Enhanced zinc oxide and graphene nanostructures for electronics and sensing applications

Ved Prakash Verma, Florida International University


Zinc oxide and graphene nanostructures are important technological materials because of their unique properties and potential applications in future generation of electronic and sensing devices. This dissertation investigates a brief account of the strategies to grow zinc oxide nanostructures (thin film and nanowire) and graphene, and their applications as enhanced field effect transistors, chemical sensors and transparent flexible electrodes. Nanostructured zinc oxide (ZnO) and low-gallium doped zinc oxide (GZO) thin films were synthesized by a magnetron sputtering process. Zinc oxide nanowires (ZNWs) were grown by a chemical vapor deposition method. Field effect transistors (FETs) of ZnO and GZO thin films and ZNWs were fabricated by standard photo and electron beam lithography processes. Electrical characteristics of these devices were investigated by nondestructive surface cleaning, ultraviolet irradiation treatment at high temperature and under vacuum. GZO thin film transistors showed a mobility of ∼5.7 cm2/V·s at low operation voltage of <5 V and a low turn-on voltage of>∼0.5 V with a sub threshold swing of ∼85 mV/decade. Bottom gated FET fabricated from ZNWs exhibit a very high on-to-off ratio (∼106) and mobility (∼28 cm2/V·s). A bottom gated FET showed large hysteresis of ∼5.0 to 8.0 V which was significantly reduced to ∼1.0 V by the surface treatment process. The results demonstrate charge transport in ZnO nanostructures strongly depends on its surface environmental conditions and can be explained by formation of depletion layer at the surface by various surface states. A nitric oxide (NO) gas sensor using single ZNW, functionalized with Cr nanoparticles was developed. The sensor exhibited average sensitivity of ∼46% and a minimum detection limit of ∼1.5 ppm for NO gas. The sensor also is selective towards NO gas as demonstrated by a cross sensitivity test with N2, CO and CO2 gases. Graphene film on copper foil was synthesized by chemical vapor deposition method. A hot press lamination process was developed for transferring graphene film to flexible polymer substrate. The graphene/polymer film exhibited a high quality, flexible transparent conductive structure with unique electrical-mechanical properties; ∼88.80% light transmittance and ∼1.1742Ω/sq k sheet resistance. The application of a graphene/polymer film as a flexible and transparent electrode for field emission displays was demonstrated.

Subject Area

Nanotechnology|Materials science

Recommended Citation

Verma, Ved Prakash, "Enhanced zinc oxide and graphene nanostructures for electronics and sensing applications" (2010). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI3431330.