Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Electrical Engineering

First Advisor

Supriyo Bandyopadhyay


Nanotechnology is the science and engineering of creating functional materials by precise control of matter at nanometer (nm) length scale and exploring novel properties at that scale. It is vital to understand the quantum mechanical phenomena manifested at nanometer scale dimensions since that will enable us to precisely engineer quantum mechanical properties to realize novel device functionalities. This dissertation investigates optical and electronic properties of compound and transition metal doped compound semiconductor nanowires with a view to exploiting them for a wide range of applications in semiconductor electronic and optical devices. In this dissertation work, basic concepts of optical and electronic properties at low dimensional structures will be discussed in chapter 1. Chapter 2 discusses the nanofabrication technique employed to fabricate highly ordered nanowires. Using this method, which is based on electrochemical self-assembly techniques, we can fabricate highly ordered and size controlled nanowires and quantum dots of different materials. In Chapter 3, we report size dependent fluorescence spectroscopy of ZnSe and Mn doped ZnSe nanowires fabricated by the above method. The nanowires exhibit blue shift in the emission spectrum due to quantum confinement effect, which increases the effective bandgap of the semiconductor. We found that the fluorescence spectrum of Mn doped ZnSe nanowires shows high luminescence efficiency, which seems to increase with increasing Mn concentration. These results are highly encouraging for applications in multi spectral displays. Chapter 4 investigates field emission results of highly ordered 50 nm tapered ZnO nanowires that were also fabricated by electrochemical self-assembly. Subsequent to fabrication, the nanowires tips are exposed by chemical etching which renders the tips conical in shape. This tapered shape concentrates the electric field lines at the tip of the wires, and that, in turn, increases the emission current density while lowering the threshold field for the onset of field emission. Measurement of the Fowler-Nordheim tunneling current carried out in partial vacuum indicates that the threshold electric field for field emission in 50-nm diameter ZnO nanowires is 15 V/µm. In this study we identified the key constraint that can increase the threshold field and reduce emission current density. In Chapter 5 we report optical and magnetic measurement of Mn-doped ZnO nanowires. Hysterisis measurements carried out at various temperatures show a ferromagnetic behavior with a Curie temperature of ~ 200 K. We also studied Mn-doping of the ZnO nanowires. The room temperature fluorescence spectroscopy of Mn-doped ZnO nanowires shows a red-shift in the spectra compared to the undoped ZnO nanowires possibly due to strain introduced by the dopants in the nanowires. Finally, in Chapter 6, we report our study of the ensemble averaged transverse spin relaxation time (T2*) in InSb thin films and nanowires using electron spin resonance (ESR) measurement. Unfortunately, the nanowires contained too few spins to produce a detectable signal in our apparatus, but the thin films contained enough spins (> 109/cm2) to produce a measurable ESR signal. We found that the T2* decreases rapidly with increasing temperature between 3.5 K and 20 K, which indicates that spin-dephasing is primarily caused by spin-phonon interactions.


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Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

February 2009