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Title:Electrical and optical studies on carbon nanotube arrays
Author(s):Ozel, Taner
Director of Research:Shim, Moonsub
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Eckstein, James N.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Shim, Moonsub; Goldbart, Paul M.; Stack, John D.
Department / Program:Physics
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Carbon nanotube
compressive strain
thin film transistor
nanotube transistor
nanotube arrays
Abstract:Single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) have been studied as a prominent class of high performance electronic materials for next generation electronics. Their geometry dependent electronic structure, ballistic transport and low power dissipation due to quasi one dimensional transport, and their capability of carrying high current densities are some of the main reasons for the optimistic expectations on SWNTs. However, device applications of individual SWNTs have been hindered by uncontrolled variations in characteristics and lack of scalable methods to integrate SWNTs into electronic devices. One relatively new direction in SWNT electronics, which avoids these issues, is using arrays of SWNTs, where the ensemble average may provide uniformity from device to device, and this new breed of electronic material can be integrated into electronic devices in a scalable fashion. This dissertation describes (1) methods for characterization of SWNT arrays, (2) how the electrical transport in these two-dimensional arrays depend on length scales and spatial anisotropy, (3) the interaction of aligned SWNTs with the underlying substrate, and (4) methods for scalable integration of SWNT arrays into electronic devices. The electrical characterization of SWNT arrays have been realized by polymer electrolyte-gated SWNT thin film transistors (TFTs). Polymer electrolyte-gating addresses many technical difficulties inherent to electrical characterization by gating through oxide-dielectrics. Having shown polymer electrolyte-gating can be successfully applied on SWNT arrays, we have studied the length scaling dependence of electrical transport in SWNT arrays. Ultrathin films formed by sub-monolayer surface coverage of SWNT arrays are very interesting systems in terms of the physics of two-dimensional electronic transport. We have observed that they behave qualitatively different than the classical conducting films, which obey the Ohm’s law. The resistance of an ultrathin film of SWNT arrays is indeed non-linear with the length of the film, across which the transport occurs. More interestingly, a transition between conducting and insulating states is observed at a critical surface coverage, which is called percolation limit. The surface coverage of conducting SWNTs can be manipulated by turning on and off the semiconductors in the SWNT array, leading to the operation principle of SWNT TFTs. The percolation limit depends also on the length and the spatial orientation of SWNTs. We have also observed that the percolation limit increases abruptly for aligned arrays of SWNTs, which are grown on single crystal quartz substrates. In this dissertation, we also compare our experimental results with a two-dimensional stick network model, which gives a good qualitative picture of the electrical transport in SWNT arrays in terms of surface coverage, length scaling, and spatial orientation, and briefly discuss the validity of this model. However, the electronic properties of SWNT arrays are not only determined by geometrical arguments. The contact resistances at the nanotube-nanotube and nanotube-electrode (bulk metal) interfaces, and interactions with the local chemical groups and the underlying substrates are among other issues related to the electronic transport in SWNT arrays. Different aspects of these factors have been studied in detail by many groups. In fact, I have also included a brief discussion about electron injection onto semiconducting SWNTs by polymer dopants. On the other hand, we have compared the substrate-SWNT interactions for isotropic (in two dimensions) arrays of SWNTs grown on Si/SiO2 substrates and horizontally (on substrate) aligned arrays of SWNTs grown on single crystal quartz substrates. The anisotropic interactions associated with the quartz lattice between quartz and SWNTs that allow near perfect horizontal alignment on substrate along a particular crystallographic direction is examined by Raman spectroscopy, and shown to lead to uniaxial compressive strain in as-grown SWNTs on single crystal quartz. This is the first experimental demonstration of the hard-to-achieve uniaxial compression of SWNTs. Temperature dependence of Raman G-band spectra along the length of individual nanotubes reveals that the compressive strain is non-uniform and can be larger than 1% locally at room temperature. Effects of device fabrication steps on the non-uniform strain are also examined and implications on electrical performance are discussed. Based on our findings, there are discussions about device performances and designs included in this dissertation. The channel length dependences of device mobilities and on/off ratios are included for SWNT TFTs. Time response of polymer-electrolyte gated SWNT TFTs has been measured to be ~300 Hz, and a proof-of-concept logic inverter has been fabricated by using polymer electrolyte gated SWNT TFTs for macroelectronic applications. Finally, I dedicated a chapter on scalable device designs based on aligned arrays of SWNTs, including a design for SWNT memory devices.
Issue Date:2010-01-06
Rights Information:Copyright 2009 Taner Ozel
Date Available in IDEALS:2010-01-06
Date Deposited:December 2

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