Selected Publications

BYU Authors: Todd D. Wickard, Emily Nelsen, Nitesh Madaan, Robert C. Davis, and Matthew R. Linford, published in Langmuir
We report the first attachment of polymers with pendant vinyl groups to hydrogen-terminated silicon(111) (Si(111)-H); 1,2-polybutadiene (M(w) = 3200-3500 g/mol) was attached to Si(111)-H under mild conditions at room temperature with visible light. We also report the partial functionalization, in solution, of 1,2-polybutadiene with various thiols using thiol-ene chemistry and the Subsequent attachments of these compounds to Si(111)-H. The partially functionalized or unfunctionalized polybutadienes allow further functionalization at the surface through their unreacted carbon-carbon double bonds. We present this as a useful strategy for Silicon Surface modification, Surfaces were characterized with contact angle goniometry, spectroscopic ellipsometry X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XIS), time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS), and atomic force microscopy (AFM).
BYU Authors: David N. Hutchison, Nicholas B. Morrill, Quentin Aten, Brendan W. Turner, Brian D. Jensen, Larry L. Howell, Richard R. Vanfleet, and Robert C. Davis, published in J. Microelectromech. Syst.
A class of carbon-nanotube (CNT) composite materials was developed to take advantage of the precise high-aspect-ratio shape of patterned vertically grown nanotube forests. These patterned forests were rendered mechanically robust by chemical vapor infiltration and released by etching an underlying sacrificial layer. We fabricated a diverse variety of functional MEMS devices, including cantilevers, bistable mechanisms, and thermomechanical actuators, using this technique. A wide range of chemical-vapor-depositable materials could be used as fillers; here, we specifically explored infiltration by silicon and silicon nitride. The CNT framework technique may enable high-aspect-ratio MEMS fabrication from a variety of materials with desired properties such as high-temperature stability or robustness. The elastic modulus of the silicon-nanotube and silicon nitride-nanotube composites is dominated by the filler material, but they remain electrically conductive, even when the filler (over 99% of the composite's mass) is insulating. [2009-0197]
BYU Authors: D. N. Hutchison, Q. Aten, B. Turner, N. Morrill, B. D. Jensen, R. C. Davis, and R. R. Vanfleet, published in Solid-State Sensors, Actuators and Microsystems: Transducers 2009 (June 2009, Denver, CO).
We recently developed a fabrication process for carbon nanotube templated MEMS. The fabrication process involves growing a three dimensional pattern from carbon nanotube forests and filling that forest by chemical vapor infiltration to make a solid structure. This templating process allows us to fabricate extremely high aspect ratio microscale structures from a wide variety of materials. The nanotube structures can be hundreds of microns tall with lateral pattern dimensions down to a few microns. The chemical vapor infiltration has been shown with silicon and silicon nitride but could be extended to many other materials. In this paper, we investigate the microstructure of the filling material and extend the process to the fabrication of comb actuators.
BYU Authors: Felipe Rivera, Robert C. Davis, and Richard Vanfleet, published in MRS Proc.
Vanadium dioxide (VO2) single crystals undergo a structural first-order metal to insulator phase transition at approximately 68°C. This phase transition exhibits a resistivity change of up to 5 orders of magnitude in bulk specimens. We observe a 2-3 order of magnitude change in thin films of VO2. Individual particles with sizes ranging from 50 to 250 nm were studied by means of Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM). The structural transition for individual particles was observed as a function of temperature. Furthermore, the interface between grains was also studied. We present our current progress in understanding this phase transition for polycrystalline thin films of VO2 from the view of individual particles.
BYU Authors: Robert C. Davis, published in Phys. Rev. Lett.
To demonstrate the potential for microelectromechanical systems, nanotube beams composed from self-assembled closely packed and aligned single-walled carbon nanotubes were fabricated and their mechanical properties were measured. We found that the nanotube beams behave as a cohesive, rigid, and elastic body with a sound velocity of 10 100 m/s.
BYU Authors: Feng Zhang, Robert C. Davis, and Matthew R. Linford, published in Langmuir
Here we present a straightforward patterning technique for silicon: subsurface oxidation for micropatterning silicon (SOMS). In this method, a stencil mask is placed above a silicon surface. Radio-frequency plasma oxidation of the substrate creates a pattern of thicker oxide in the exposed regions. Etching with HF or KOH produces very shallow or much higher aspect ratio features on silicon, respectively, where patterning is confirmed by atomic force microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and optical microscopy. The oxidation process itself is studied under a variety of reaction conditions, including higher and lower oxygen pressures (2 and 0.5 Torr), a variety of powers (50-400 W), different times and as a function of reagent purity (99.5 or 99.994% oxygen). SOMS can be easily executed in any normal chemistry laboratory with a plasma generator. Because of its simplicity, it may have industrial viability.