Date of Award

Spring 2005

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Electrical & Computer Engineering

Committee Director

Sacharia Albin

Committee Member

Hani E. Elsayed-Ali

Committee Member

Mounir Laroussi

Committee Member

Alex Pothen


Synthesis and applications of two types of one-dimensional nanomaterials, carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and tungsten oxide nanorods, are investigated in this dissertation. Multi-walled CNTs have been successfully synthesized using two types of chemical vapor deposition (CVD) methods: microwave plasma enhanced CVD and atmospheric pressure thermal CVD. CNTs and their synthesis processes are characterized with various analysis techniques including scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), Raman spectroscopy, and optical emission spectroscopy. Ultra-thin and high quality multi-walled CNTs are discovered in CNT films produced by MPCVD, which exhibit good field emission performance that is found to be dependent on the synthesis conditions, like the growth time and CH4/H2 flow ratio. CNTs grown by thermal CVD have similar field emission performance. Based on silicon surface micromachining techniques and thermal CVD method, a self-aligned method has been developed to fabricate CNT based gated field emitter arrays (FEAs) which demonstrate low turn-on voltage and good emission current. Tungsten oxide nanorods have been synthesized on various tungsten substrates via thermal annealing in argon at atmospheric pressure. Nanorod growth mechanism is proposed based on thermal oxidation of tungsten in gas ambient with a very low partial pressure of oxygen as well as the self-catalytic effect on tungsten surface. The lattice structure and composition of the tungsten oxide nanorods are observed and analyzed using high resolution TEM, selected area electron diffraction (SAD), and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDXS). The analysis results reveal that the lattice structure of the tungsten oxide nanorods is closest to that of the monoclinic WO3 crystal. Tungsten oxide nanorods have been successfully grown on tungsten tips for use in scanning tunneling microscope (STM) as probes which readily produce atomic resolution images on sample surface. Nanorod based FEAs are also successfully fabricated using similar techniques as those for fabricating CNTs based FEAs. Low turn-on voltage and low gate current are achieved.


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