Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy in Physics (PhD)
College, School or Department Name
Department of Physics
Boron is an 'electron deficient' element which has a rather fascinating chemical versatility. In the solid state, the elemental boron has neither a pure covalent nor a pure metallic character. As a result, its vast structural dimensionally and peculiar bonding features hold a unique place among other elements in the periodic table. In order to understand and properly describe these unusual bonding features, a detailed and systematic theoretical study is needed. In this work, I will show that some of the qualitative features of boron nanostructures, including clusters, sheets and nanotubes can easily be extracted from the results of first principles calculations based on density functional theory. Specifically, the size-dependent evolution of topological structures and bonding characteristics of boron clusters, Bn will be discussed. Based on the scenario observed in the boron clusters, the unique properties of boron sheets and boron nanotubes will be described. Moreover, the ballistic electron transport in single-walled carbon nanotubes will be considered. It is expected that the theoretical results obtained in the present thesis will initiate further studies on boron nanostructures, which will be helpful in understanding, designing and realizing boron-based nanoscale devices.
Lau, Kah Chun, "First-principles studies of boron nanostructures", Dissertation, Michigan Technological University, 2007.