Design of hybrid 2D and 3D nanostructured arrays for electronic and sensing applications
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This dissertation presents the design of organic/inorganic hybrid 2D and 3D nanostructured arrays via controlled assembly of nanoscale building blocks. Two representative nanoscale building blocks such as carbon nanotubes (one-dimension) and metal nanoparticles (zero-dimension) are the core materials for the study of solution-based assembly of nanostructured arrays. The electrical, mechanical, and optical properties of the assembled nanostructure arrays have been investigated for future device applications. We successfully demonstrated the prospective use of assembled nanostructure arrays for electronic and sensing applications by designing flexible carbon nanotube nanomembranes as mechanical sensors, highly-oriented carbon nanotubes arrays for thin-film transistors, and gold nanoparticle arrays for SERS chemical sensors. In first section, we fabricated highly ordered carbon nanotube (CNT) arrays by tilted drop-casting or dip-coating of CNT solution on silicon substrates functionalized with micropatterned self-assembled monolayers. We further exploited the electronic performance of thin-film transistors based on highly-oriented, densely packed CNT micropatterns and showed that the carrier mobility is largely improved compared to randomly oriented CNTs. The prospective use of Raman-active CNTs for potential mechanical sensors has been investigated by studying the mechano-optical properties of flexible carbon nanotube nanomembranes, which contain freely-suspended carbon nanotube array encapsulated into ultrathin (<50 nm) layer-by-layer (LbL) polymer multilayers. In second section, we fabricated 3D nano-canal arrays of porous alumina membranes decorated with gold nanoparticles for prospective SERS sensors. We showed extraordinary SERS enhancement and suggested that the high performance is associated with the combined effects of Raman-active hot spots of nanoparticle aggregates and the optical waveguide properties of nano-canals. We demonstrated the ability of this SERS substrate for trace level sensing of nitroaromatic explosives by detecting down to 100 zeptogram (~330 molecules) of DNT.