Nanoscale Analysis of Carbon Nanotubes Deposited on Highly Oriented Pyrolytic Graphite

Date of Graduation

Summer 2007


Master of Natural and Applied Science in Physics


Physics, Astronomy, and Materials Science

Committee Chair

Shyang Huang


Carbon nanotubes have unique thermal, electrical and mechanical properties because of their unique nano structures and ability to behave like a metal and semiconductor without doping. This has opened up possibilities of carbon nanotube applications in various fields like nano electronic devices, optoelectronic devices, heat removal systems in one direction using its anisotropic properties, strengthening polymers by mixing with polymers and so on. Overcoming the problem of nano engineering of these carbon nanotubes to develop a device at nano scale requires a study of these carbon nanotubes at that level. The single-wall carbon nanotubes are chemical-vapor depostition-grown and dispersed in de-ionized water containing 1 wt% sodium dodecyl sulfate. This solution was deposited by the dip cast method on a freshly cleaved highly oriented pyrolytic graphite substrate. A study aimed at understanding these carbon nanotubes at nano level was then conducted. Different techniques such as scanning tunneling microscopy, atomic force microscopy, scanning electron microscopy and Raman spectroscopy have been used to study these carbon nanotubes that are deposited on highly oriented pyrolytic graphite. The final result by scanning tunneling microscope show the structure of these carbon nanotubes as an image where the carbon nanotubes have been resolved at nano scale.


carbon nanotubes, STM, AFM, nano scale, HOPG

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