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Manufacturing Engineering

Argonne maintains a wide-ranging science and technology portfolio that seeks to address complex challenges in interdisciplinary and innovative ways. Below is a list of all articles, highlights, profiles, projects, and organizations related specifically to manufacturing engineering.

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  • Process to make advanced power electronic devices with high permittivity and low dielectric loss
    Intellectual Property Available to License

    US Patent 9,679,705 B2
    • Method for fabrication of ceramic dielectric films on copper foils (IN-09-006B)

    The present invention provides copper substrate coated with a lead-lanthanum-zirconium-titanium (PLZT) ceramic film, which is prepared by a method comprising applying a layer of a sol-gel composition onto a copper foil. The sol-gel composition comprises a precursor of a ceramic material suspended in 2-methoxyethanol. The layer of sol-gel is then dried at a temperature up to about 250° C. The dried layer is then pyrolyzed at a temperature in the range of about 300 to about 450° C. to form a ceramic film from the ceramic precursor. The ceramic film is then crystallized at a temperature in the range of about 600 to about 750° C. The drying, pyrolyzing and crystallizing are performed under a flowing stream of an inert gas.

  • A method of fabricating nanofiber filter medium that allows for multiple uses of N95 facemasks and respirators with anti-bacterial function
    Intellectual Property Available to License

    Reusable filters for personal protective equipment (PPE) may prevent shortages of PPE and save fabrication time, resources, and money. Disclosed is a method and system for fabrication of nanofiber filter media for PPE. The method includes positioning a substrate to receive nanofibers thereon, providing a voltage gradient in a region of the substrate, and electrospinning nanofibers onto the substrate. The methods and associated systems allow autoclaving of the filter medium at temperatures of up to 300 degrees for sanitizing the filter medium. Additionally, the methods and associated system allow for the inclusion of an antipathogen agent in the nanofiber filter media.

  • Method for producing solar photovoltaic cells with improved photon conversion efficiency; reduction of photoelectron transport path via new heterojunction architecture, nanotube cell design
    Intellectual Property Available to License

    US Patent 8,258,398 B2
    • Heterojunction photovoltaic assembled with atomic layer deposition (IN-06-057)

    A heterojunction photovoltaic cell. The cell includes a nanoporous substrate, a transparent conducting oxide disposed on the nanoporous substrate, a nanolaminate film deposited on the nanoporous substrate surface, a sensitizer dye disposed on a wide band gap semiconducting oxide and a redox shuttle positioned within the layer structure.

  • Method to make tailored devices with interesting electrical optical properties for sensors, photonic devices or other electro-optical aplications
    Intellectual Property Available to License

    US Patent 10,164,188 B2
    • Polymer-hybrid electro-optic devices and method of fabricating polymer-hybrid electro-optic devices (IN-15-133)

    A polymer-hybrid electro-optic device is fabricated by providing a semiconductor substrate, depositing a metal electrode layer on the semiconductor substrate, depositing a dielectric barrier core layer within a gap of the metal electrode layer, patterning a polymer layer to cover the dielectric barrier core layer and partially covering the metal electrode layer, infiltrating the polymer layer with an inorganic component to form a hybrid oxide-polymer layer, and removing excess inorganic component from the semiconductor substrate and metal electrode layer.

  • Carbon-based materials as anti-friction and anti-wear additives for advanced lubrication purposes.
    Intellectual Property Available to License
    US Patent 9,441,178 and US Patent 8,648,019
    • Materials as Additives for Advanced Lubrication (IN-10-021 and IN-10-021B)

    The novel lubricants made of carbon-based particles suspended in a liquid hydrocarbon carrier, significantly lower friction and wear resulting in improved fuel economics and durability.

    The energy efficiency, durability, and environmental compatibility of all kinds of moving mechanical systems (including engines) are closely related to the effectiveness of the lubricants being used on their rolling, rotating, and sliding surfaces. Therefore, lubricants play a vital role in machine life, efficiency, and overall performance. Poor or inefficient lubrication always result in higher friction and severe wear losses, which can in turn adversely impact the performance and durability of mechanical systems. In particular, progressive wear due to inadequate lubrication is one of the most serious causes of component failure. Inadequate lubrication can also cause significant energy losses in the above-mentioned industrial systems mainly because of high friction. There is an ongoing need for new lubricant compositions that are environmentally friendly or benign, and which provide reduced friction and wear. The present invention addresses this need.

    The present invention relates to the design and development of novel carbon-based materials as anti-friction and anti-wear additives for advanced lubrication purposes. The carbon-based materials have various shapes, sizes, and structures and are synthesized by autogenic reactions under extreme conditions of high temperature and pressure. The materials of the invention are created typically by the dissociation of organic, organo-metallic or polymeric compounds, such as plastic waste in absence or presence of a catalyst in a closed, ventable reactor in which the pressure in the reactor is provided solely by vaporization of carbon-based precursors (i.e., autogenic pressure generation). The resulting carbon products are typically in the form of carbon nanotubes, fibers, spheres or clusters that can optionally contain elements such as B, Fe, Co, Ni, Mo, W, Ag, Au, Sn, Bi or their oxides, carbides, borides, nitrides and sulfides. Under severe tribological conditions, these carbon-based additives can improve lubrication properties without having a negative environmental impact. Specifically, the novel lubricants have the ability to significantly lower friction and wear, which can translate, for example, into improved fuel economies and longer durability of engines and mechanical devices.

    US Patent 9,441,178 Materials as additives for advanced lubrication
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    US Patent 8,648,019 Materials as additives for advanced lubrication
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    Pol, V.G. et al., Carbon Spherules: Synthesis, Properties and Mechanistic Elucidation, Carbon (2004) 42, 111-116.

  • An improved coating material possessing super-hard and low friction properties and a method for forming the same.
    Intellectual Property Available to License
    US Patent 7,211,323 B2
    • Hard and low friction nitride coatings and methods for forming the same (IN-01-107)

    The improved coating material includes the use of a noble metal or soft metal homogeneously distributed within a hard nitride material. The addition of small amounts of such metals into nitrides such as molybdenum nitride, titanium nitride, and chromium nitride results in as much as increasing of the hardness of the material as well as decreasing the friction coefficient and increasing the oxidation resistance.

    From a tribological standpoint, a combination of high mechanical hardness with low friction is always desired but seldom achieved in most sliding surfaces. With many conventional coatings, base steel sliding against itself gives friction coefficients of 0.12 to 0.16 even under the best lubrication conditions.

    An improved coating material is based on the use of a noble and soft metals such as Au, or a soft metal such as Cu, In, Sn, Sb, Ga and Bi, with hard nitrides, carbonitrides, and borides such as MoN, CrN, TiN, TiCN, TiB2 and ZrN. The addition of small amounts of these metals into MoN, CrN and TiN results in an increase of the hardness of the nitride coatings, in addition to improving the lubricity of these coatings. In particular, it has been found that concentrations of about 13 at % of the materials described herein provide for substantial increases in lubricity of the nitride coatings.