Concept: Chemical vapor deposition
Transparent and flexible electrodes are widely used on a variety of substrates such as plastics and glass. Yet, to date, transparent electrodes on a textile substrate have not been explored. The exceptional electrical, mechanical and optical properties of monolayer graphene make it highly attractive as a transparent electrode for applications in wearable electronics. Here, we report the transfer of monolayer graphene, grown by chemical vapor deposition on copper foil, to fibers commonly used by the textile industry. The graphene-coated fibers have a sheet resistance as low as ~1 kΩ per square, an equivalent value to the one obtained by the same transfer process onto a Si substrate, with a reduction of only 2.3 per cent in optical transparency while keeping high stability under mechanical stress. With this approach, we successfully achieved the first example of a textile electrode, flexible and truly embedded in a yarn.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Low-temperature epitaxial growth of AlN ultrathin films was realized by atomic layer deposition (ALD) together with the layer-by-layer, in-situ atomic layer annealing (ALA), instead of a high growth temperature which is needed in conventional epitaxial growth techniques. By applying the ALA with the Ar plasma treatment in each ALD cycle, the AlN thin film was converted dramatically from the amorphous phase to a single-crystalline epitaxial layer, at a low deposition temperature of 300 °C. The energy transferred from plasma not only provides the crystallization energy but also enhances the migration of adatoms and the removal of ligands, which significantly improve the crystallinity of the epitaxial layer. The X-ray diffraction reveals that the full width at half-maximum of the AlN (0002) rocking curve is only 144 arcsec in the AlN ultrathin epilayer with a thickness of only a few tens of nm. The high-resolution transmission electron microscopy also indicates the high-quality single-crystal hexagonal phase of the AlN epitaxial layer on the sapphire substrate. The result opens a window for further extension of the ALD applications from amorphous thin films to the high-quality low-temperature atomic layer epitaxy, which can be exploited in a variety of fields and applications in the near future.
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.
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)].
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.