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First Solution-Based Substrate Preparation Method for Growing Millimeter-Long Carbon Nanotube Arrays

Meenu Garg • DATE: October 16, 2013

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Vertically aligned carbon nanotube (VA-CNT) arrays are important new materials for making field emission displays, microfluidic devices, gas sensors, electrochemical double layer capacitors, catalyst supports, dry adhesives, and continuous nanotube sheets and fibers. To synthesize millimeter-long VA-CNT arrays, a buffer layer of aluminum oxide is required to separate the supporting substrate and catalyst nanoparticles. Currently, buffer deposition requires the use of expensive, slow, and non-scalable physical techniques such as e-beam evaporation and thermal sputtering. In a recent paper appeared online in the American Carbon Society Journal Carbon (DOI: 10.1016/j.carbon.2013.09.034), Professor Chongzheng Na and Postdoctoral Fellow Dr. Haitao Wang described a novel buffer preparation method using boehmite nanoplates. This new method is wet chemistry-based and thus inexpensive, rapid, and scalable compared to existing physical methods. Using this method, the research team has grown VA-CNT arrays up to 1.3 mm long on silicon chips.