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Open Access Nano Express

Site-specific growth and density control of carbon nanotubes by direct deposition of catalytic nanoparticles generated by spark discharge

Hyungjoo Na, Jae Hong Park, Jungho Hwang and Jongbaeg Kim*

Author Affiliations

School of Mechanical Engineering, Yonsei University, 50 Yonsei-ro, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul 120-749, Republic of Korea

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2013, 8:409  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-8-409

Published: 4 October 2013

Abstract

Catalytic iron nanoparticles generated by spark discharge were used to site-selectively grow carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and control their density. The generated aerosol nanoparticles were deposited on a cooled substrate by thermophoresis. The shadow mask on top of the cooled substrate enabled patterning of the catalytic nanoparticles and, thereby, patterning of CNTs synthesized by chemical vapor deposition. The density of CNTs could be controlled by varying the catalytic nanoparticle deposition time. It was also demonstrated that the density could be adjusted by changing the gap between the shadow mask and the substrate, taking advantage of the blurring effect of the deposited nanoparticles, for an identical deposition time. As all the processing steps for the patterned growth and density control of CNTs can be performed under dry conditions, we also demonstrated the integration of CNTs on fully processed, movable silicon microelectromechanical system (MEMS) structures.

Keywords:
Carbon nanotubes; Thermophoresis; Patterning; Spark discharge; Chemical vapor deposition