Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Electrical and Computer Engineering

Document Type



Several reports state that it is crucial to analyze nanoscale semiconductor materials and devices with potential benefits to meet the need for next-generation nanoelectronics, bio, and nanosensors. The progress in the electronics field is as significant now, with modern technology constantly evolving and a greater focus on more efficient robust optoelectronic applications. This dissertation focuses on the study and examination of the practicality of Electrophoretic Deposition (EPD) of zinc oxide (ZnO) nanoparticles (NPs) for use in semiconductor applications.

The feasibility of several synthesized electrolytes, with and without surfactants and APTES surface functionalization, is discussed. The primary objective of this study is to demonstrate that the electrophoretic method for depositing ZnO NPs can also be used to produce ZnO films onto p-type silicon, functionalized p-type silicon, and aluminum substrates. This investigation uses ZnO NPs deposited at room temperature onto silicon, functionalized silicon, and aluminum substrates via EPD. The experimental work examines EPD solution formulations, EPD optimization for ZnO NP coverage, imaging of the surfaces, and electrical characterizations. Thin films produced were examined using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Raman Spectroscopy (RS), Ultraviolent Photoelectron Spectroscopy (UPS), and Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM), electrical impedance, and current-voltage (I-V) measurements. The results obtained are viewed in the context of providing valuable information in the ongoing search for reproducible and robust yet economical means of NP and thin-film deposition.

This work fabricates a proof-of-concept pn junction composed of n-type ZnO NPs electrophoretically deposited onto p-type Si. This investigation presents a potential opportunity for integrating this deposition method into applications where ZnO contributes to the reliability, affordability, and highly increased sensitivity needed for the next generation of nanoscale devices and systems.

The EPD of ZnO nanoscale thin films is important to several research areas, including biosensors, photophilic dye-sensitized solar cells, optoelectronic devices, and thin-film transistors. ZnO NPs have recently attracted attention due to their excellent optoelectronic performance and low cost of production [1-11]. Combining EPD with ZnO NPs will result in a more accessible technique of nanomaterial deposition, research tools for thin films and nanostructures, and improved materials for next-generation electronics



Committee Chair

Daniels-Race, Theda