Date of Award

5-1-2014

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Physics

First Advisor

Talapatra, Saikat

Abstract

Carbon allotropes and their potential applications have been studied extensively over the past few decades. The exceptional electrical properties of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) make them practical candidates for a variety of electronic devices. The variability of the physical structure and therefore the properties of CNTs is accomplished through different synthesis methods and catalyst selection. Controlled growth of CNTs with precise architectures is necessary for the development of applications such as cold-cathode flat panel displays, field emission devices, and vertical interconnect assemblies. The implementation of aligned multiwall carbon nanotubes (AMWNTs) for these applications will require large scale synthesis methods. AMWNTs where synthesized by means of chemical vapor deposition (CVD), using a ferrocene/xylene solution [1g-(Fe(C5H5)2) / 100mL-C6H4(CH3)2] as a catalyst as well as a carbon source. Growth of AMWNTs was achieved on a variety of substrates including: silicon dioxide and inconel. The AMWNTs were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Further characterization was accomplished by investigating the electron transport properties of the AMWNTs. Field emission (FE) devices were fabricated using bulk AMWNTs grown on a silicon substrate. The field emission properties were determined from the Fowler-Nordheim (F-N) plots that were obtained from the I-V curves. Analysis of the data and corresponding F-N plots revealed a field enhancement factor β of 2490 for the bulk sample grown on silicon. The results confirm that the synthesized ultra-long AMWNTs are exceptional candidates for field emission devices.

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