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Materials, Volume 11, Issue 3 (March 2018)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Complex plasmonic nanocomposites have a great potential in a wide range of applications ranging [...] Read more.
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview Metal-Insulator-Metal-Based Plasmonic Metamaterial Absorbers at Visible and Infrared Wavelengths: A Review
Materials 2018, 11(3), 458; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11030458
Received: 23 February 2018 / Revised: 16 March 2018 / Accepted: 17 March 2018 / Published: 20 March 2018
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Abstract
Electromagnetic wave absorbers have been investigated for many years with the aim of achieving high absorbance and tunability of both the absorption wavelength and the operation mode by geometrical control, small and thin absorber volume, and simple fabrication. There is particular interest in
[...] Read more.
Electromagnetic wave absorbers have been investigated for many years with the aim of achieving high absorbance and tunability of both the absorption wavelength and the operation mode by geometrical control, small and thin absorber volume, and simple fabrication. There is particular interest in metal-insulator-metal-based plasmonic metamaterial absorbers (MIM-PMAs) due to their complete fulfillment of these demands. MIM-PMAs consist of top periodic micropatches, a middle dielectric layer, and a bottom reflector layer to generate strong localized surface plasmon resonance at absorption wavelengths. In particular, in the visible and infrared (IR) wavelength regions, a wide range of applications is expected, such as solar cells, refractive index sensors, optical camouflage, cloaking, optical switches, color pixels, thermal IR sensors, IR microscopy and gas sensing. The promising properties of MIM-PMAs are attributed to the simple plasmonic resonance localized at the top micropatch resonators formed by the MIMs. Here, various types of MIM-PMAs are reviewed in terms of their historical background, basic physics, operation mode design, and future challenges to clarify their underlying basic design principles and introduce various applications. The principles presented in this review paper can be applied to other wavelength regions such as the ultraviolet, terahertz, and microwave regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Horizon of Plasmonics and Metamaterials)
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Open AccessArticle Evaluation of Fracture Strength of Ceramics Containing Small Surface Defects Introduced by Focused Ion Beam
Materials 2018, 11(3), 457; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11030457
Received: 9 February 2018 / Revised: 13 March 2018 / Accepted: 19 March 2018 / Published: 20 March 2018
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Abstract
The aim of this study was to clarify the effects of micro surface defects introduced by the focused ion beam (FIB) technique on the fracture strength of ceramics. Three-point bending tests on alumina-silicon carbide (Al2O3/SiC) ceramic composites containing crack-like
[...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to clarify the effects of micro surface defects introduced by the focused ion beam (FIB) technique on the fracture strength of ceramics. Three-point bending tests on alumina-silicon carbide (Al2O3/SiC) ceramic composites containing crack-like surface defects introduced by FIB were carried out. A surface defect with a r e a in the range 19 to 35 µm was introduced at the center of each specimen. Test results showed that the fracture strengths of the FIB-defect specimens depended on a r e a . The test results were evaluated using the evaluation equation of fracture strength based on the process zone size failure criterion and the a r e a parameter model. The experimental results indicate that FIB-induced defects can be used as small initial cracks for the fracture strength evaluation of ceramics. Moreover, the proposed equation was useful for the fracture strength evaluation of ceramics containing micro surface defects introduced by FIB. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Structure Analysis and Characterization)
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Open AccessArticle Study on Microstructure and Mechanical Properties of Hypereutectic Al–18Si Alloy Modified with Al–3B
Materials 2018, 11(3), 456; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11030456
Received: 8 February 2018 / Revised: 14 March 2018 / Accepted: 18 March 2018 / Published: 20 March 2018
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Abstract
An hypereutectic Al–18Si alloy was modified via an Al–3B master alloy. The effect of the added Al–3B and the modification temperature on the microstructure, tensile fracture morphologies, and mechanical properties of the alloy were investigated using an optical microscope, Image–Pro Plus 6.0, a
[...] Read more.
An hypereutectic Al–18Si alloy was modified via an Al–3B master alloy. The effect of the added Al–3B and the modification temperature on the microstructure, tensile fracture morphologies, and mechanical properties of the alloy were investigated using an optical microscope, Image–Pro Plus 6.0, a scanning electron microscope, and a universal testing machine. The results show that the size of the primary Si and its fraction decreased at first, and then increased as an additional amount of Al–3B was added. When the added Al–3B reached 0.2 wt %, the fraction of the primary Si in the Al–18Si alloy decreased with an increase in temperature. Compared with the unmodified Al–18Si alloy, the tensile strength and elongation of the alloy modified at 850 °C with 0.2 wt % Al–3B increased by 25% and 81%, respectively. The tensile fracture of the modified Al–18Si alloy exhibited partial ductile fracture characteristics, but there were more areas with ductile characteristics compared with that of the unmodified Al–18Si alloy. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Fabrication and Characteristics of Sintered Cutting Stainless Steel Fiber Felt with Internal Channels and an Al2O3 Coating
Materials 2018, 11(3), 455; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11030455
Received: 19 January 2018 / Revised: 27 February 2018 / Accepted: 14 March 2018 / Published: 20 March 2018
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Abstract
A novel sintered cutting stainless steel fiber felt with internal channels (SCSSFFC) composed of a stainless-steel fiber skeleton, three-dimensional interconnected porous structure and multiple circular microchannels is developed. SCSSFFC has a jagged and rough surface morphology and possesses a high specific surface area,
[...] Read more.
A novel sintered cutting stainless steel fiber felt with internal channels (SCSSFFC) composed of a stainless-steel fiber skeleton, three-dimensional interconnected porous structure and multiple circular microchannels is developed. SCSSFFC has a jagged and rough surface morphology and possesses a high specific surface area, which is approximately 2.4 times larger than that of the sintered bundle-drawing stainless steel fiber felt with internal channels (SBDSSFFC) and is expected to enhance adhesive strength. The sol-gel and wet impregnation methods are adopted to prepare SCSSFFC with an Al2O3 coating (SCSSFFC/Al2O3). The adhesive strength of SCSSFFC/Al2O3 is investigated using ultrasonic vibration and thermal shock tests. The experimental results indicate that the weight loss rate of the Al2O3 coating has a 4.2% and 8.42% reduction compared with those of SBDSSFFCs based on ultrasonic vibration and thermal shock tests. In addition, the permeability of SCSSFFC/Al2O3 is investigated based on forced liquid flow tests. The experimental results show that the permeability and inertial coefficients of SCSSFFC/Al2O3 are mainly affected by the coating rate, porosity and open ratio; however, the internal microchannel diameter has little influence. It is also found that SCSSFFC/Al2O3 yields superior permeability, as well as inertial coefficients compared with those of other porous materials reported in the literature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Porous Materials)
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Open AccessArticle 3D Printability of Alginate-Carboxymethyl Cellulose Hydrogel
Materials 2018, 11(3), 454; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11030454
Received: 3 February 2018 / Revised: 7 March 2018 / Accepted: 8 March 2018 / Published: 20 March 2018
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Abstract
Three-dimensional (3D) bio-printing is a revolutionary technology to reproduce a 3D functional living tissue scaffold in-vitro through controlled layer-by-layer deposition of biomaterials along with high precision positioning of cells. Due to its bio-compatibility, natural hydrogels are commonly considered as the scaffold material. However,
[...] Read more.
Three-dimensional (3D) bio-printing is a revolutionary technology to reproduce a 3D functional living tissue scaffold in-vitro through controlled layer-by-layer deposition of biomaterials along with high precision positioning of cells. Due to its bio-compatibility, natural hydrogels are commonly considered as the scaffold material. However, the mechanical integrity of a hydrogel material, especially in 3D scaffold architecture, is an issue. In this research, a novel hybrid hydrogel, that is, sodium alginate with carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) is developed and systematic quantitative characterization tests are conducted to validate its printability, shape fidelity and cell viability. The outcome of the rheological and mechanical test, filament collapse and fusion test demonstrate the favorable shape fidelity. Three-dimensional scaffold structures are fabricated with the pancreatic cancer cell, BxPC3 and the 86% cell viability is recorded after 23 days. This hybrid hydrogel can be a potential biomaterial in 3D bioprinting process and the outlined characterization techniques open an avenue directing reproducible printability and shape fidelity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue NextGen Materials for 3D Printing)
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Open AccessArticle Wastes as Aggregates, Binders or Additions in Mortars: Selecting Their Role Based on Characterization
Materials 2018, 11(3), 453; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11030453
Received: 21 February 2018 / Revised: 10 March 2018 / Accepted: 14 March 2018 / Published: 20 March 2018
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Abstract
The production of waste has increased over the years and, lacking a recycle or recovery solution, it is forwarded to landfill. The incorporation of wastes in cement-based materials is a solution to reduce waste deposition. In this regard, some researchers have been studying
[...] Read more.
The production of waste has increased over the years and, lacking a recycle or recovery solution, it is forwarded to landfill. The incorporation of wastes in cement-based materials is a solution to reduce waste deposition. In this regard, some researchers have been studying the incorporation of wastes with different functions: aggregate, binder and addition. The incorporation of wastes should take advantage of their characteristics. It requires a judicious analysis of their particles. This research involves the analysis of seven industrial wastes: biomass ashes, glass fibre, reinforced polymer dust, sanitary ware, fluid catalytic cracking, acrylic fibre, textile fibre and glass fibre. The main characteristics and advantages of each waste are enunciated and the best type of introduction in mortars is discussed. The characterization of the wastes as particles is necessary to identify the most suitable incorporation in mortars. In this research, some wastes are studied with a view to their re-use or recycling in mortars. Thus, this research focuses on the chemical, physical and mechanical characterization of industrial wastes and identification of the potentially most advantageous type of incorporation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Gradient Nanostructured Tantalum by Thermal-Mechanical Ultrasonic Impact Energy
Materials 2018, 11(3), 452; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11030452
Received: 8 March 2018 / Revised: 15 March 2018 / Accepted: 19 March 2018 / Published: 20 March 2018
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Abstract
Microstructural evolution and wear performance of Tantalum (Ta) treated by ultrasonic nanocrystalline surface modification (UNSM) at 25 and 1000 °C were reported. The UNSM treatment modified a surface along with subsurface layer with a thickness in the range of 20 to 150 µm,
[...] Read more.
Microstructural evolution and wear performance of Tantalum (Ta) treated by ultrasonic nanocrystalline surface modification (UNSM) at 25 and 1000 °C were reported. The UNSM treatment modified a surface along with subsurface layer with a thickness in the range of 20 to 150 µm, which depends on the UNSM treatment temperature, via the surface severe plastic deformation (S2PD) method. The cross-sectional microstructure of the specimens was observed by electron backscattered diffraction (EBSD) in order to confirm the microstructural alteration in terms of effective depth and refined grain size. The surface hardness measurement results, including depth profile, revealed that the hardness of the UNSM-treated specimens at both temperatures was increased in comparison with those of the untreated ones. The increase in UNSM treatment temperature led to a further increase in hardness. Moreover, both the UNSM-treated specimens with an increased hardness resulted in a higher resistance to wear in comparison with those of the untreated ones under dry conditions. The increase in hardness and induced compressive residual stress that depend on the formation of severe plastically deformed layer with the refined nano-grains are responsible for the enhancement in wear resistance. The findings of this study may be implemented in response to various industries that are related to strength improvement and wear enhancement issues of Ta. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Surface Modification to Improve Properties of Materials)
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Open AccessArticle The Effect of Poly (Glycerol Sebacate) Incorporation within Hybrid Chitin–Lignin Sol–Gel Nanofibrous Scaffolds
Materials 2018, 11(3), 451; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11030451
Received: 13 February 2018 / Revised: 16 March 2018 / Accepted: 16 March 2018 / Published: 19 March 2018
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Abstract
Chitin and lignin primarily accumulate as bio-waste resulting from byproducts of crustacean crusts and plant biomass. Recently, their use has been proposed for diverse and unique bioengineering applications, amongst others. However, their weak mechanical properties need to be improved in order to facilitate
[...] Read more.
Chitin and lignin primarily accumulate as bio-waste resulting from byproducts of crustacean crusts and plant biomass. Recently, their use has been proposed for diverse and unique bioengineering applications, amongst others. However, their weak mechanical properties need to be improved in order to facilitate their industrial utilization. In this paper, we fabricated hybrid fibers composed of a chitin–lignin (CL)-based sol–gel mixture and elastomeric poly (glycerol sebacate) (PGS) using a standard electrospinning approach. Obtained results showed that PGS could be coherently blended with the sol–gel mixture to form a nanofibrous scaffold exhibiting remarkable mechanical performance and improved antibacterial and antifungal activity. The developed hybrid fibers showed promising potential in advanced biomedical applications such as wound care products. Ultimately, recycling these sustainable biopolymers and other bio-wastes alike could propel a “greener” economy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Materials for Medical Applications)
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Open AccessArticle The Preparation of TiO2 Film by the Sol-Gel Method and Evaluation of Its Self-Cleaning Property
Materials 2018, 11(3), 450; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11030450
Received: 5 December 2017 / Revised: 9 March 2018 / Accepted: 12 March 2018 / Published: 19 March 2018
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Abstract
TiO2 sol was produced by the sol-gel method through the hydrolysis and the aging of tetrabutyl titanate and the TiO2 film was obtained by dipping and uniform lifting of the acid-treated and ultrasound-treated clean glass slides into the TiO2 sol
[...] Read more.
TiO2 sol was produced by the sol-gel method through the hydrolysis and the aging of tetrabutyl titanate and the TiO2 film was obtained by dipping and uniform lifting of the acid-treated and ultrasound-treated clean glass slides into the TiO2 sol followed by aging, drying, and calcination. The effect of the hydrolysis control agents to the formed sol was researched and the crystalline state, the morphology, and the photocatalytic properties of the products after calcination were characterized. The structural morphology, the contact angles before and after illumination, and the self-cleaning properties of the TiO2 film were characterized as well. The results showed that by using acetylacetone as the hydrolysis control agent, the formed TiO2 sol had relatively high stability. The product after the calcination of the TiO2 sol was of single anatase type with crystalline size of 18–20 nm and it could degrade nearly 100% of methylene blue after 90 min illumination. The formed TiO2 film is compact, continuous, smooth, and had the properties of super-hydrophilicity (after 30 min illumination due to its contact angle decreasing from 21° to nearly 0°) and anti-fogging capability, which indicated its excellent self-cleaning property. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photocatalytic Materials for Energy and Environmental Applications)
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Open AccessArticle Electronic, Optical, and Lattice Dynamical Properties of Tetracalcium Trialuminate (Ca4Al6O13)
Materials 2018, 11(3), 449; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11030449
Received: 20 February 2018 / Revised: 11 March 2018 / Accepted: 13 March 2018 / Published: 19 March 2018
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Abstract
The electronic, optical, and lattice dynamical properties of tetracalcium trialuminate (Ca4Al6O13) with a special sodalite cage structure were calculated based on the density functional theory. Theoretical results show that Ca4Al6O13 is ductile
[...] Read more.
The electronic, optical, and lattice dynamical properties of tetracalcium trialuminate (Ca4Al6O13) with a special sodalite cage structure were calculated based on the density functional theory. Theoretical results show that Ca4Al6O13 is ductile and weakly anisotropic. The calculated Young’s modulus and Poisson ratio are 34.18 GPa and 0.32, respectively. Ca4Al6O13 is an indirect-gap semiconductor with a band gap of 5.41 eV. The top of the valence band derives from O 2p states, and the bottom of conduction band consists of Ca 3d states. Transitions from O 2p, 2s states to empty Ca 4s, 3d and Al 3s, 3p states constitute the major peaks of the imaginary part of the dielectric function. Ca4Al6O13 is a good UV absorber for photoelectric devices due to the high absorption coefficient and low reflectivity. The lattice vibration analysis reveals that O atoms contribute to the high-frequency portions of the phonon spectra, while Ca and Al atoms make important contributions to the middle- and low-frequency portions. At the center of the first Brillouin zone, lattice vibrations include the Raman active modes (E, A1), infrared active mode (T2), and silentmodes (T1, A2). Typical atomic displacement patterns were also investigated to understand the vibration modes more intuitively. Full article
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Open AccessReview Overview of Piezoelectric Biosensors, Immunosensors and DNA Sensors and Their Applications
Materials 2018, 11(3), 448; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11030448
Received: 12 March 2018 / Revised: 16 March 2018 / Accepted: 18 March 2018 / Published: 19 March 2018
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Abstract
Piezoelectric biosensors are a group of analytical devices working on a principle of affinity interaction recording. A piezoelectric platform or piezoelectric crystal is a sensor part working on the principle of oscillations change due to a mass bound on the piezoelectric crystal surface.
[...] Read more.
Piezoelectric biosensors are a group of analytical devices working on a principle of affinity interaction recording. A piezoelectric platform or piezoelectric crystal is a sensor part working on the principle of oscillations change due to a mass bound on the piezoelectric crystal surface. In this review, biosensors having their surface modified with an antibody or antigen, with a molecularly imprinted polymer, with genetic information like single stranded DNA, and biosensors with bound receptors of organic of biochemical origin, are presented and discussed. The mentioned recognition parts are frequently combined with use of nanoparticles and applications in this way are also introduced. An overview of the current literature is given and the methods presented are commented upon. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Piezoelectric Materials and Devices)
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Open AccessArticle Bismuth Oxysulfide and Its Polymer Nanocomposites for Efficient Purification
Materials 2018, 11(3), 447; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11030447
Received: 6 February 2018 / Revised: 9 March 2018 / Accepted: 12 March 2018 / Published: 19 March 2018
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Abstract
The danger of toxic organic pollutants in both aquatic and air environments calls for high-efficiency purification material. Herein, layered bismuth copper oxychalcogenides, BiCuSO, nanosheets of high photocatalytic activity were introduced to the PVDF (Polyvinylidene Fluoride). The fibrous membranes provide an easy, efficient, and
[...] Read more.
The danger of toxic organic pollutants in both aquatic and air environments calls for high-efficiency purification material. Herein, layered bismuth copper oxychalcogenides, BiCuSO, nanosheets of high photocatalytic activity were introduced to the PVDF (Polyvinylidene Fluoride). The fibrous membranes provide an easy, efficient, and recyclable way to purify organic pollutant. The physical and photophysical properties of the BiCuSO and its polymer composite were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), ultraviolet-visible diffuse reflection spectroscopy (DRS), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), electron spin resonance (EPR). Photocatalysis of Congo Red reveals that the BiCuSO/PVDF shows a superior photocatalytic activity of a 55% degradation rate in 70 min at visible light. The high photocatalytic activity is attributed to the exposed active {101} facets and the triple vacant associates V B i V O V B i . By engineering the intrinsic defects on the surface of bismuth oxysulfide, high solar-driven photocatalytic activity can be approached. The successful fabrication of the bismuth oxysulfide and its polymer nanocomposites provides an easy and general approach for high-performance purification materials for various applications. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Facile Fabrication of Cu2O Nanobelts in Ethanol on Nanoporous Cu and Their Photodegradation of Methyl Orange
Materials 2018, 11(3), 446; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11030446
Received: 6 January 2018 / Revised: 15 March 2018 / Accepted: 15 March 2018 / Published: 19 March 2018
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Abstract
Thin cupric oxide (Cu2O) nanobelts with width of few tens of nanometers to few hundreds of nanometers were fabricated in anhydrous ethanol on nanoporous copper templates that was prepared via dealloying amorphous Ti40Cu60 ribbons in hydrofluoric acid solutions
[...] Read more.
Thin cupric oxide (Cu2O) nanobelts with width of few tens of nanometers to few hundreds of nanometers were fabricated in anhydrous ethanol on nanoporous copper templates that was prepared via dealloying amorphous Ti40Cu60 ribbons in hydrofluoric acid solutions at 348 K. The Cu2O octahedral particles preferentially form in the water, and nanobelts readily undergo the growth along the lengthwise and widthwise in the anhydrous ethanol. The ethanol molecules serve as stabilizing or capping reagents, and play a key role of the formation of two-dimensional Cu2O nanobelts. Cu atoms at weak sites (i.e., twin boundary) on the nanoporous Cu ligaments are ionized to form Cu2+ cations, and then react with OH to form Cu2O and H2O. The two-dimensional growth of Cu2O nanostructure is preferred in anhydrous ethanol due to the suppression of random growth of Cu2O nanoarchitectures by ethanol. Cu2O nanobelts have superior photodegradation performance of methyl orange, three times higher than nanoporous Cu. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Light Trapping with Silicon Light Funnel Arrays
Materials 2018, 11(3), 445; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11030445
Received: 5 February 2018 / Revised: 5 March 2018 / Accepted: 15 March 2018 / Published: 19 March 2018
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Abstract
Silicon light funnels are three-dimensional subwavelength structures in the shape of inverted cones with respect to the incoming illumination. Light funnel (LF) arrays can serve as efficient absorbing layers on account of their light trapping capabilities, which are associated with the presence of
[...] Read more.
Silicon light funnels are three-dimensional subwavelength structures in the shape of inverted cones with respect to the incoming illumination. Light funnel (LF) arrays can serve as efficient absorbing layers on account of their light trapping capabilities, which are associated with the presence of high-density complex Mie modes. Specifically, light funnel arrays exhibit broadband absorption enhancement of the solar spectrum. In the current study, we numerically explore the optical coupling between surface light funnel arrays and the underlying substrates. We show that the absorption in the LF array-substrate complex is higher than the absorption in LF arrays of the same height (~10% increase). This, we suggest, implies that a LF array serves as an efficient surface element that imparts additional momentum components to the impinging illumination, and hence optically excites the substrate by near-field light concentration, excitation of traveling guided modes in the substrate, and mode hybridization. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Laser Direct Metal Deposition of 2024 Al Alloy: Trace Geometry Prediction via Machine Learning
Materials 2018, 11(3), 444; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11030444
Received: 1 March 2018 / Revised: 13 March 2018 / Accepted: 18 March 2018 / Published: 19 March 2018
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Abstract
Laser direct metal deposition is an advanced additive manufacturing technology suitably applicable in maintenance, repair, and overhaul of high-cost products, allowing for minimal distortion of the workpiece, reduced heat affected zones, and superior surface quality. Special interest is growing for the repair and
[...] Read more.
Laser direct metal deposition is an advanced additive manufacturing technology suitably applicable in maintenance, repair, and overhaul of high-cost products, allowing for minimal distortion of the workpiece, reduced heat affected zones, and superior surface quality. Special interest is growing for the repair and coating of 2024 aluminum alloy parts, extensively utilized for a wide range of applications in the automotive, military, and aerospace sectors due to its excellent plasticity, corrosion resistance, electric conductivity, and strength-to-weight ratio. A critical issue in the laser direct metal deposition process is related to the geometrical parameters of the cross-section of the deposited metal trace that should be controlled to meet the part specifications. In this research, a machine learning approach based on artificial neural networks is developed to find the correlation between the laser metal deposition process parameters and the output geometrical parameters of the deposited metal trace produced by laser direct metal deposition on 5-mm-thick 2024 aluminum alloy plates. The results show that the neural network-based machine learning paradigm is able to accurately estimate the appropriate process parameters required to obtain a specified geometry for the deposited metal trace. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Manufacturing Processes and Systems)
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