Semester of Graduation

Spring 2021


Master of Electrical Engineering (MEE)


Electrical and Computer Engineering

Document Type



Modern technology is ever-evolving and as more emphasis is placed on faster, more sensitive electronic devices, advancements in the field of electronics are as important now as they ever have been. To meet the need for more sensitive devices, it is important to study new semiconducting materials and the applications in which they pose a potential advantage.

The field of electronic materials research falls at the intersection of physics, chemistry, materials science, and electrical engineering. Zinc Oxide (ZnO) is of particular interest in modern electronic devices for its uses in sensing applications, high-powered transistors, and LED technology. ZnO has been compared to Gallium Nitride (GaN) which is a common compound semiconductor used in high-powered transistors because of its high bandgap energy. Most techniques for depositing ZnO films are heavily dependent on high vacuum, temperature-controlled environments. However, electrospray deposition has shown potential to be a way of depositing ZnO films removed from highly controlled environments.

Zinc Acetate dihydrate (ZnAc) is a common precursor material used to form ZnO thin films. This research investigates the formation of ZnO nanostructures from the aforementioned precursor and the delivery of the material via electrospray deposition onto silicon substrates. Several different spray modes were studied over the course of this project, with each being quantified by their onset characteristics and their resultant nanoparticle size. The effect of substrate rotation was observed and quantified by their resultant film thickness and surface coverage.

Raman spectroscopy was the method by which it was observed that ZnO was successfully deposited and scanning electron microscopy was used to characterize nanoparticle sizes and surface thicknesses. For observation of the spray modes used, a Sony RX-II camera was used to capture images of the resulting meniscus deformation.

Committee Chair

Dr. Daniels-Race