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Controlling the position and morphology of nanotubes within a polymer thin film

  • Emer Lahiff (a1), Andrew I. Minett (a1), Seamus Curran (a2), Chang Y. Ryu (a3), Werner J. Blau (a1) and Pulickel M. Ajayan (a4)...

Abstract

We introduce a new method of producing polymer/nanotube composites where the morphology of nanotubes within the composite can be controlled. The thickness of the composite thin film can also be altered as required. Carbon nanotubes are grown from organo-metallic micro-patterns. The morphology of the tubes is determined by the conditions under which the tubes are grown and also, the type of catalyst used. These periodic nanotube arrays are then incorporated into a polymer matrix by spin-coating a curable polymer film on the as-grown tubes. The density and position of conduction channels through the thin film composite can be easily pre-determined by controlling the morphology of the embedded nanotubes. This technique of producing freestanding nanotube/polymer composite films represents a more efficient method of combining these materials for potential flexible electronic applications in an inexpensive and scalable manner.

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