Kirsten Strain

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I finished my Ph.D. in December 2013, with my thesis entitled "Nanodeposition and plasmonically enhanced Raman spectroscopy on individual carbon nanotubes."

My Ph.D. formed part of the NANOSPEC project, which meant I worked in collaboration with the groups of Prof. Stefan Maier, Prof. Stephanie Reich and Prof. Aaron Lewis, in Imperial College London, the Free University of Berlin and Hebrew University, Jerusalem respectively. The overall aims of the NANOSPEC project were to gain a deeper understanding of the interface between plasmonic antennas and carbon nanotubes and to increase our knowledge of carbon nanotubes such as the limits of current density due to electron-phonon coupling. This would be achieved by creating devices with a carbon nanotube, electrical contacts and a plasmonic antenna in a suitable arrangement for performing in situ plasmonically-enhanced Raman scattering during electronic transport experiments on the carbon nanotube.

My research focused on the challenge of device creation, using two different approaches. Firstly, I developed the technique of fountain pen nanolithography for delivering small quantities of carbon nanotube dispersion onto spatially precise locations. I showed that the deposited carbon nanotubes were aligned in the direction of writing, which has potential applications beyond the NANOSPEC device creation. Secondly, I used AFM nanomanipulation to move gold nanoparticles over the surface of a silicon wafer onto a carbon nanotube, creating a plasmonic antenna in the desired location. This allowed plasmonically enhanced Raman spectroscopy to be performed on the carbon nanotube. In addition to these main research themes, throughout my Ph.D. I also helped other project collaborators on their approaches, participated in regular meetings with all project participants and had placements in the labs of both Prof. Aaron Lewis and Prof. Stephanie Reich.

Before I started my Ph.D., I moved to Edinburgh for my undergraduate degree in Chemistry at the University of Edinburgh in 2004, coming from neighbouring East Lothian. Throughout my time as a student in Edinburgh I was an active member of the university orienteering club (EUOC) which involved regular training, social evenings and competitions. I also dedicated a lot of my time to Girlguiding: being a leader with a local Guide unit, participating in regular camps and events and completing my Queen's Guide Award. Other things I enjoyed were playing piano, singing, sleeping and eating cake. After finishing my Ph.D. I started working for Litron Lasers (Rugby, UK).

Publications

Direct Deposition of Aligned Single Walled Carbon Nanotubes by Fountain Pen Nanolithography
Kirsten M. Strain, Talia Yeshua, Andrei V. Gromov, Oleg Nerushev, Aaron Lewis, and Eleanor E. B. Campbell
Mater. Express 1, 4, 279-284 (2011)

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