS groups/personnel
  • Effective communication

Part IV

Summary of breakout session ideas/discussions and panel discussion

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