Carbon nanotubes and graphene based devices: from nanosensors to confined water

Date: 31 October 2018

Venue: Campus Groenenborger, V.008 - Groenenborgerlaan 171 - 2020 Antwerpen (route: UAntwerpen, Campus Groenenborger)

Time: 3:00 PM

Organization / co-organization: Department of Physics

PhD candidate: Belisa Rebeca De Aquino

Principal investigator: F. Peeters, M. Neek-Amal & M. Milosevic

Short description: PhD defence Belisa Rebeca DE AQUINO - Faculty of Science, Department of Physics


Due to their outstanding properties, graphene and graphene-like materials are attracting ever increasing interest as candidates for different technological applications. Pristine or functionalized graphene-based materials are expected to have particular impact in the areas of biochemical sensors and filtration devices. Nanoresonators made of carbon nanotubes or graphene exhibit remarkable electromechanical properties and reach frequencies up to the order of gigahertz, important for the range of nanosensing applications.

On the other hand, the fabrication of narrow and smooth graphene capillaries with channel heights controlled with atomic-scale precision have enabled novel research on molecular transport and nanofluidics, with several potential applications, such as chemical separation and water desalination. In this thesis, molecular dynamics simulations are employed to study decorated carbon nanotubes and water confined in graphene nanochannels.

The structural and dynamical properties of metallic nanoparticles adsorbed on carbon nanotubes are related to the nanotube characteristics, and the sensing ability of the device is tested for different metallic elements. The electrostrictive behavior of water confined in graphene nanochannels as well as the effects of nanoscale confinement on water ions are also investigated. These results provide new direction for the fabrication of novel mass sensing and water filtration devices with unique and broadly tunable properties.