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Theses Doctoral

Experimenal and theoretical study of nano-materials (CNTs and TMDs)

Zhang, Xian

Nano-materials are interesting material category with a single unit size between 1 and 1000 nanometers and possess unique mechanical, electrical, optical, and other physical properties that make them stand out from ordinary materials.
With increasing demand for reduced size of electronic devices and integrated micro/nano-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS / NEMS), there is a high driving force in scientific research and technological advancement in nanotechnology.
My research is about two popular novel nanomaterials: carbon nanotubes (1-dimensional material) and thin-layer transition metal dichalcogenides (2-dimensional materials).
My first research direction is about the characterization of electrical properties of carbon nanotubes and using them as bio-sensors. Carbon nanotubes (CNTs), in general, are a material of great interest for many applications since their first discovery in 1991 [1], due to their unique structure, extraordinary electrical and mechanical properties, and unusual chemical properties. High-throughput fabrication of carbon nanotube field effect transistors (CNTFETs) with uniform properties has been a challenge since they were first fabricated in 1998. We invent a novel fabrication method to produce a 1×1 cm2 chip with over 700 CNTFETs fabricated around one single carbon nanotube. This large number of devices allows us to study the stability and uniformity of CNTFET properties. We grow flow-aligned CNTs on a SiO2/Si substrate by chemical vapor deposition and locate a single long CNT (as long as 1 cm) by scanning electron microscopy. Two photolithography steps are then used, first to pattern contacts and bonding pads, and next to define a mask to ‘burn’ away additional nanotubes by oxygen plasma etch. A fabrication yield of ~72% is achieved. The authors present statistics of the transport properties of these devices, which indicates that all the CNTFETs share the same threshold voltage, and similar on-state conductance. These devices are then used to measure DNA conductance by connecting DNA molecule of varying lengths to lithographically cut CNTFETs.
While one single carbon nanotube is considered 1-dimensional material because it only has one side with “non-nano” length, the thin-layer transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs) are called the 2-dimensional materials since they have two sides of normal lengths and the other side of atomic size. Atomically thin materials such as graphene and semiconducting transition metal dichalcogenides have attracted extensive interests in recent years, motivating investigation into multiple properties. We use a refined version of the optothermal Raman technique [2][3] to measure the thermal transport properties of two TMDC materials, MoS2 and MoSe2, in single-layer (1L) and bi-layer (2L) forms. This new version incorporates two crucial improvements over previous implementations. First, we utilize more direct measurements of the optical absorption of the suspended samples under study and find values ~40% lower than previously assumed. Second, by comparing the response of fully supported and suspended samples using different laser spot sizes, we are able to independently measure the interfacial thermal conductance to the substrate and the lateral thermal conductivity of the supported and suspended materials. The approach is validated by examining the response of a suspended film illuminated in different positions in radial direction. For 1L MoS2 and MoSe2, the room-temperature thermal conductivities are (80±17) W/mK and (55±18) W/mK, respectively. For 2L MoS2 and MoSe2, we obtain values of (73±25) W/mK and (39±13) W/mK. Crucially, the interfacial thermal conductance is found to be of order 0.1-1 MW/m2K, substantially smaller than previously assumed, a finding that has important implications for design and modeling of electronic devices.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Mechanical Engineering
Thesis Advisors
Hone, James C.
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
May 6, 2016