Theses Doctoral

Synthesis and electronic transport in single-walled carbon nanotubes of known chirality

Caldwell, Robert Victor

Since their discovery in 1991, carbon nanotubes have proven to be a very interesting material for its physical strength, originating from the pure carbon lattice and strong covalent sp2 orbital bonds, and electronic properties which are derived from the lattice structure lending itself to either a metallic or semiconducting nature among its other properties. Carbon nanotubes have been researched with an eye towards industry applications ranging from use as an alloy in metals and plastics to improve physical strength of the resulting materials to uses in the semiconductor industry as either an interconnect or device layer for computer chips to chemical or biological sensors.

This thesis focuses on both the synthesis of individual single-walled carbon nanotubes as well as the electrical properties of those tubes. What makes the work herein different from that of other thesis is that the research has been performed on carbon nanotubes of known chirality. Having first grown carbon nanotubes with a chemical vapor deposition growth in a quartz tube using ethanol vapor as a feedstock to grow long individual single-walled carbon nanotubes on a silicon chip that is also compatible with Rayleigh scattering spectroscopy to identify the chiral indices of the carbon nanotubes in question, those tubes were then transferred with a mechanical transfer process specially designed in our research lab onto a substrate of our choosing before an electrical device was made out of those tubes using standard electron beam lithography.

The focus in this thesis is on the work that went into designing and testing this process as well as the initial results of the electronic properties of those carbon nanotubes of known chirality, such as the first known electrical measurements on single individual armchair carbon nanotubes as well as the first known electrical measurements of a single semiconducting carbon nanotube on thin hexagonal boron nitride to study the effects of the surface optical phonons from the boron nitride on the electrical properties of the carbon nanotube.

Finally a few research projects are discussed in which carbon nanotubes of known chirality were used in conjunction with first electrical tests on molecules, secondly on a prefabricated complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor integrated circuit as an inverter and lastly to study the photoconductivity generated by a synchrotron laser source to identify the values for the low energy excitonic peak.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics
Thesis Advisors
Hone, James C.
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
May 11, 2011