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Concept: Chemical vapor deposition


Tailoring and assembling graphene into functional macrostructures with well-defined configuration are key for many promising applications. We report on a graphene-based woven fabric (GWF) prepared by interlacing two sets of graphene micron-ribbons where the ribbons pass each other essentially at right angles. By using a woven copper mesh as the template, the GWF grown from chemical vapour deposition retains the network configuration of the copper mesh. Embedded into polymer matrices, it has significant flexibility and strength gains compared with CVD grown graphene films. The GWFs display both good dimensional stability in both the warp and the weft directions and the combination of film transparency and conductivity could be optimized by tuning the ribbon packing density. The GWF creates a platform to integrate a large variety of applications, e.g., composites, strain sensors and solar cells, by taking advantages of the special structure and properties of graphene.

Concepts: Chemical vapor deposition, Silicon carbide, Angle, Textile, Cartesian coordinate system, Woven, Weaving, Woven fabrics


In this work, we report a direct synthesis of vertically aligned ZnO nanowires on fluorine-doped tin oxide-coated substrates using the chemical vapor deposition (CVD) method. ZnO nanowires with a length of more than 30 μm were synthesized, and dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) based on the as-grown nanowires were fabricated, which showed improvement of the device performance compared to those fabricated using transferred ZnO nanowires. Dependence of the cell performance on nanowire length and annealing temperature was also examined. This synthesis method provided a straightforward, one-step CVD process to grow relatively long ZnO nanowires and avoided subsequent nanowire transfer process, which simplified DSSC fabrication and improved cell performance.

Concepts: Chromosome, Chemical reaction, Nanowire, Solar cell, Photovoltaics, Titanium dioxide, Dye-sensitized solar cell, Chemical vapor deposition


We report a novel approach to synthesize chemical vapor deposition-grown three-dimensional graphene nano-networks (3D-GNs) that can be mass produced with large-area coverage. Annealing of a PVA/iron precursor under a hydrogen environment, infiltrated into 3D-assembled-colloidal silicas reduces iron ions and generates few-layer graphene by precipitation of carbon on the iron surface. The 3D-GN can be grown on any electronic device-compatible substrate, such as Al2O3, Si, GaN, or Quartz. The conductivity and surface area of a 3D-GN are 52 S/cm and 1,025 m(2)/g, respectively, which are much better than the previously reported values. Furthermore, electrochemical double-layer capacitors based on the 3D-GN have superior supercapacitor performance with a specific capacitance of 245 F/g and 96.5% retention after 6,000 cycles due to the outstanding conductivity and large surface area. The excellent performance of the 3D-GN as an electrode for supercapacitors suggests the great potential of interconnected graphene networks in nano-electronic devices and energy-related materials.

Concepts: Earth, Hydrogen, Industrial Revolution, Carbon, Aluminium, Chemical vapor deposition, Silicon carbide, Surface area


We report hot filament thermal CVD (HFTCVD) as a new hybrid of hot filament and thermal CVD and demonstrate its feasibility by producing high quality large area strictly monolayer graphene films on Cu substrates. Gradient in gas composition and flow rate that arises due to smart placement of the substrate inside the Ta filament wound alumina tube accompanied by radical formation on Ta due to precracking coupled with substrate mediated physicochemical processes like diffusion, polymerization etc., led to graphene growth. We further confirmed our mechanistic hypothesis by depositing graphene on Ni and SiO(2)/Si substrates. HFTCVD can be further extended to dope graphene with various heteroatoms (H, N, and B, etc.,), combine with functional materials (diamond, carbon nanotubes etc.,) and can be extended to all other materials (Si, SiO(2), SiC etc.,) and processes (initiator polymerization, TFT processing) possible by HFCVD and thermal CVD.

Concepts: Carbon, Aluminium, Carbon nanotube, Graphite, Graphene, Materials science, Chemical vapor deposition, Silicon carbide


Unipolar resistance switching (RS) in TiO2 thin films originates from the repeated formation and rupture of the Magnéli phase conducting filaments through repeated nano-scale phase transitions. By applying the Johnson-Mehl-Avrami (JMA) type kinetic model to the careful analysis on the evolution of transient current in a pulse-switching, it was possible to elucidate the material specific evolution of the Magnéli phase filament. This methodology was applied to the two types of TiO2 films grown by plasma-enhanced atomic layer deposition (PEALD) and sputtering. These two samples have structurally and electrically distinctive properties: PEALD film exhibited high variability in switching parameters and required an electroforming while sputtered film showed higher uniformity without distinct electroforming process. The JMA-type kinetic analysis of the RS behaviors revealed that the rejuvenation of the filament is accomplished by repeated one-dimensional nucleation followed by a two-dimensional growth in PEALD samples, whereas one-dimensional nucleation-free mechanism dominates in sputtered films.

Concepts: Layer, Manifold, Chemical vapor deposition, Thin film, Spinodal decomposition, Crystal growth, Sputtering, Self-cleaning glass


GaN-based light-emitting diodes (LEDs) have been widely accepted as highly efficient solid-state light sources capable of replacing conventional incandescent and fluorescent lamps. However, their applications are limited to small devices because their fabrication process is expensive as it involves epitaxial growth of GaN by metal-organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) on single crystalline sapphire wafers. If a low-cost epitaxial growth process such as sputtering on a metal foil can be used, it will be possible to fabricate large-area and flexible GaN-based light-emitting displays. Here we report preparation of GaN films on nearly lattice-matched flexible Hf foils using pulsed sputtering deposition (PSD) and demonstrate feasibility of fabricating full-color GaN-based LEDs. It was found that introduction of low-temperature (LT) grown layers suppressed the interfacial reaction between GaN and Hf, allowing the growth of high-quality GaN films on Hf foils. We fabricated blue, green, and red LEDs on Hf foils and confirmed their normal operation. The present results indicate that GaN films on Hf foils have potential applications in fabrication of future large-area flexible GaN-based optoelectronics.

Concepts: Semiconductor, Chemical vapor deposition, Wafer, Light-emitting diode, Semiconductor device fabrication, Epitaxy, Gallium nitride, Black light


Semiconductor nanowires with both nano- and micrometre dimensions have been used as effective materials for artificial photosynthesis; however, a single synthesis approach to provide rational control over the macroscopic morphology, which can allow for the high-throughput screening of photocatalytic performance, and carrier transfer between oxide and sulphide nanostructures has been poorly known. Our recent findings indicate that a single parameter, Nb foil thickness, in a vapor-phase synthesis method can alter the macroscopic morphology of resulting Nb2O5 nanowires. Thick Nb foil results in a free-standing Nb2O5 film, whereas a thinner foil leads to fragmentation to give a powder. During the synthesis process, a Rh dopant was provided through metal-organic chemical vapor deposition to reduce the Nb2O5 energy gap. Upon irradiation with visible light (λ > 440 nm), the free-standing nanowire film [Nb2O5:Rh-NW(F)] showed photoanodic current with a Faradaic efficiency of 99% for O2 evolution. Under identical irradiation conditions, the powdered counterpart [Nb2O5:Rh-NW(P)] showed activity for O2 evolution in the presence of an electron acceptor. The poor water-reduction ability was greatly enhanced by the Au-catalysed vapor-liquid-solid (VLS) growth of H2-evolving CdS onto the reduction sites of Nb2O5:Rh-NW(P) [Au/CdS/Nb2O5:Rh-NW(P)].

Concepts: Photosynthesis, Light, Electrochemistry, Nanowire, Solar cell, Chemical vapor deposition, Electron acceptor, Vapor-liquid-solid method


Thermal chemical vapour deposition techniques for graphene fabrication, while promising, are thus far limited by resource-consuming and energy-intensive principles. In particular, purified gases and extensive vacuum processing are necessary for creating a highly controlled environment, isolated from ambient air, to enable the growth of graphene films. Here we exploit the ambient-air environment to enable the growth of graphene films, without the need for compressed gases. A renewable natural precursor, soybean oil, is transformed into continuous graphene films, composed of single-to-few layers, in a single step. The enabling parameters for controlled synthesis and tailored properties of the graphene film are discussed, and a mechanism for the ambient-air growth is proposed. Furthermore, the functionality of the graphene is demonstrated through direct utilization as an electrode to realize an effective electrochemical genosensor. Our method is applicable to other types of renewable precursors and may open a new avenue for low-cost synthesis of graphene films.

Concepts: Electrochemistry, Carbon nanotube, Chemical vapor deposition, Silicon carbide, Metaphysics, Semiconductor device fabrication, Vacuum, Physical vapor deposition


This work demonstrates an attractive low-cost route to obtain large area and high-quality graphene films by using the ultra-smooth copper foils which are typically used as the negative electrodes in lithium-ion batteries. We first compared the electronic transport properties of our new graphene film with the one synthesized by using commonly used standard copper foils in chemical vapor deposition (CVD). We observed a stark improvement in the electrical performance of the transistors realized on our graphene films. To study the optical properties on large area, we transferred CVD based graphene to transparent flexible substrates using hot lamination method and performed large area optical scanning. We demonstrate the promise of our high quality graphene films for large areas with ~400 cm(2) flexible optical modulators. We obtained a profound light modulation over a broad spectrum by using the fabricated large area transparent graphene supercapacitors and we compared the performance of our devices with the one based on graphene from standard copper. We propose that the copper foils used in the lithium-ion batteries could be used to obtain high-quality graphene at much lower-cost, with the improved performance of electrical transport and optical properties in the devices made from them.

Concepts: Optics, Semiconductor, Chemical vapor deposition, Rechargeable battery, Lithium-ion battery, Electronics, Photonics, Optoelectronics


Crack formation drives material failure and is often regarded as a process to be avoided. However, closer examination of cracking phenomena has revealed exquisitely intricate patterns such as spirals, oscillating and branched fracture paths and fractal geometries. Here we demonstrate the controlled initiation, propagation and termination of a variety of channelled crack patterns in a film/substrate system comprising a silicon nitride thin film deposited on a silicon substrate using low-pressure chemical vapour deposition. Micro-notches etched into the silicon substrate concentrated stress for crack initiation, which occurred spontaneously during deposition of the silicon nitride layer. We reproducibly created three distinct crack morphologies–straight, oscillatory and orderly bifurcated (stitchlike)–through careful selection of processing conditions and parameters. We induced direction changes by changing the system parameters, and we terminated propagation at pre-formed multi-step crack stops. We believe that our patterning technique presents new opportunities in nanofabrication and offers a starting point for atomic-scale pattern formation, which would be difficult even with current state-of-the-art nanofabrication methodologies.

Concepts: Chemical vapor deposition, Pattern, Thin film, Silicon nitride, Plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition