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Theoretical Simulation on the Assembly of Carbon Nanotubes Between Electrodes by AC Dielectrophoresis

Yang Lu1, Changxin Chen1*, Liu Yang2 and Yafei Zhang1

Author Affiliations

1 National Key Laboratory of Nano/Micro Fabrication Technology, Key Laboratory for Thin Film and Microfabrication of the Ministry of Education, Research Institute of Micro/Nano Science and Technology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, 200240, China

2 School of Electronic, Information and Electrical Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, 200240, China

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2008, 4:157-164  doi:10.1007/s11671-008-9217-2

Published: 25 November 2008


The assembly of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) using the AC dielectrophoresis technique is studied theoretically. It is found that the comb electrode bears better position control of SWCNTs compared to the parallel electrode. In the assembly, when some SWCNTs bridge the electrode first, they can greatly alter the local electrical field so as to “screen off” later coming SWCNTs, which contributes to the formation of dispersed SWCNT array. The screening distance scales with the gap width of electrodes and the length of SWCNTs, which provides a way to estimate the assembled density of SWCNTs. The influence of thermal noise on SWCNTs alignment is also analyzed in the simulation. It is shown that the status of the array distribution for SWCNTs is decided by the competition between the thermal noise and the AC electric-field strength. This influence of the thermal noise can be suppressed by using higher AC voltage to assemble the SWCNTs.

Single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs); AC dielectrophoresis; Simulation