PhD Thesis Defence Presentations - Marinos Dimitropoulos

Presentation Title (Τίτλος Παρουσίασης): Synthesis and engineering of 2D materials and their heterostructures: Probing nanomechanical and nanoelectrical phenomena.
Presentation Type (Τύπος Παρουσίασης): PhD Thesis Defence Presentations
Speakers Full Name (Ονοματεπώνυμο): Marinos Dimitropoulos
Speakers Affiliation (Προέλευση Ομιλητή): University of Patras, Department of Chemical Engineering
Seminar Room (Αίθουσα): "A. C. Payatakes" Library
Event Date: Wed, Aug 31 2022, Time: 12:00 - 15:00
Abstract (Περίληψη)

In the previous couple decades, the surge of two-dimensional materials (2DM) has taken the world by storm and became a new research hotspot for exotic physical phenomena. Notable efforts have been made in the synthesis and engineering of these materials and their heterostructures with emphasis given in their industrial integration. However, in order to fully understand the extent of their unusual properties, characterization with nanometer precision became a necessity. Therefore, in order to incorporate 2DM in the application of interest, one must first understand the full range of their nanoscale attributes. Furthermore, thanks to their characteristic exceptional mechanical strength and flexibility, they can provide an ideal platform for wrinkle engineering, enabling tunable modulation and remarkable improvement of their properties. Purposely introducing and manipulating topological disorder is expected to yield significant degree of freedom in the design of devices. The present thesis showcases the importance of nanoscale manipulation of 2DM properties through wrinkling and entails synthesis and wrinkle engineering of 2DM and their heterostructures. Flexible control over wrinkling was achieved by either applying external stimuli or transferring the 2DM on top of pre-patterned substrates for guided localized strains. Nondestructive spectroscopic and microscopic characterization tools were harnessed to quantitatively determine strain-engineered alterations in these properties. The nanoelectrical and nanomechanical properties of the engineered materials were probed extensively by the means of Kelvin Probe Force Microscopy for nanoscale work function, Tunneling Atomic Force Microscopy for current distribution, Nanoindentation for fracture and Lateral Force Microscopy for friction measurements.

In the first two chapters, the framework of the thesis is laid out by making an introduction on the world of 2DM and exploring the extent of nanomechanical and nanoelectrical properties for graphene as well as wrinkle engineering pathways, respectively. The third chapter involves the characterization tools necessary for the investigation of 2D properties, such as Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM), Raman spectroscopy and Photoluminescence. For AFM specifically, working principles and calibration protocols for the modes adopted in this thesis, are presented. In chapters four and five, the effect of graphene wrinkles is investigated in terms of their impact on nanoscale properties. It is found that the wrinkle path presents ultrahigh electrical conductivity on top of the corrugation by up to two orders of magnitude compared to flat areas and, depending on the substrate, nanoscale work function engineering can be achieved through wrinkle tuning. Furthermore, nanoindentation experiments on suspended wrinkled graphene appears to be suppressing crack propagation and induce a localization effect on the fracture of the membranes. In chapters six and seven, the prospect of wrinkle engineering in heterostructures is presented. By taking graphene/hBN as an example, the wrinkle density of the 2D sheets arising naturally from the Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) process can be exploited as a synthesis scaffold for direct graphene growth at wafer scale. Lastly, graphene wrinkles are tested as pre-patterned substrates for band gap tuning of MoS2, denoting a significant increase in strain engineering range with minimal external thermal treatment. Concluding in chapter eight, future research directions will be provided in the controlled patterning of 2DM with other means such as lasers, the ability of Atomic Force Microscopy as a tool for manipulating atomically thin flakes for twistronics will be highlighted and unidirectional graphene wrinkles from liquid metal CVD could be harnessed for guided electron flow.

Speakers Short CV (Σύντομο Βιογραφικό Ομιλητή)


07/2018-08/2022           Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering

University of Patras, School of Engineering, Department of Chemical Engineering

Ph.D. Thesis: Synthesis and engineering of 2D materials and their heterostructures: Probing nanomechanical and nanoelectrical phenomena.

Supervisor: Professor C. Galiotis


02/2016-02/2018           M.Sc. in Chemical Engineering

University of Patras, School of Engineering, Department of Chemical Engineering

M.Sc. Thesis: Understanding the mechanisms for photocatalytic efficiency enhancement: A Zinc Oxide perspective.

Supervisors: Dr S. N. Yannopoulos, Professor P. G. Koutsoukos


09/2009-09/2015           B.Sc. in Physics

University of Patras, School of Natural Sciences, Department of Physics

B.Sc. Thesis: Fabrication of porous silicon membranes and characterization with Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM).

Supervisor: Professor A. A. Vradis



Wrinkle-mediated CVD synthesis of wafer scale Graphene/h-BN heterostructures. M. Dimitropoulos, C. Androulidakis, G. Trakakis, M. Kotsidi and C. Galiotis (2022)
(Under revision)

Evaluating the mechanical integrity and performance of ultrathin carbon nanomembranes and carbon nanomembranes/PET composites for membrane separation applications. M. Dimitropoulos, G. Trakakis, C. Pavlou, C. Kostaras, N. Meyerbröker, R. Dalpke, A. Schnieders, K. Dassios and C. Galiotis

In-situ monitoring of stress transfer in MoS2 monolayers. M. Athanassopoulos, C. Androulidakis, M. Dimitropoulos, G. Paterakis, G. Trakakis and C. Galiotis

Facile synthesis of highly porous g-C3N4 nanosheets with superior adsorption capacity. S. Stefa, M. Lykaki, M. Griniezaki, M. Dimitropoulos, G. Paterakis, C. Galiotis, G. Kiriakidis, M. Konsolakis and V. Binas

Wrinkle conductivity in graphene: Out-of-plane electron highways. M. Dimitropoulos, A. C. Manikas, E. N. Koukaras, C. Tsakonas, P. Karamanis and C. Galiotis.
(Under preparation)

Band gap engineering of MoS2 on graphene substrates by guided local strains and thermal treatment. M. Dimitropoulos, C. Androulidakis, G. Trakakis, G. Paterakis and C. Galiotis
(Under preparation)

Reversing the thickness dependent friction characteristics in graphene through compressive strain. M. Dimitropoulos, C. Androulidakis and C. Galiotis
(Under preparation)

Disentangling the photocorrosion mechanism of Zinc Oxide through photocatalysis: UV-induced catalyst regeneration. M. Dimitropoulos, L. Sygellou, C. A. Aggelopoulos, P. G. Koutsoukos, S. N. Yannopoulos
(Under submission)

In situ kinetic studies of CVD graphene growth by reflection spectroscopy. C. Tsakonas, A. C. Manikas, M. Andersen, M. Dimitropoulos, K. Reuter and C. Galiotis. Chemical Engineering Journal, 421, 129434. (2021)

Growth and in situ characterization of 2D materials by chemical vapour deposition on liquid metal catalysts: a review. C. Tsakonas*, M. Dimitropoulos*, A. C. Manikas* and C. Galiotis. Nanoscale. 13, 3346-3373. (2021)
(*equal contribution)

Photocatalytic degradation of Naproxen and methylene blue: Comparison between ZnO, TiO2 and their mixture. D. Štrbac, C. A. Aggelopoulos, G. Štrbac, M. Dimitropoulos, M. Novakovic, T. Ivetic, S. N. Yannopoulos.  Process Safety and Environmental Protection. 113:174-183. (2018). 

Influence of the surface-to-bulk defects ratio of ZnO and TiO2 on their UV-mediated photocatalytic activity. C. A. Aggelopoulos, M. Dimitropoulos, A. Govatsi, L. Sygellou, C. D. Tsakiroglou, S. N. Yannopoulos. Applied Catalysis B: Environmental. 205:292-301. (2017). 


  • LLP/Erasmus placements scholarship, ICFO, Barcelona, SpainOctober 2021
  • European Forum Alpbach - Full Scholarship, Alpbach, Austria, June 2018
  • PepsiCo Journey Through Science Day award, New York Academy of Sciences, New York, USA, July 2017
  • LLP/Erasmus placements scholarship, University of Szeged, Szeged, Hungary, October 2016
  • FORTH/ICE-HT, Post-graduate scholarship, FORTH/ICE-HT, Patras, Greece, February 2016