Sussman (PDF)


Oct 29, 2013 (4 years and 8 months ago)


Clara Sussman
Thesis Advisor:Bill Dunbar
Carbon Nanotubes
Settling my mind on my current thesis topic was not an easy procedure.My intentions,when deciding on
one among many possible topics,were to make sure that I was going to pick asubject which was neither
too difficult nor too broad for my current capacities of understanding and research as an undergraduate
student,and interesting enough for me to want to spend unlimited amounts of time on it.I am aCivil Engi­
neering major at Columbia University.Among my favorite classes from last year were Mechanics of Solids
and its continuation,Advanced Mechanics of Solids,both of which launched me onto the path of finding
my thesis.In addition with teaching me the basics in understanding the behavior of materials on the micro­
scopic level,they also helped me further comprehend the evolution from the microscopic to the macro­
scopic world,and from theory to applications.
After scanning through the nanotechnology portion of Wikipedia to get abasic understanding of the
field,I looked more specifically for on-going research on nanoscale materials at Columbia University
and came across research currently performed on electron transport in carbon nanotubes.I have
asked Professor James Hone of the Mechanical Engineering department at Columbia University if I
could be apart of his research team,and he has yet to e-mail me his response.However,if I were to
become part of that group,I would be doing experimental research such as material synthesis,nano­
fabrication and electrical/mechanical testing.Due to the lack of response from Professor Hone,it is
currently difficult for me to develop on the research area of my thesis.
My definitive (or I hope will be) thesis topic concerns carbon nanotubes and their current and developing
applications.The main application I have chosen to focus my thesis on relates to carbon nanotube films
and their current application to solar cells and,if the topic can be extended,to touch-screen products.
I would like to divide my thesis in two main parts.
In the first part,the focus would be on the mechanics of carbon nanotubes,their constitutive behavior
as well as their response under certain types of loadings,their buckling modes and their response to
simulation of vibrations.
In the second part of my thesis,I would like to go more in depth into the application of carbon nanotubes
to solar energy and fuel cells,as well as the potential application of this technology to touch-screen de­
vices (see above).
During the yearlong process that is the thesis,I would like to accomplish anumber of things.
My first goal is to get athorough understanding of the mechanics of carbon nanotubes and the impact
they will have on our future.
Second,I would like to take part in both the academic and the experimental forms of research.
And third,by the end of the year,and by the time my thesis is done,I would like for someone new to the
field to be able to read my thesis and understand the core essence of its message,however technical it
may be.