NANOPOROUS AAO: A PLATFORM FOR REGULAR HETEROGENEOUS NANOSTRUCTURES AND ENERGY STORAGE DEVICES
Rubloff, Gary W
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Nanoporous anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) has vast implications as a tool for nanoscience research and as a nanostructure in which nanoscale devices can be fabricated because of its regular and ordered nanopores. Self-assembly plays a critical role in pore ordering, causing nanopores to grow parallel with one another in high density. The mild electrochemical conditions in which porous AAO grows along with its relatively cheap starting materials makes this nanomaterial a cost effective alternative to advanced photolithography techniques for forming high surface area nanostructures over large areas. In this research, atomic layer deposition (ALD) was used to deposit conformal films within in nanoporous AAO with hopes to 1) develop methodologies to characterize ALD depositions within its high aspect ratio nanopores and 2) to better understand how to use nanoporous AAO templates as a scaffold for energy devices, specifically Metal-Insulator-Metal (MIM) capacitors. Using the nanotube template synthesis method, ALD films were deposited onto nanoporous AAO, later removing the films deposited within the templates nanopores for characterization in TEM. This nanotube metrology characterization involves first obtaining images of full length ALD-AAO nanotubes, and then measuring wall thickness as a function of depth within the nanopore. MIM nanocapacitors were also constructed in vertical AAO nanopores by deposition of multilayer ALD films. MIM stacks were patterned into micro-scale capacitors for electrical characterization.