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Title: Carbon nanotubes and other highly curved surfaces for field emission and field-promoted ionisation
Author: Mark, Lewis Paul
ISNI:       0000 0004 2715 443X
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2009
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The thesis describes the development of various novel emitters for the production of gaseous ions from solutions of non-volatile, thermally labile samples for the purposes of mass spectrometry. Nano-electrospray emitters each containing two separated channels running throughout the length of the emitter were fabricated and evaluated. These emitters were made from “theta-shaped” borosilicate capillaries, employing a number of different coating procedures. Loading of different solutions into the channels demonstrated the possibility of studying solute interactions on ultrashort timescales. It is proposed that interactions took place in a shared Taylor cone. The formation of specific adducts from vancomycin and diacetyl-l-lysyld- alanyl-d-alanine was observed by mass spectrometry. From consideration of the extent of H/D exchange between vancomycin and deuterated vancomycin, it was concluded that the interaction times were of the order of 10-5 s. Underlying theoretical considerations, design and fabrication from carbon nanotubes (CNTs) of emitters for field desorption and field ionization ion sources are described and discussed. The emitters fabricated made use of arrays of vertically aligned multi-walled CNTs with in most cases an average length and radius of 15 μm and 35 nm respectively. Emitters using dense coverings of nanotubes and emitters with nanotubes selectively grown so that the height of each nanotube was twice its separation from its nearest neighbour were investigated. Characterisation of the CNTs by field electron-emission confirmed their effectiveness as field emitters. Fowler-Nordhein plots indicated fields of 6.14x109 +/- 0.72x109 V/m at a potential of 700 V. Field ionization of He, Ar, Xe, methane and acetone was achieved with these same CNTs; neither the inert gases nor methane have been field ionised with conventional activated-wire emitters. The fields generally accepted to be required for field ionisation of He and Ar are of the order of several 1010 V/m. To create emitters which would not need to be removed from vacuum between experiments, a means of injecting both liquids and gaseous samples directly to the bottom of the CNTs was devised. This involved drilling 20 μm diameter holes through the silicon substrate between intended sites of nanotube growth, but before actually growing the CNTs. It was discovered that the presence of the holes led to surface migration of the nickel catalysts initiating CNT growth. Experiments undertaken to achieve mass spectrometric measurements with the arrays of CNTs as emitters are described and discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (Great Britain) (EPSRC) ; Bruker Daltonics (BD)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: QD Chemistry