Date of Award

Spring 2021

Document Type

Thesis - SCU Access Only


Santa Clara : Santa Clara University, 2021.


Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Shoba Krishnan


Aligned Carbon is a company that produces horizontally aligned carbon nanotubes (CNTs) for the realization of CNT field-effect transistors (CNTFETs). Their process for growing CNTs involves significant human-machine interaction, which slows down wafer production and reduces reliability. Our project uses system automation to alleviate these issues. We have partitioned the steps for full automation into two phases. The first phase is sealing the door and moving it along the furnace track. The second phase is placing the wafer onto the wafer plate and removing it from the wafer plate when the growth is done. Our project will focus on the first phase which we have divided into three tasks. Task 1 is to create an automated system for sealing and unsealing the furnace door. Task 2 is to create an automated system for sliding the furnace door along the furnace track. Task 3 is to test systems to assure furnace functionality is maintained after implementation. To date we have completed the automated sealing assembly, the motor-pulley system, and integrated them into Aligned Carbon’s furnace such that they function as one complete system. Furthermore, our testing shows that our implementation does produce the desired results to reduce human intervention. For full system automation, the second phase of the project needs to be realized. Once phase two is complete, Aligned Carbon will be able to do consecutive runs of CNT growths with no human intervention.

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