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Title: Growth and electrical properties of chemical vapour deposited low dimensional sp2 carbons
Author: Tan, Yee Yuan
ISNI:       0000 0004 2721 8691
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis describes the growth of sp2 carbon materials - namely graphene and carbon nanotube (CNT) materials using a chemical vapour deposition (CVD) process. A novel CVD process tool based on a photothermal process (PT-CVD) that differs from standard thermal CVD has been developed. This thesis reports the investigations into the properties of the deposited carbon nanomaterials and applications that exploit their electronic properties. The first investigation is into the growth of vertically aligned MWCNT forests. Growth of CNTs at 370°C by a one-step PT-CVD method was demonstrated. The growth rate can reach ~1.3 μm/min, which is faster than most other reported thermal CVD methods. The use of bimetallic catalyst (Fe/Ti) and the use of rapid thermal process are the keys to this process. AFM topography studies showed that the fast top-down heating mode of the PT-CVD leads to the formation of a Fe/Ti uniform solid solution, which is believed to improve the CNT growth. These CNTs are composed of a few layer crystalline graphene sheets with a 5-6 nm diameter. Raman scattering provides supporting evidence that the as-grown CNTs are of high quality, better than some CNTs grown at higher temperatures by traditional CVD methods. CVD growth of graphene was investigated using Cu foils as substrate, with the field-effect in the graphene subsequently demonstrated by transferring it to a back-gate bottom contact transistor arrangement using poly-4-vinyl-phenol gate dielectric as an alternative to oxide based insulators. This graphene transistor showed a simple, inexpensive fabrication method that is completely compatible to large scale fabrication of organic devices, to demonstrate a field effect hole mobility of 37 cm2/Vs. Despite the mobility being lower than that found in exfoliated graphene, it demonstrates the potential of a graphene based all carbon transistor for large area electronics. The fabrication and electrical performance of a 3 terminal graphene device is further reported. This device displayed characteristics similar to a p-type graphene FET. While past investigations of distortion and saturation in transfer characteristics of graphene FET indicated that metal-graphene interaction may be the controlling mechanism, this device operation is based on the design of transferring graphene onto a Diamond-like-carbon DLC/p-Si heterostructure with Si as the back contact and with the DLC acting as the dielectric support in contact to graphene. Thus, this provided a mechanism for the DLC/p-Si heterojunction to moderate the I-V characteristics of this device, resulting in a p-type only conduction process in graphene that is also saturable. Following the work on using conventional thermal CVD (T-CVD) for graphene growth, we demonstrated the possibility of using the PT-CVD to develop a graphene growth process. It is found that the non-thermal equilibrium nature of PT-CVD process resulted in a much shorter duration in both heating up and cooling down, thus allows the reduction of the overall growth time for graphene. The choice of performing growth on Ni also allows for the alleviation of hydrogen blister damage that is commonly encountered during growth on Cu substrates. To characterize the film’s electrical and optical properties, pristine PT-CVD grown graphene was used as the transparent electrode material in an organic photovoltaic devices (OPV) and is found to be comparable to that reported using pristine graphene prepared by conventional CVD.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available