Probing interfacial processes on carbon nanotubes and graphene surfaces
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The surface of low-dimensional carbon (carbon nanotubes and graphene) has unique electronic properties due to the delocalized p-orbitals. Very high carrier mobility with nanoscale dimension make carbon nanotubes and graphene promising candidates for high performance electronics. Besides electronic properties, the delocalized orbitals have a strong tendency to adsorb aromatic molecules via p-electronic interactions. The strong non-covalent interactions between the graphitic surface and organic molecules provide a unique template for supramolecular chemistry and sensing applications. A comprehensive understanding of these forces at atomic and molecular level still remains a challenge. In this thesis, we have used carbon nanotube networks and graphene as model systems to understand molecular interactions on carbon surface. We have developed processes to integrate these model materials with sensitive and surface specific sensors, such as surface plasmon sensor and quartz crystal microbalance. In the first part of the thesis, we integrated surface plasmon resonance (SPR) sensors with networks of single-walled carbon nanotubes to study interactions between SWNT and organic molecules. In the second part, we probe interfacial processes on graphene surface by mass detection. We anticipate that the developed methods could provide a sensitive means of detecting fundamental interaction on carbon surfaces.
quartz crystal microbalance
surface plasmon resonance sensor