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Title: The functional testing of individual nano-objects using in-situ electron miicroscopy
Author: Briston, Kevin James
ISNI:       0000 0004 2724 5470
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2010
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Nano-objects, such as nanowires and carbon nanotubes, are very important for the future of the electronics industry due to their potential for creating novel devices and to continue increasing the densities of devices on microchips. In-situ electron microscopy techniques are ideal for performing functional testing of these nanoobjects, since they allow functional properties and behaviour of the nano-objects to be directly related to dynamic observations of their structure. In this work tools and techniques have been developed for the investigation of nano-objects using in-situ electron microscopy. These include the development of a novel micro gripper, made using relatively inexpensive electrochemical and focused ion beam techniques, for the manipulation of micro- and nano-objects; the development of a W filament ).t-heater, for the in-situ heating of microvolumes of material; and the adaption of a transmission electron microscope nanoprobe to allow electrical testing of nano-objects in-situ inside a transmission electron microscope. The tools and techniques developed have been used to perform in-situ investigations of three types of nano-objects. Firstly, individual Fe-filled carbon nanotubes have had their field emission properties tested and compared to unfilled carbon nanotubes in-situ in a scanning electron microscope. Secondly, Sn nanowires under development for welding/joining applications were heated in-situ in a scanning electron microscope. It was found that the behaviour of the nanowires was strongly affected by the presence of an oxide shell, though the oxidation could be prevented using an organic coating. Thirdly, Au nanowires for nanoelectronic systems were electrically tested in-situ in a transmission electron microscope. The presence of carbon contamination on the nanowires resulted in poor contacts and catastrophic failure. However, if the carbon contamination is thick enough, it was found that carbon nanotubes with well-defined inner diameters could be made during nanowire breakdown. In light of these initial functional nano-object tests it is clear that there are many opportunities for future development in this area.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available