Carbon based electronic materials have become a thing of the present in science (i.e. carbon nanotubes).  Recently, focus has also spread to studies on graphene, a single layer of graphite. Over the past 6 years, we have developed synthetic and processing routes to a new class of nanostructured carbon materials which combine high surface area with well defined nanostructure.  Our approach relies on the use of macromolecular carbon precursors prepared by controlled radical polymerization. Through self assembly and directed self assembly these precursors organize into well defined nanoscale morphologies which following the stabilization through chemical crosslinking are converted into porous nanocarbons with morphology resembling the morphology of the starting material. Here we describe how control of the nanoscale morphology of carbon opens the way to the control of its electronic structure by restricting the spatial extent of graphitic domains, yielding materials ranging from wide bandgap semiconductors to semimetals.  Potential applications include field emission devices, transistors, sensors, supercapacitors, etc.


Work on this project covers a wide variety of skills like device fabrication and polymer synthesis and characterization techniques including: Atomic Force Microscopy, Scanning Tunneling Microscopy/Spectroscopy, X-ray Scattering, TEM, UV-Vis, Surface Raman, etc.

Carnegie Mellon University

Room 527, 4400 Fifth Avenue

Mellon Institute

Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Phone:      412-268-9175
Fax:          412-268-1061