Nanoscale sensors are required to study the interesting and complex physical, chemical, and biological phenomenon which occurs in microdomains. Carbon-based nanostructures (CNS) have been utilized in nanosensors with applications in many fields due to their versatility and unique properties. Several manufacturing processes can be used to produce CNSs though they often are expensive and require time-consuming purification and micro-assembly processes to integrate them into larger structures.

Here, novel silica-based structures are explored as unique templates on which to form CNSs that are easily integrated into sensors which can directly interface with standard laboratory equipment. The high electrical conductivity of CNSs enables the structures to be modified through an electrodeposition process to produce a chemical and a physical sensor. Specifically, this work describes the design, fabrication, and characterization of a nanoscopic thermocouple and electrochemical sensor. The thermocouple developed through this research uses a novel manufacturing method and set of materials to overcome the reduction in thermoelectric performance associated with small sensor sizes. The electrochemical sensor presented in this work overcomes challenges associated with other nanoscale sensors by allowing a working and reference electrode to be located within 50 nm of each other, minimizing the overall sensor footprint.

This work presents a novel and efficient method of preparing unique carbon-based sensors.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Nanostructured materials; Carbon; Chemical detectors; Temperature measuring instruments

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Engineering (Ph.D.)

Department, Program, or Center

Engineering (KGCOE)


Michael Schrlau

Advisor/Committee Member

Christopher Collison

Advisor/Committee Member

Thomas Gaborski


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes