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Fast and Controlled Integration of Carbon Nanotubes into Microstructures

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 February 2011

Wenjun Xu
Affiliation:, Georgia Institute of Technology, Polymer, Textile and Fiber Engineering, Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Chang-Hyeon Ji
Affiliation:, Georgia Institute of Technology, Electrical Engineering, Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Richard Shafer
Affiliation:, Georgia Institute of Technology, Electrical Engineering, Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Mark Allen
Affiliation:, Georgia Institute of Technology, Electrical Engineering, Atlanta, Georgia, United States
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In this paper, we report the results of a rapid and room temperature integration approach for the selective and structured deposition of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) into three-dimensional microstructures. The approach exploits electrophoretic deposition (EPD) from an aqueous suspension of CNTs, together with suitably patterned and electrically-energized microstructure-bearing substrates. Uniform 2-D and 3-D micropatterns of CNTs on wafer scale have been achieved in less than 4 minutes with controllable thicknesses ranging from 133nm to several micrometers. Orientation of the deposited CNTs was observed in microstructures with certain dimensions. Surface hydrophobicity of the microstructures was found to be critical in achieving well-defined micropatterning of CNTs. A hydrophobic microstructure surface leads to the selective patterning profiles of CNTs, while a hydrophilic surface induces CNTs assembly over the entire microstructure, with resultant loss of selectivity. This approach can be further extended to fabricate 3-D micropatterns with multilayer materials on flexible substrate through the aid of transfer micromolding techniques.

Research Article
Copyright © Materials Research Society 2009

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