Date of Award

5-1-2014

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Physics

First Advisor

Talapatra, Saikat

Abstract

In this work, several materials possessing a layered structure were investigated using a technique of exfoliation in liquid phase to produce few- to mono-layers of the material. Materials exfoliated in such a way included graphite, boron nitride, molybdenum disulfide and tungsten disulfide. Subsequent transmission electron microscopy and accompanying electron diffraction patterns revealed that few and mono layer forms of these materials have been realized through this exfoliation method. Ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy confirmed the shifting of the band gaps in molybdenum and tungsten disulfides that is predicted in reducing the number of layers of these materials and was also used to confirm the band gap of the boron nitride. As a potential application, exfoliated molybdenum disulfide was used in the construction of electrodes for electrical charge storage in an electrochemical double layer capacitor, or supercapacitor, style device. Cyclic voltammetry, galvanostatic charge discharge, and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy measurements were performed using three different electrolytes, which showed good capacitive behavior for these devices. Using the data from electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, equivalent circuit models were generated to represent the systems in different electrolytes. From this, it was determined that the capacitive behavior of these systems was partially diffusion limited.

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