Wednesday, August 09, 2006

US Patent 7087207 - E-Field Assisted Nanotube Array Formation

Ordered arrays of single walled nanotubes (SWNTs) have certain advantages over disordered arrays (such as improved conductivity or anisotropic properties). However, many of the techniques used to fabricate SWNTs result in disordered arrays of nanotube material. This patent from Rice University proposes using electric fields to facilitate the extension of SWNTs from a nanotube composite and forming an ordred array. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method for forming an array of single-wall carbon nanotubes comprising: (a) providing a material comprising single-wall carbon nanotubes, wherein the material has a surface; (b) subjecting the surface to oxidizing conditions sufficient to cause the single-wall carbon nanotubes to break and protrude from the surface; and (c) applying an electric field to the surface to form an array comprising the single-wall carbon nanotubes on the surface.