Date of Graduation

5-2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Electrical Engineering (MSEE)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Electrical Engineering

Advisor

Hameed Naseem

Committee Member

Shui-Qing Yu

Second Committee Member

Samir El-Ghazaly

Abstract

Graphene, what some are terming the "new silicon", has the possibility of revolutionizing technology through nanoscale design processes. Fabrication of graphene for device processing is limited largely by the temperatures used in conventional deposition. High temperatures are detrimental to device design where many different materials may be present. For this reason, graphene synthesis at low temperatures using plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition is the subject of much research. In this thesis, a tool for ultra-high vacuum plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (UHV-PECVD) and accompanying subsystems, such as control systems and alarms, are designed and implemented to be used in future graphene growths. Also in this thesis, a method to fabricate graphene using plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition is proposed and executed on a single-chamber chemical vapor deposition system. The as-grown films were studied using spectroscopic and microscopic techniques.

Analysis of the grown films indicated nanoscale, multilayer flake-like structures. The structures grown were crystalline and of uniform diameter. Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy confirmed the main element of the flakes to be carbon. Though large-area graphene was not achieved, it is evident from this research that fine-tuning the parameters in the growth process would increase the possibility of monolithic graphene growth at low temperatures. The new UHV-PECVD system, with its cutting-edge capabilities, could be used to further research on graphene growth.

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