Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Hong Huang (Advisor), Yan Zhuang (Committee Member), Shin Mou (Committee Member)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering (MSMSE)


Graphene, a 2-dimensional single layer of carbon, has high carrier mobility, strength and electrical conductivity. Due to the absence of a band gap and chemical reactivity, pristine graphene has less competitiveness in semiconductors and sensors. Functionalizing graphene is imperative in the development of advanced applications. Among various wet chemical or physical vapor deposition, magnetron sputtering is cost-effective, minimum maintenance, user-friendly, and can be used to rapidly deposit nano-particulates or thin films with less contaminations on any substrates surface. This study is to investigate the morphology evolution of the deposited films using magnetron sputtering and to find appropriate conditions for nanoparticulate deposition towards graphene surface functionalization and device fabrication. Experimentally, highly conductive copper and silicon substrate are the choice of the materials for their low-cost and all deposition was performed at preset power and room temperature. The deposition was conducted by varying chamber pressures and times, but the supplied power was held constant. In addition, the post-thermal treatment as applied to study its impacts on morphological changes. Deposition of nonconductive silicon oxide and copper/silicon oxide composite films are also explored. High-resolution scanning electron microscopy (Hi-Res SEM), electron dispersive spectroscopy (EDS), and ImageJ software were utilized to analyze the morphologies of the deposit films, such as the size, density, coverage of nanograin and/or nanoisland, as a function of deposition time, pressure and post treatment temperatures. The mechanism of the film evolution was proposed. The copper nanoparticulates was successfully deposited at high pressure for short time with post annealing.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering

Year Degree Awarded