High-resolution transmission electron microscopy and electron energy loss spectroscopy of doped nanocarbons

  • William Pierce

    Student thesis: Phd


    Graphene, a one-atom thick sheet of carbon, is the thinnest, strongest and most electrically conductive material ever discovered. Alongside carbon nanotubes it is part of the group of nanocarbons whose unique properties have sparked huge interest in possible applications, including electronic devices, solar cells and biosensors. Doping of these materials allows for the modification of their optical and electronic properties,which is crucial to realising these applications. Studying the properties of these doped materials at atomic resolution and finding controllable and industrially scalable routes to doping, such as low energy ion implantation, are thus essential if they are to becomethe materials of the future.In this thesis, highly localised optical enhancements in metal doped graphene are studied using energy-filtered transmission electron microscopy in a monochromated and aberration corrected electron microscope. The ideal conditions for imaging the low energy loss region of graphene using EFTEM are discussed and new methods to compensate for image artifacts when using this technique at high resolution are presented. Density functional theory is used to reveal new visible spectrum plasmon excitations in the electron energy loss spectra of boron and nitrogen doped nanocarbons. Atomic resolution scanning transmission electron microscopy and nanoscale electron energy loss spectroscopy are used to investigate controllable and defect-free substitutional doping of suspended graphene films through low energy ion implantation.Computational methods for filtering high angle annular dark field images are shown and software for the automated processing and spectroscopic analysis of these images is developed.
    Date of Award31 Dec 2014
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • The University of Manchester


    • Carbon nanotubes
    • Transmission electron microscopy
    • Graphene
    • Electron energy loss spectroscopy

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