Authors: Taro Sumitomo, Han Huang, Libo Zhou
Addresses: School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4072, Australia. ' School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4072, Australia. ' School of Engineering, Ibaraki University, 4-12-1 Nakanarusawa-cho, Hitachi, Ibaraki 316-8511, Japan
Abstract: As modern electronic devices become smaller, they are increasingly making use of thin film multi-scale structures consisting of nano-layers with very different material properties. This makes their mechanical behaviour at very small scales important in terms of machining. In this study, the deformation and removal characteristics of cross-sections of amorphous Si thin film solar panels were investigated at macro-, micro- and nano-scales using grinding, polishing and nanoscratching. Optical, electron, and atomic force microscopy were used to study the resulting deformation mechanisms and structures. Grinding achieved fast material removal but resulted in damage to the layers, while polishing obtained low material removal rate but the thin film layers of brittle material remained intact due to ductile mode behaviour. Nanoscratching was used to simulate the single cutting processes involved in grinding and polishing and demonstrated that brittle and ductile behaviours could be controlled by adjusting the load and tip geometry.
Keywords: solar panels; grinding; polishing; nanoscratching; deformation; material removal; amorphous silicon; thin films; nanotechnology; brittle behaviour; ductile behaviour.
International Journal of Nanomanufacturing, 2011 Vol.7 No.1, pp.39 - 53
Received: 04 Oct 2010
Accepted: 07 Jan 2011
Published online: 28 Feb 2015 *