Honors Program Theses


Open Access Honors Program Thesis

First Advisor

Tim Kidd


Using electron beam radiation, as found in a scanning electron microscope, it is possible to induce the local intercalation of carbon nanoparticles into two dimensional layered materials. This technique can be used to form insulating and optically active nanostructures in samples ranging from graphite to BSSCO. In this study, the evolution of these features with time is explored to determine the stability of such nanoparticles in layered materials.

Over the course of days and weeks, the nanostructures created this way broaden and change height. In general, it appears that material buried deep within the layers diffuses upwards to increase the height of the material observed at the surface. The process proceeds rapidly in defective crystal structures like titanium disulfide (TiS2) and slowly in rigid oxides like BSSCO. The carbon nanoparticles within TiS2 diffused laterally and grew in height. The surface roughness of TiS2 also increased as time progressed. The carbon nanoparticles intercalated into BSSCO did not diffuse significantly and the surface roughness remained constant throughout the observation period.

This work is important in determining the overall stability of these structures and their utility to form nanoscale devices like Josephson tunnel junctions. Understanding how carbon nanoparticles behave in these layered materials can provide useful insights to how other materials would behave within the layered material.

Year of Submission



Department of Physics

University Honors Designation

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the designation University Honors

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (21 pages)