Thin Films Of A Carbonaceous Copper Oxide, Li Doped Cobalt Oxide And Li At Nanometric Dimension : Synthesis Through CVD, Solgel And Electromagnetic Irradiation And Characterisation
Thin film nanostructures may be defined as assemblies, arrays, or randomly distributed nanoparticles, nanowires, or nanotubes, which together form a layer of materials supported on a substrate surface. Because such nanostructures are supported on a substrate surface, their potential applications cover a wide area in optical, magnetic, electrochemical, electromagnetic, and optoelectronic devices. The focus of the present thesis is the development of methodologies to grow certain thin film nanostructures of some transition metal oxides (TMOs), including copper oxides and LixCoO2, through CVD, sol-gel, and electromagnetic radiation-mediated approaches. The work towards this objective can be divided into three parts: first, the design, synthesis, and systematic identification of novel metalorganic precursors of copper (monometallic) and Li and Co (bimetallic); second, the growth of nanostructured oxides thin films using these precursors; and third, the application of electromagnetic radiation to control or tailor the growth of as grown nanostructures. The underlying growth mechanisms substantiated by appropriate evidence have been put forward, wherever found relevant and intriguing. It may be added that the principal objective of the work reported here has been to explore the several ideas noted above and examine possibilities, rather than to study any specific one of them in significant detail. It is hoped earnestly that this has been accomplished to a reasonable extent. Chapter 1 reviews briefly the reports available in the literature on three specific methods of growing thin films nanostructures, namely chemical vapour deposition, sol-gel processing and light-induced approach. The objective of this chapter has been to provide the background of the work done in the thesis, and is substantiated with a number of illustrative examples. Some of the fundamental concepts involved, viz., plasmons and excitons, have been defined with illustration wherever found relevant in the context of the work. Chapter 2 describes the various techniques used for synthesis and characterisation of the metalorganic complexes as well as of the thin films. This chapters covers mostly experimental details, with brief descriptions of the working principles of the analytical procedures adopted, namely, infrared spectroscopy, mass spectroscopy, elemental analysis, and thermal analysis for characterisation of the metalorganic complexes. This is followed by a similarly brief account of techniques employed to characterize the thin films prepared in this work, viz., glancing incidence X-ray diffraction (GIXRD), field-emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), electrostatic force microscopy (EFM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), glancing incidence infra-red spectroscopy (GIIR) and, UV-visible spectroscopy. The metalorganic chemical vapour deposition (MOCVD) systems built in house and used for growth of films are described in detail. The topics in the different sections of the chapter are accompanied by pertinent diagrams. Chapter 3 deals with the design, synthesis and characterisation of novel polynuclear complexes of copper and cobalt. Keeping in mind the various advantages such as low toxicity, ease of synthesis, non-pyrophoricity, and low temperature volatility, of environmentally benign complexes based on biologically compatible such as triethanolamine, diethanolamine, the objective has been to synthesize complexes containing triethanolamine and diethanolamine of transition metals such as cobalt and copper, and to investigate their applicability in MOCVD processes as a novel class of precursors. With the notion of ‘better’ and efficient design of precursors, an attempt has been made, through a semi-empirical modeling, to understand the correlation between volatility and various intrinsic molecular parameters such as lattice energy, vibrational-rotational energy, and internal symmetry. Chapter 4 discusses the growth of nanoporous Cu4O3-C composite films through the MOCVD process employing Cu4(deaH)(dea)(oAc)5.(CH3)2CO as the precursor. The various characteristic aspects of as-grown films, such as their crystallinity, morphology, and composition have been covered elaborately in various sections of this chapter. The chapter describes the efficient guiding and confining of light exploiting the photonic band gap of these nanoporous films, which indicates the potential usefulness of these and similar films as optical waveguides. A model described in the literature on absorbing photonic crystals, wherein a periodically modulated absorption entails an inevitable spatial modulation of dispersion, i.e., of the index contrast to open a photonic band gap, has been used to calculate the indices of refraction of one of these nanoporous films. The chapter also reports briefly the preliminary electrochemical investigations carried out on a typical film, examining the notion of its application as the anode in a Li-ion rechargeable battery. Chapter 5 describes the synthesis of nanocrystalline LixCoO2 films by the sol-gel method. Reports available in literature indicate that the various phases of LixCoO2 are extremely sensitive to processing temperature, making it difficult to control dimensionality of a given phase using temperature as one of process parameters. We have investigated the possibility of using incoherent light to tailor the particle size/shape of this material. The as-grown and irradiated films were characterised by X-ray diffraction, and by microscopic and spectroscopic techniques.Optical spectroscopy was carried out in order to gain insight into the physico-chemical mechanism involved in such structural and morphological transformation. Chapter 6 deals with the synthesis of self-assembled nanostructures from the pre-synthesized nanocrystals building blocks, through optical means of exciton formation and dissociation. It has been demonstrated that, upon prolonged exposure to (incoherent) ultraviolet-visible radiation, LixCoO2 nanocrystals self-assemble into acicular architectures, through intermediate excitation of excitons. Furthermore, it has been shown that such self-assembly occurs in nanocrystals, which are initially anchored to the substrate surface such as that of fused quartz. This new type of process for the self-assembly of nanocrystals, which is driven by light has been investigated by available microscopic and spectroscopic techniques. Chapter 7 describes the stabilisation of chemically reactive metallic lithium in a carbonaceous nanostructure, viz., a carbon nanotube, achieved through the MOCVD process involving a lithium-alkyl moiety. This moiety is formed in situ during deposition through partial decomposition of a metalorganic precursor synthesized in house, which contains both lithium and cobalt. It is surmised that the stabilization of metallic Li in the nanostructure in situ occurs through the partial decomposition of the metalorganic precursor. Quantitative X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy carried out on such a film reveals that as much as 33.4% metallic lithium is trapped in carbon. Lastly, Chapter 8 briefly highlights the outlook for further investigations suggested by the work undertaken for this thesis. Novel precursors derived from biologically compatible ligands can open up possibility of growing new type of micro/nano-structures, and of unusual phases in the CVD grown films. Furthermore, it is proposed that the novel method of growth and alignment of nanocrystals through irradiation with incoherent light, employed for the specific material LixCoO2, may be employed for various other metallic and semiconducting materials.