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Title: Vertically aligned multiwalled carbon nanotubes as electronic interconnects
Author: Gopee, Vimal C.
ISNI:       0000 0004 6062 1431
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2017
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The drive for miniaturisation of electronic circuits provides new materials challenges for the electronics industry. Indeed, the continued downscaling of transistor dimensions, described by Moore’s Law, has led to a race to find suitable replacements for current interconnect materials to replace copper. Carbon nanotubes have been studied as a suitable replacement for copper due to its superior electrical, thermal and mechanical properties. One of the advantages of using carbon nanotubes is their high current carrying capacity which has been demonstrated to be three orders of magnitude greater than that of copper. Most approaches in the implementation of carbon nanotubes have so far focused on the growth in vias which limits their application. In this work, a process is described for the transfer of carbon nanotubes to substrates allowing their use for more varied applications. Arrays of vertically aligned multiwalled carbon nanotubes were synthesised by photo-thermal chemical vapour deposition with high growth rates. Raman spectroscopy was used to show that the synthesised carbon nanotubes were of high quality. The carbon nanotubes were exposed to an oxygen plasma and the nature of the functional groups present was determined using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. Functional groups, such as carboxyl, carbonyl and hydroxyl groups, were found to be present on the surface of the multiwalled carbon nanotubes after the functionalisation process. The multiwalled carbon nanotubes were metallised after the functionalisation process using magnetron sputtering. Two materials, solder and sintered silver, were chosen to bind carbon nanotubes to substrates so as to enable their transfer and also to make electrical contact. The wettability of solder to carbon nanotubes was investigated and it was demonstrated that both functionalisation and metallisation were required in order for solder to bond with the carbon nanotubes. Similarly, functionalisation followed by metallisation was critical for bonding carbon nanotubes to sintered silver. A step by step process is described that allows the production of solder-carbon nanotubes and silver-carbon nanotubes interconnects. 4-point probe electrical characterisation of the interconnects was performed and the interconnects were shown to have a resistivity of 5.0 × 10-4 Ωcm for solder-carbon nanotubes and 5.2 × 10-4 Ωcm for silver-carbon nanotubes interconnects. Ramp to failure tests carried out on solder-carbon nanotubes interconnects showed current carrying capacity of 0.75 MA/cm2, only one order of magnitude lower than copper.
Supervisor: Silva, S. R. ; Allam, J. ; Stolojan, V. ; Thomas, O. Sponsor: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council ; National Physical Laboratory
Qualification Name: Thesis (Eng.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available