Carbon nanotubes are a nanostructured material that promises to have a wide range of applications. However, the present techniques used to build nanotube architectures have several deficiencies, such as the inability to precisely and controllably align the nanotubes. This invention is a novel and powerful method to assemble carbon nanotubes on planar substrates to build and control highly organized 1-to-3D architectures.
Many envisioned carbon nanotube (CNT) applications, such as device interconnections in integrated circuits, require directed growth of aligned CNTs, and low-resistance high-strength CNT junctions with tunable chemistry, stability, and electronic properties. However, forming CNT-CNT junctions on the substrate plane in a scalabe fashion, to enable in-plane device circuitry and interconnections, remains to be realized. This invention is based on the discovery that high current densities can slice, weld, and chemically functionalize multiwalled CNTs and alter their electrical properties.
Subjecting single-walled carbon nanotubes to a flash of light causes the material to ignite, producing a photo-acoustic effect. A simple camera flash demonstrates how heat confinement in nanostructures can lead to drastic structural effects and induce ignition under exposure to conditions where no reaction would be expected for macro scale materials. This technology could have multiple applications such as optoelectronic sensors and light triggered remote detonators.