Selected Publications

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BYU Authors: Sarah M. Young, Brian E. Anderson, Robert C. Davis, and Richard R. Vanfleet, published in Proc. Meet. Acoust.
The two microphone transfer function technique is used to measure sound transmission properties of porous screens or membranes in a plane wave tube. This paper will compare sound transmission of porous screens from several manufacturers. Measurements are made with two different plane wave tubes, one of diameter 10.2 cm to measure frequencies between 100 Hz and 2 kHz, and the other of diameter 1.3 cm to measure frequencies between 2 kHz and 16 kHz. Multiple methods of transmission loss measurement and analysis are presented. Special considerations are made to account for the intrinsic losses in the smaller diameter tube.
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BYU Authors: Bibek Uprety, Tyler Westover, Michael Stoddard, Kamron Brinkerhoff, John Jensen, Robert C. Davis, Adam T. Woolley, and John N. Harb, published in Langmuir
An improved method for the metallization of DNA origami is examined in this work. DNA origami, a simple and robust method for creating a wide variety of nanostructured shapes and patterns, provides an enabling template for bottom-up fabrication of next-generation nanodevices. Selective metallization of these DNA templates is needed to make nanoelectronic devices. Here, we demonstrate a metallization process that uses gold nanorod seeds followed by anisotropic plating to provide improved morphology and greater control of the final metallized width of the structure. In our approach, gold nanorods are attached to an origami template to create a seed layer. Electroless gold deposition is then used to fill the gaps between seeds in order to create continuous, conductive nanowires. Importantly, growth during electroless deposition occurs preferentially in the length direction at a rate that is approximately 4 times the growth rate in the width direction, which enables fabrication of narrow, continuous wires. The electrical properties of 49 nanowires with widths ranging from 13 to 29 nm were characterized, and resistivity values as low as 8.9 × 10–7 Ω·m were measured. The anisotropic metallization process presented here represents important progress toward the creation of nanoelectronic devices by molecularly directed placement of functional components onto self-assembled biological templates.
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BYU Authors: Joseph Rowley, Lei Pei, Robert C. Davis, and Richard R. Vanfleet, published in J. Vac. Sci. Technol. A
Sputtered amorphous carbon thin films were explored as corrosion resistant coatings on aluminum thin films to be incorporated into x-ray detector windows. The requirements for this application include high corrosion resistance, low intrinsic stress, high strains at failure, and high x-ray transmission. Low temperature sputtering was used because of its compatibility with the rest of the window fabrication process. Corrosion resistance was tested by exposure of carbon coated and uncoated Al thin films to humidity. Substrate curvature and bulge testing measurements were used to determine intrinsic stress and ultimate strain at failure. The composition and bonding of the carbon films were further characterized by electron energy loss spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, and carbon, hydrogen, and nitrogen elemental analyses. Samples had low compressive stress (down to.08 GPa), a high strain at failure (3%), and a low fraction of sp3 carbon–carbon bonds (less than 5%). The high breaking strain and excellent x-ray transmission of these sputtered carbon films indicate that they will work well as corrosion barriers in this application.
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BYU Authors: Guohai Chen and Robert C. Davis, published in Nanoscale
We investigated the correlation between growth efficiency and structural parameters of single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT) forests and report the existence of a SWCNT “sweet spot” in the CNT diameter and spacing domain for highly efficient synthesis. Only within this region could SWCNTs be grown efficiently. Through the investigation of the growth rates for ~340 CNT forests spanning diameters from 1.3 to 8.0 nm and average spacing from 5 to 80 nm, this “sweet spot” was found to exist because highly efficient growth was constrained by several mechanistic boundaries that either hindered the formation or reduced the growth rate of SWCNT forests. Specifically, with increased diameter SWCNTs transitioned to multiwalled CNTs (multiwall border), small diameter SWCNTs could only be grown at low growth rates (low efficiency border), sparse SWCNTs lacked the requirements to vertically align (lateral growth border), and high density catalysts could not be prepared (high catalyst density border). As a result, the SWCNTs synthesized within this “sweet spot” possessed a unique set of characteristics vital for the development applications, such as large diameter, long, aligned, defective, and high specific surface area.
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BYU Authors: Lawrence K. Barrett, Dallin J. Barton, Steven G. Noyce, David D. Allred, Richard R. Vanfleet, and Robert C. Davis, published in J. Microelectromech. Syst.
High-aspect-ratio metallic microstructures have a variety of potential applications in sensing and actuation. However, fabrication remains a challenge. We have fabricated nickel microstructures with over 20:1 aspect ratios by electroplating patterned carbon-coated carbon-nanotube forests using a nickel chloride bath. Pulse plating allows nickel ions to diffuse into the interior of the forest during off portions of the cycle. Done properly, this solves the problem of the formation of an external crust, which otherwise blocks nickel deposition in the interior of the structures. Thus, densities of 86 ± 3% of bulk Ni for the composite structures are achieved. Cantilever structures do not yield under load, but break. Measurements of the material properties of this composite material indicate an elastic modulus of ~42 GPa and a strength of 400 MPa. We demonstrate the utility of this method with an external field magnetic actuator consisting of a proof mass and two flexures. We achieved 1-mN actuation forces. [2014-0274]
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BYU Authors: Robert C. Davis, published in Nanoscale
We report an inverse relationship between the carbon nanotube (CNT) growth rate and catalyst lifetime by investigating the dependence of growth kinetics for ~330 CNT forests on carbon feedstock, carbon concentration, and growth temperature. We found that increased growth temperature led increased CNT growth rate and shortened catalyst lifetime for all carbon feedstocks, following an inverse relationship of fairly constant maximum height. For increased carbon concentration, the carbon feedstocks fell into two groups where ethylene/butane showed increased/decreased growth rate and decreased/increased lifetime indicating different rate-limiting growth processes. In addition, this inverse relationship held true for different types of CNTs synthesized by varied chemical vapor deposition techniques and continuously spanned 1000-times range in both growth rate and catalyst lifetime, indicating the generality and fundamental nature of this behavior originating from the growth mechanism of CNTs itself. These results suggest it would be fundamentally difficult to achieve a fast growth with long lifetime.