- Mechanisms of nanofractal structure formation and post-growth evolution (2011)
- Nanotechnology is a rapidly developing branch of science, which is focused on the study of phenomena at the nanometer scale, in particular related to the possibilities of matter manipulation. One of the main goals of nanotechnology is the development of controlled, reproducible, and industrially transposable nanostructured materials. The conventional technique of thin-film growth by deposition of atoms, small atomic clusters and molecules on surfaces is the general method, which is often used in nanotechnology for production of new materials. Recent experiments show, that patterns with different morphology can be formed in the course of nanoparticles deposition process on a surface. In this context, predicting of the final architecture of the growing materials is a fundamental problem worth studying. Another factor, which plays an important role in industrial applications of new materials, is the question of post-growth stability of deposited structures. The understanding of the post-growth relaxation processes would give a possibility to estimate the lifetime of the deposited material depending on the conditions at which the material was fabricated. Controllable post-growth manipulations with the architecture of deposited structures opens new path for engineering of nanostructured materials. The task of this thesis is to advance understanding mechanisms of formation and post-growth evolution of nanostructured materials fabricated by atomic clusters deposition on a surface. In order to achieve this goal the following main problems were addressed: 1. The properties of isolated clusters can significantly differ from those of analogous clusters occurring on a solid surface. The difference is caused by the interaction between the cluster and the solid. Therefore, the understanding of structural and dynamical properties of an atomic cluster on a surface is a topic of intense interest from the scientific and technological point of view. In the thesis, stability, energy, and geometry of an atomic cluster on a solid surface were studied using a liquid drop approach which takes into account the cluster-solid interaction. Geometries of the deposited clusters are compared with those of isolated clusters and the differences are discussed. 2. The formation scenarios of patterns on a surface in the course of the process of cluster deposition depend strongly on the dynamics of deposited clusters. Therefore, an important step towards predicting pattern morphology is to study dynamics of a single cluster on a surface. The process of cluster diffusion on a surface was modeled with the use of classical molecular dynamics technique, and the diffusion coefficients for the silver nanoclusters were obtained from the analysis of trajectories of the clusters. The dependence of the diffusion coefficient on the system’s temperature and cluster-surface interaction was established. The results of the calculations are compared with the available experimental results for the diffusion coefficient of silver clusters on graphite surface. 3. The methods of classical molecular dynamics cannot be used for modeling the self-assembly processes of atomic clusters on a surface, because these processes occur on the minutes timescale, what would require an unachievable computer resource for the simulation. Based on the results of molecular dynamics simulations for a single cluster on a surface a Monte-Carlo based approach has been developed to describe the dynamics of the self-assembly of nanoparticles on a surface. This method accounts for the free particle diffusion on a surface, aggregation into islands and detachment from these islands. The developed method is allowed to study pattern formation of structures up to thousands nm, as well as the stability of these structures. Developed method was implemented in MBN Explorer computer package. 4. The process of the pattern formation on a surface was modeled for several different scenarios. Based on the analysis of results of simulations was suggested a criterion, which can be used to distinguish between different patterns formed on a surface, for example: between fractals or compact islands.This criteria can be used to predict the final morphology of a growing structure. 5. The post-growth evolution of patterns on a surface was also analyzed. In particular, attention in the thesis is payed to a systematical theoretical analysis of the post-growth processes occurring in nanofractals on a surface. The time evolution of fractal morphology in the course of the post-growth relaxation was analyzed, the results of these calculations were compared with experimental data available for the post-growth relaxation of silver cluster fractals on graphite substrate. All the aforementioned problems are discussed in details in the thesis.
- Modelling energetics and stability of carbon nanotubes : a novel approach (2009)
- This thesis is devoted to the developement of a classical model for the study of the energetics and stability of carbon nanotubes. The motivation behind such a model stems from the fact that production of nanotubes in a well-controlled manner requires a detailed understanding of their energetics. In order to study this different theoretical approaches are possible, ranging from the computationally expensive quantum mechanical first principle methods to the relatively simple classical models. A wisely developed classical model has the advantage that it could be used for systems of any possible size while still producing reasonable results. The model developed in this thesis is based on the well-known liquid drop model without the volume term and hence we call it liquid surface model. Based on the assumption that the energy of a nanotube can be expressed in terms of its geometrical parameters like surface area, curvature and shape of the edge, liquid surface model is able to predict the binding energy of nanotubes of any chirality once the total energy and the chiral indices of it are known. The model is suggested for open end and capped nanotubes and it is shown that the energy of capped nanotubes is determined by five physical parameters, while for the open end nanotubes three parameters are sufficient. The parameters of the liquid surface model are determined from the calculations performed with the use of empirical Tersoff and Brenner potentials and the accuracy of the model is analysed. It is shown that the liquid surface model can predict the binding energy per atom for capped nanotubes with relative error below 0.3% from that calculated using Brenner potential, corresponding to the absolute energy difference being less than 0.01 eV. The influence of the catalytic nanoparticle on top of which a nanotube grows, on the nanotube energetics is also discussed. It is demonstrated that the presence of catalytic nanoparticle changes the binding energy per atom in such a way that if the interaction of a nanotube with the catalytic nanoparticle is weak then attachment of an additional atom to a nanotube is an energetically favourable process, while if the catalytic nanoparticle nanotube interaction is strong , it becomes energetically more favourable for the nanotube to collapse. The suggested model gives important insights in the energetics and stability of nanotubes of different chiralities and is an important step towards the understanding of nanotube growth process. Young modulus and curvature constant are calculated for single-wall carbon nanotubes from the paremeters of the liquid surface model and demonstrated that the obtained values are in agreement with the values reported earlier both theoretically and experimentally. The calculated Young modulus and the curvature constant were used to conclude about the accuracy of the Tersoff and Brenner potentials. Since the parameters of the liquid surface model are obtained from the Tersoff and Brenner potential calculations, the agreement of elastic properties derived from these parameters corresponds to the fact that both potentials are capable of describing the elastic properties of nanotubes. Finally, the thesis discuss the possible extension of the model to various systems of interest.
- Phase transitions in carbon-based nanoclusters : as seen via molecular dynamics simulations (2010)
- Nanocarbon structures, such as fullerenes and nanotubes, have generated considerable interest and research, due to their unique properties and potential applications. In this thesis, we present a study of the phase transition properties of nanocarbon clusters,in particular, we pay special consideration to fullerenes. The work presented in this thesis is largely theoretical and computational in nature, employing as a tool, molecular dynamics simulations to probe the dynamic stability of fullerenes and associated nanocarbon structures such as graphenes and nanotubes.