Date of Award

Fall 2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Materials Science and Engineering - (Ph.D.)


Committee for the Interdisciplinary Program in Materials Science and Engineering

First Advisor

N. M. Ravindra

Second Advisor

Ken Keunhyuk Ahn

Third Advisor

Michael R. Booty

Fourth Advisor

Michael Jaffe

Fifth Advisor

Anthony Fiory


Graphene, a two-dimensional allotrope of graphite with sp2 bonded carbon atoms, is arranged in honeycomb structure. Its quasi one-dimensional form is graphene nanoribbon (GNR). Graphene related materials have been found to display excellent electronic, chemical, mechanical properties along with uniquely high thermal conductivity, electrical conductivity and high optical transparency. With excellent electrical characteristics such as high carrier transport properties, quantum Hall effect at room temperature and unusual magnetic properties, graphene has applications in optoelectronic devices.

Electronically, graphene is a zero bandgap semiconductor making it essential to tailor its structure for obtaining specific band structure. Narrow GNRs are known to open up bandgap and found to exhibit variations for different chiralities i.e., armchair and zigzag. Doping graphene, with p- or n- type elements, is shown to exhibit bandgap in contrast to pristine graphene.

In this study, optical properties including dielectric functions, absorption coefficient, transmittance, and reflectance, as a function of wavelength and incident energy, are studied. Refractive index and extinction coefficient of pristine graphene are presented. A key optical property in the infrared region, emissivity, is studied as a function of wavelength for various multilayered configurations having graphene as one of the constituent layers. Application of such a structure is in the fabrication of a Hot Electron Bolometer (a sensor that operates on the basis of temperature-dependent electrical resistance).

Graphene is found to have very high elastic modulus and intrinsic strength. Nanoindentation of graphene sheet is simulated to study the force versus displacement curves. Effects of variation of diameter of indenter, speed of indentation and number of layers of graphene on the mechanical properties are presented.

Shrinking size of electronic devices has led to an acute need for thermal management. This prompted the study of thermoelectric (TE) effects in graphene based systems. TE devices are finding applications in power generation and solid state refrigeration. This study involves analyzing the electronic, thermal and electrical transport properties of these systems. Electronic thermal conductivity, of graphene based systems (κe), is found to be negligible as compared to its phonon-induced lattice thermal conduction (κp). Variations in κp of graphene and GN Rs are evaluated as a function of their width and length of their edges, chiralities, temperature, and number of layers. The interdependence of transport parameters, i.e., electrical conductivity (σ), thermoelectric power (TEP) or Seebeck coefficient (S), and κ of graphene are discussed. The thermoelectric performance of these materials is determined mainly by a parameter called Figure-of-Merit. Effective methods to optimize the value of Figure-of-Merit are explored. Reducing the thermal conductivity and increasing the power factor of these systems are found to improve the Figure-of-Merit significantly. This involves correlation of structure and transport properties. Effects of doping on σ, κ and Hall coefficient are discussed.