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Title: Modelling, analysis and validation of microwave techniques for the characterisation of metallic nanoparticles
Author: Sulaimalebbe, Aslam
ISNI:       0000 0004 2748 536X
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2009
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In the last decade, the study of nanoparticle (NP) systems has become a large and interesting research area due to their novel properties and functionalities, which are different from those of the bulk materials, and also their potential applications in different fields. It is vital to understand the behaviour and properties of nano-materials aiming at implementing nanotechnology, controlling their behaviour and designing new material systems with superior performance. Physical characterisation of NPs falls into two main categories, property and structure analysis, where the properties of the NPs cannot be studied without the knowledge of size and structure. The direct measurement of the electrical properties of metal NPs presents a key challenge and necessitates the use of innovative experimental techniques. There have been numerous reports of two/four point resistance measurements of NPs films and also electrical conductivity of NPs films using the interdigitated microarray (IDA) electrode. However, using microwave techniques such as open ended coaxial probe (OCP) and microwave dielectric resonator (DR) for electrical characterisation of metallic NPs are much more accurate and effective compared to other traditional techniques. This is because they are inexpensive, convenient, non-destructive, contactless, hazardless (i.e. at low power) and require no special sample preparation. This research is the first attempt to determine the microwave properties of Pt and Au NP films, which were appealing materials for nano-scale electronics, using the aforementioned microwave techniques. The ease of synthesis, relatively cheap, unique catalytic activities and control over the size and the shape were the main considerations in choosing Pt and Au NPs for the present study. The initial phase of this research was to implement and validate the aperture admittance model for the OCP measurement through experiments and 3D full wave simulation using the commercially available Ansoft High Frequency Structure Simulator (HFSS), followed by the electrical characterisation of synthesised Pt NP films using the novel miniature fabricated OCP technique. The results obtained from this technique provided the inspiration to synthesise and evaluate the microwave properties of Au NPs. The findings from this technique provided the motivation to characterise both the Pt and Au NP films using the DR technique. Unlike the OCP technique, the DR method is highly sensitive but the achievable measurement accuracy is limited since this technique does not have broadband frequency capability like the OCP method. The results obtained from the DR technique show a good agreement with the theoretical prediction. In the last phase of this research, a further validation of the aperture admittance models on different types OCP (i.e. RG-405 and RG-402 cables and SMA connector) have been carried out on the developed 3D full wave models using HFSS software, followed by the development of universal models for the aforementioned OCPs based on the same 3D full wave models.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available