Carbon nanofibers in dielectric films
There has been a recent rapid development in the craft of engineering device structures based on carbon nanofibers. The carbon nanofiber material shares the principal properties of their popular and well known nanotube analogues, albeit with more sensitivity to fabrication conditions. One fundamental advantage with carbon nanofibers is that we can grow individual fibers at predefined spots on a chip. This holds the gate open to a new era of biological experiments, where the full information handling capacity of state-of-the-art integrated circuits can be employed directly to harvest and control the sensing and actuation of millions of carbon nanofibers on a single chip, interacting with a biological environment.
The chief aim of this project is to investigate what will happen when a matrix of carbon nanofibers embedded in a dielectric film is exposed to etching solutions. The parameters that are to be varied are the dielectric material, the etchants and the electric biasing conditions of the carbon nanofiber matrix. The final report should describe, quantify and propose an explanation to the observations obtained. If it is possible to find conditions that result in selective etching in the vicinity of the carbon nanofibers, this will constitute a discovery that enables new ways of fabricating nanoporous films, useful for biomolecular filtering.
Description of work and learning outcome
Initially, the project will require studies of published practice to deposit and etch dielectric films on various substrates, including those containing carbon nanotubes and carbon nanofibers. Later on, though, there will be a strong focus on experiments and in order to be able to study the effect on the etching of electrical biasing of the carbon nanofibers there is a need to design and realize a new experimental set-up. You will mainly be interacting with a senior Ph D student who has developed a new fabrication scheme for carbon nanofibers. Your examiner will also be available for discussion and support not the least in the iterative and continuous process of putting your work and results in a publishable format. For some of the clean-room processing, training and supervision will be provided by personnel in the Nanofabrication Laboratory. You can expect daily availability of supervision – on demand, or some 2-3 hours of supervision every week; most of the time will be on your own and together with your fellow Master students. You will have a desk-space at the department and daytime access to the laboratory. Familarity with research activities concerning carbon based nanotechnology VACNFs is one key learning outcome of the project. In addition this project will give experience of working in a cleanroom facility, operating a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), and writing for academic publication.
Last modified: May 26, 2009
Responsible for this page: Per Lundgren