(Dr. Jack Lackey, advisor)
"LCVD Synthesis of Carbon Nanotubes and Their Characterization"
The goal of the research is to determine and optimize the processing conditions necessary to synthesize aligned arrays of carbon nanotubes using a laser chemical vapor deposition reactor. Laser chemical vapor deposition is a process through which reagent gases are decomposed pyrolytically using a high-powered laser beam. Carbon nanotubes have typically been synthesized using an electric arc discharge or laser ablation technique, however these methods are unpractical for producing nanotubes directly on substrates for use in consumer applications. Other work has been done to try to grow ordered arrays of carbon nanotubes on silicon and glass substrates using traditional chemical vapor deposition, however nanotubes are grown on the entire substrate exposed to the reaction. LCVD offers the potential of growing nanotubes selectively on these substrates, which could then be used for the development of countless consumer applications, including flat panel displays.
The research will focus on the relationship between experimental conditions and the characteristics of the deposited nanotubes. Heat and mass transport modeling will be used to aid in understanding these relationships. Efforts will also include the modification of the current reactor to enable aligned growth for use in array generation.