Template-Based fabrication of Nanostructured Materials
Abstract: Materials prepared on the nanoscale often exhibit many different properties compared to the same materials in their bulk-state. Interest in nanostructured materials has increased because of these properties in fields such as microelectronics, catalysis, optics and sensors. This increased interest in nanostructured materials calls for new and more precise fabrication techniques.This thesis describes how to use the porous anodic aluminium oxide as a template for the fabrication of a variety of nanostructured materials. Palladium and copper nanoparticles were deposited along the pore walls in anodic aluminum oxide using electroless deposition and atomic layer deposition. In both cases, it was possible to control the size of the nanoparticles by carefully monitoring the deposition parameters. The thesis also describes how Prussian blue nanoparticles and nanotubes can be fabricated using the anodic aluminium oxide as a template. The deposition of Prussian blue was performed by a sequential wet-chemical method. By using atomic layer deposition, it was also possible to deposit thin films of amorphous Nb2O5 on the pore walls. When the template was removed by etching, freestanding nanotubes were obtained. The anodic aluminium oxide membrane was also used as a mask for high energy (MeV) ion irradiation of an underlying substrate. The tracks produced were etched away with hydrogen fluoride. In this way, it was possible to transfer the highly ordered porous pattern from the mask onto other oxides such as SiO2 and TiO2.All fabricated structures were characterized using a variety of analysis techniques: scanning electron microscopy for evaluating sample morphology; transmission electron microscopy for better resolved investigations of the morphology; X-ray diffraction to assess crystallinity; energy dispersive spectroscopy and X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy to determine the elemental composition and identify possible contaminants.The general aim of the work described in this thesis has been to create a set of tools for use in the fabrication of a variety of nanostructured materials, whose dimensions composition can be tailored by selecting appropriate fabrication methods and parameters.
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