Nanodevices of Graphene, Carbon Nanotubes and Flow Behaviour of Graphene Oxide Gel
Vasu, Kalangi Siddeswara
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In the last three decades carbon nanomaterials such as fullerenes, carbon nanotubes and graphene have attracted significant attention from the scientific community due to their unique electronic, optical, thermal, mechanical and chemical properties. Among them carbon nanotubes and graphene have been used in numerous applications for future nanoelectronics, biochemical sensors and energy harvesting technologies due to their unique properties including exceptionally high electronic conductivity and mechanical strength. Carbon nanotubes are cylindrical structures and considered to be large mesoscopic molecules with high aspect ratios. Graphene is a single atomic layer of crystalline graphite and prepared by stripping layers off the graphite using Scotch tape. Apart from this scotch tape method, chemical ex-foliation and reduction of graphite oxide produces large amounts of reduced graphene oxide which has similar properties as graphene. This thesis reports on the biosensors made of reduced graphene oxide and single walled carbon nanotubes based on their electronic properties. We also demonstrate the changes in electronic properties of single walled carbon nanotubes due to interactions with dendrimer molecules. Finally, the yielding and flow behaviour of graphene oxide nematic gel are discussed. Chapter 1 gives a general introduction about the preparation and characterization along with the electronic properties of the systems studied in this thesis, namely graphene oxide, reduced graphene oxide and single walled carbon nanotubes. We have also discussed about the experimental techniques such as Raman, UV-visibe and infrared spectroscopy, atomic force and scanning tunneling microscopy and different types of rheometers used in this thesis work. In Chapter 2, we discuss top-gated field effect transistor characteristics of the devices made of reduced graphene oxide monolayer by dielectrophoresis. Raman spectrum of RGO flakes shows a single 2D band at 2687 cm 1, characteristic of a single layer graphene. The two probe current - voltage measurements of RGO flakes, deposited in between the patterned electrodes using a.c. dielectrophoresis show ohmic behavior with a resistance of 37kΩ. The temperature dependence of the resistance (R) of RGO measured between temperatures 305K to 393K yields the temperature coefficient of resistance of -9.5 10 4/K. Ambipolar nature of graphene flakes is observed upto a doping level of 6 1012/cm2 and carrier mobility of 50cm2/V-sec. The source - drain current characteristics shows a tendency of current saturation at high source - drain voltage which is analyzed quantitatively by a diffusive transport model. In Chapter 3, We demonstrate the detection of glucose molecules by using reduced graphene oxide (RGO) and aminophenylboronic acid (APBA) complex with detection limit of 5 nM. APBA functionalized RGO (APBA-RGO) flakes, prepared by stirring the aqueous GO suspension in the presence of APBA molecules at 100◦C, were used as conducting channel in our field effect transistor (FET) devices. The APBA-RGO complex formation was confirmed by atomic force microscopy (AFM), x - ray photoelectron, Raman and UV-visible spectroscopic studies. Detection of glucose molecules was carried out by monitoring the changes in electrical conductance of the APBA-RGO flake in the FET device. FET devices made of non-covelently functionalized APBA-RGO complex (nc-APBA-RGO) exhibited enhanced sensitivity over the devices made of covalently functionalized APBA-RGO complex (c-APBA-RGO). Change in normalized conductance in the FET devices made of nc-APBA-RGO flakes ( 85%) is 4 times more than that of in the devices made of c-APBA-RGO flakes in response to aqueous glucose solution with different concentrations. Specificity of APBA-RGO complex to glucose was proved from the observation of negligible change in electrical conductance of the FET devices made of nc-APBA-RGO complex after exposure to 10 mM lactose solution. Chapter 4 reports unipolar resistive switching in ultrathin films of chemically produced graphene (reduced graphene oxide) and multiwalled carbon nanotubes. The two - terminal devices with yield > 99% are made at room temperature by forming continuous films of graphene of thickness 20 nm on indium tin oxide coated glass electrode, followed by metal (Au or Al) deposition on the lm. These memory devices are non - volatile, rewritable with ON/OFF ratios up to 105 and switching times up to 10 s. The devices made of MWNT films are rewritable with ON/OFF ratios up to 400. The resistive switching mechanism is proposed to be nanogap formation. In the first part of Chapter 5, we study the interactions between SWNT and PETIM dendrimer by measuring the quenching of inherent fluorescence of the dendrimer. Also, the dendrimer - nanotube binding results in the increased electrical resistance of the hole-doped SWNT due to charge transfer interaction between the dendrimer and the nanotube. This charge transfer interaction was further corroborated by observing a shift in frequency of the tangential Raman modes of SWNT. Experimental studies were supplemented by all atom molecular dynamics simulations to provide a microscopic picture of the dendrimer - nanotube complex. The complexation was achieved through charge - transfer and hydrophobic interactions, aided by multitude of oxygen, nitrogen and n-propyl moieties of the dendrimer. We also studied the eﬀect of acidic and neutral pH conditions on the binding affinities. In the second part, we show that SWNT decorated with sugar functionalized PETIM dendrimer is a very sensitive platform to quantitatively detect carbohydrate recognizing proteins, namely, lectins. The changes in electrical conductivity of SWNT in field effect transistor device due to carbohydrate - protein interactions forms the basis of this study. The mannose sugar attached PETIM dendrimers undergo charge - transfer interactions with the SWNT. The changes in the conductance of the dendritic sugar functionalized SWNT after addition of lectins in varying concentrations were found to follow the Langmuir type isotherm, giving the concanavalin A (Con A) - mannose affinity constant to be 8.5 106 M-1. The increase in the device conductance observed after adding 10 nM of Con A is same as after adding 20 µM of a non - specific lectin peanut agglutinin, showing the high specificity of the Con A - mannose interactions. The specificity of sugar-lectin interactions was characterized further by observing significant shifts in Raman modes of the SWNT. Chapter 6 reports the metal to semiconductor transition in metallic single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWNT) due to the wrapping of mannose attached poly (propyl ether imine) dendrimer (DM) molecule. Scanning tunneling spectroscopic (STS) measurements and ionic liquid top gated field effect transistor (FET) characteristics of the nanotube-dendrimer complex gives a band gap of 0.42eV, close to the E11 energy gap between the first van Hove singularities of 1.7nm diameter semiconducting nanotubes. The absence of Breit-Wigner-Fano (BWF) component in G band in the Raman spectrum of the nanotube-dendrimer complex corroborates the semiconductor nature of the tubes after wrapping with the dendrimer molecules. Dendrimer molecule breaks the symmetry in metallic SWNT by wrapping around it through the charge transfer interactions. In the first part of Chapter 7, we demonstrate a rigidity percolation transition and the onset of yield stress in a dilute aqueous dispersion of graphene oxide platelets (aspect ratio 5000) above a critical volume fraction of 3.75x10-4 with a percolation exponent of 2.4 ± 0.1.The viscoelastic moduli of the gel at rest measured as a function of time indicates the absence of structural evolution of the 3D percolated network of disks. However, a shear-induced aging giving rise to a compact jammed state and shear rejuvenation indicating a homogenous flow is observed when a steady shear stress (σ ) is imposed in creep experiments. We construct a shear diagram (σ vs volume fraction ϕ) and the critical stress above which shear rejuvenation occurs is identified as the yield stress σ y of the gel. The minimum steady state shear rate ƴm obtained from creep experiments agrees well with the end of the plateau region in a controlled shear rate flow curve, indicating a shear localization below ƴm. A steady state shear banding in the plateau region of the flow curve observed in particle velocimetry measurements in a couette geometry confirms that the dilute suspensions of GO platelets form a thixotropic yield stress fluid (TYSF). In the second part, we report that the creep experiments on a nematic liquid crystalline suspension of Graphene Oxide platelets which was established recently as a TYSF exhibit two characteristic timescales Tc and Tf marking the onset of yielding, and a final steady state of flow respectively. We show that both Tc and Tf exhibit a power law dependence on the applied stress σ which can be linked to the steady state flow behaviour of a TYSF. The smooth transition from Andrade creep to the onset of flow with ƴ~ t 0.7 at a critical strain ƴc for different applied stresses, is well captured by the master curve for the creep compliance, obtained through a simple scaling of the creep times with either Tc or Tf . We propose that the absence of diverging timescales for onset of flow as σ→ yield stress σy from above, is a characteristic feature of TYSF. The thesis concludes with a summary of the main results and a brief account of the scope of future work described in Chapter 8.
- Physics (PHY) 
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