Year of Publication

2011

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Dissertation

College

Engineering

Department

Electrical Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Vijay Singh

Second Advisor

Dr. Stephen Lipka

Abstract

Vertically aligned multi walled carbon nanotube (MWCNT) arrays fabricated by xylene pyrolysis in anodized aluminum oxide (AAO) templates without the use of a catalyst, were integrated into a resistive sensor design. The steady state sensitivities as high as 5% and 10% for 100 ppm of NH3 and NO2 respectively at a flow rate of 750 sccm were observed. A study was undertaken to elucidate (i) the dependence of sensitivity on the thickness of amorphous carbon layers, (ii) the effect of UV light on gas desorption characteristics and (iii) the dependence of room temperature sensitivity on different NH3 and NO2 flow rates. An equivalent circuit model was developed to understand the operation and propose design changes for increased sensitivity.

Multi Walled Carbon NanoTubes (MWCNTs) – Polymer composite based hybrid sensors were fabricated and integrated into a resistive sensor design for gas sensing applications. Thin films of MWCNTs were grown onto Si/SiO2 substrates via xylene pyrolysis using chemical vapor deposition technique. Polymers like PEDOT:PSS and Polyaniline (PANI) mixed with various solvents like DMSO, DMF, 2-Propanol and Ethylene Glycol were used to synthesize the composite films. These sensors exhibited excellent response and selectivity at room temperature when exposed to low concentrations (100ppm) of gases like NH3 and NO2. Effect of various solvents on the sensor response imparting selectivity to CNT – Polymer nanocomposites was investigated extensively. Sensitivities as high as 28% was observed for a MWCNT – PEDOT:PSS composite sensor when exposed to 100ppm of NH3 and -29.8% sensitivity for a MWCNT-PANI composite sensor to 100ppm of NO2.

A novel nanostructured electrode design for Li based batteries and electrochemical capacitor applications was developed and tested. High density and highly aligned metal oxide nanowire arrays were fabricated via template assisted electrochemical deposition. Nickel and Molybdenum nanowires fabricated via cathodic deposition process were converted into respective oxides via thermal treatments and were evaluated as electrodes for batteries and capacitor applications via Cyclic Voltammetery (CV). Several chemical baths were formulated for the deposition of pristine molybdenum nanowires. Superior electrochemical performance of metal (Ni and Mo) oxide nanowires was observed in comparison to the previously reported nano-particle based electrodes.

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