Niklas Olofsson is Ph.D.-student for Eleanor Campbell in the Physics Department at University of Gothenburg.
His PhD project "Carbon nanotube nucleation and growth" involves growth of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) from catalytic nanoparticles in general and growth of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) with controlled position and chirality in particular. Carbon nanotubes have many spectacular properties and thus have been proposed as building material for applications in a number of different fields. Still, a complete understanding of the growth mechanism of CNTs has been lacking. In order to obtain more detailed information concerning the important parameters during growth it is essential to combine a number of powerful characterisation methods.
Schematic image of suspended SWNT grown from catalytic nanoparticle across a trench, left image, and TEM micrograph of similar structure, right image.
We have used microfabrication methods for the making of a chip forming the platform for combined transmission electron microscopy and Raman characterization of individual suspended SWNTs. This chip will be used for experimental studies of the fundamental mechanisms of carbon nanotube growth using chemical vapour deposition techniques. The work is being done in collaboration with the theoretical PhD project on the same topic by Anders Börjesson.