TitleFabrication and characterization of carbon and boron carbide nanostructured materials
NameReynaud, Sara (author), Chhowalla, Manish (chair), KLEIN, LISA C (internal member), Mann, Adrian B (internal member), Iqbal, Zafar (outside member), Rutgers University, Graduate School - New Brunswick,
SubjectMaterials Science and Engineering,
DescriptionCarbon is present in nature in a variety of allotropes and chemical compounds. Due to reduced dimensionality, nanostructured carbon materials, i.e. single walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs), are characterized by unique physical and chemical properties. There is a potential for SWNTs use as biological probes and assists for tunable tissue growth in biomedical applications. However, the presumed cytotoxicity of SWNTs requires investigation of the risks of their incorporation into living systems. Boron is not found in nature in elementary form. Boron based materials are chemically complex and exist in various polymorphic forms, i.e. boron carbide (BC). Because BC is a lightweight material with exceptional mechanical and elastic properties, it is the ideal candidate for armor and ballistic applications. However, practical use of BC as armor material is limited because of its anomalous glass-like behaviour at high velocity impacts, which has been linked to stress-induced structural instability in one of BC polymorphs, B12(CCC). Theoretical calculations suggest that formation of B12(CCC) in BC could be suppressed by silicon doping. In the first part of this thesis, biocompatibility of SWNTs is investigated. It is shown that under normal cell implantation conditions, the electrical conductivity of the SWNTs decreases due to an increase in structural disorder. This research suggests that SWNTs can be functionalized by protein and biological cells reducing the risk of cytotoxicity. In the second part of this thesis, boron carbide nanostructured materials are synthesized and investigated. Radio frequency sputtering deposition technique is employed for fabrication of BC (Si free) and BC:Si thin films. Variation of plasma conditions and temperature are found to affect chemical composition, adhesion to the substrate and morphology of the films. It is shown that BC films are predominantly amorphous and a small addition of Si largely improves their mechanical properties. In addition, nanostructured BC compounds are fabricated by arc discharge technique using graphite or boron carbide electrodes submerged in liquid nitrogen, de-ionised water, or argon gas. Microscopic and spectroscopic investigation of the synthesized material confirms formation of various BC and carbon nanostructures. Specifically, arc discharge initiated in inert environment by applying low current leads to the formation of nanostructured BC without contaminants.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references
Noteby Sara Reynaud
CollectionGraduate School - New Brunswick Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.