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Controlled growth orientation of carbon nanotube pillars by catalyst patterning in microtrenches

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3 Author(s)
De Volder, M. ; Dept. of Mech. Eng., Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA ; Tawfick, S. ; Hart, A.J.

We present a novel method for controlling the growth orientation of individual carbon nanotube (CNT) microstructures on a silicon wafer substrate. Our method controls the CNT forest orientation by patterning the catalyst layer used in the CNTs growth on slanted KOH edges. The overlap of catalyst area on the horizontal bottom and sloped sidewall surfaces of the KOH-etched substrate enables precise variation of the growth direction. These inclined structures can profit from the outstanding mechanical, electrical, thermal, and optical properties of CNTs and can therefore improve the performance of several MEMS devices. Inclined CNT microstructures could for instance be used as cantilever springs in probe card arrays, as tips in dip-pen lithography, and as sensing element in advanced transducers.

Published in:

Solid-State Sensors, Actuators and Microsystems Conference, 2009. TRANSDUCERS 2009. International

Date of Conference:

21-25 June 2009