Date of Award


Publication Type

Doctoral Thesis

Degree Name



Chemistry and Biochemistry

First Advisor

Carmichael, Tricia


Pure sciences, Applied sciences, Chemical mechanical polishing, Dithiophosphinic acid, Flexible electronics, Microelectronics, Molecular electronics, Self-assembled monolayers




This dissertation reports a variety of new methods and materials for the fabrication of electronic devices. Particular emphasis is placed on low-cost, solution based methods for flexible electronic device fabrication, and new substrates and molecules for molecular electronic tunnel junctions. Chapter 2 reports a low-cost, solution based method for depositing patterned metal circuitry onto a variety of flexible polymer substrates. Microcontact printing an aluminum (III) porphyrin complex activates selected areas of an oxidized polymer substrate to electroless copper metallization. Chapter 3 reports a new transparent conductive electrode for use in optoelectronic devices. A highly conductive, transparent silver nanowire network is embedded at the surface of an optical adhesive, which can be applied to a variety of rigid and flexible polymer substrates. Chapter 4 describes a new approach to the self-assembly of mesoscale components into two-dimensional arrays. Unlike most previously reported self-assembly motifs, this method is completely dry; eliminating solvent makes this method compatible with the assembly of electronic components. Chapter 5 describes a new class of self-assembled monolayer (SAM) on gold formed from dihexadecyldithiophosphinic acid ((C 16 ) 2 DTPA) adsorbate molecules. The binding and structure (C 16 ) 2 DTPA SAMs is dependent upon the roughness and morphology of the underlying gold substrate. Chapter 6 investigates the influence of chain length on the binding and structure of dialkyl-DTPA SAMs on smooth, template-stripped (TS) gold. Binding of the DTPA head group is independent of the length of the alkyl chain, while the structure of the organic layer has a counter-intuitive dependence: As the length of the alkyl chain increases, these SAMs become more disordered and liquid-like. Chapter 7 describes the fabrication of ultra smooth gold substrates using chemical mechanical polishing (CMP). These substrates are smooth, uniform, and prove to be ideal candidates for bottom electrodes within SAM-based molecular electronic tunnel junctions. Chapter 8 investigates the charge transport properties of new diphenyldithiophosphinic acid (Ph 2 DTPA) SAMs on TS gold within metal-SAM//Ga 2 O 3 /EGaIn molecular tunnel junctions. A computational investigation provides insight into the electronic structure of the junction.