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Novel Process Methodology for Uniformly Cutting Nanotubes

  • Steven R. Lustig (a1), Edward D. Boyes (a1), Roger H. French (a1), Timothy D. Gierke (a1), Mark A. Harmer (a1), Paula B. Hietpas (a1), Anand Jagota (a1), Greg P. Mitchell (a1), G. Bibiana Onoa (a1) and Kerry D. Sams (a1)...

Abstract

We present a novel process methodology for the controlled cutting of nanotubes and other nanostructures to well-controlled lengths and sizes. The continuing increase in complexity of electronic devices, coupled with decreasing size of individual elements, are placing more stringent demands on the resolution and accuracy of fabrication patterns. The ability to fabricate on a nanometer scale guarantees a continuation in miniaturization of functional devices. Particularly interesting is the application of nanotubes' chemical and electronic properties which vary with their dimensions and structure. One realization of this process includes the use of photolithography or electron beam lithography to place protective resist patterns over the nanostructures to be cut. Those sections which are not covered by the resist pattern are removed by reactive ion etching. This is a scaleable process which permits the simultaneous cutting of many nanostructures and ensembles of nanostructures. The lengths, shapes or length distributions can be predicted from theory and thus specified for a given application requirement. Nanostructures which can be cut in this process include nanotubes, nanofibers and nanoplanes. Large scale production of nanostructures with uniform length or specific size-distribution can be used in electronic applications such as field-emission transistors, optoelectronic elements, single electron devices and sensors.

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