Synthesis of nanostructured carbon materials by open-air laser-induced chemical vapor deposition

Date of Completion

January 2005


Engineering, Mechanical|Engineering, Materials Science




Elemental carbon in the sp2 hybridization state can form a great variety of graphitic and amorphous structures. Carbon nanotube is a well-known form of graphitic carbon that has remarkable mechanical, electronic and electrochemical properties with applications ranging from reinforced composite materials to micro-scale electronic devices. Pyrolytic carbon film with turbostratic structure is a form of amorphous carbon that possesses excellent barrier properties against diffusion of moisture and hydrogen, and is used as hermetic coating for optical fibers operating under harsh environments. Current deposition techniques for these novel carbon materials are limited in production rate, quality and reproducibility, thereby restricting their usage for advanced applications. In this dissertation, an open-air laser-induced chemical vapor deposition technique is proposed and investigated for the rapid growth of high quality carbon nanotubes and nanometer thick pyrolytic carbon films. The first part of the thesis focuses on the open-air synthesis of carbon nanotubes on stationary and moving fused quartz substrates. The second part will study the deposition of pyrolytic carbon film on various optical components including optical fibers. Optical microscopy, high-resolution transmission and scanning electron microscopy, Raman and Auger electron spectroscopy, as well as x-ray energy-dispersive spectrometry, scanning white-light interferometry and thermal pyrometry are used to investigate the deposition rate, morphology, microstructure and chemical composition of the deposited carbon materials. ^