Nanotube Deposition Technology (22035)

Northwestern University has developed a unique & advantageous way to fabricate an array of carbon nanotubes. The Northwestern invention can deposit a single carbon nanotube and obtain a highly oriented and particle-free carbon nanotube deposition. The invention is feasible for mass production.

This invention describes a method of assembling carbon nanotubes (CNTs) on micro/nano systems. This method can enable repeatable production of an automatically assembled array of CNTs without using an experimental technique such as AFM (atomic force microscopy) which is time consuming and expensive. The described method is therefore suitable for mass production of CNTs integrated on micro/nano systems.

For various device applications based upon nanotechnology, it is essential to assemble arrays of CNTs on micro/nano systems. Examples of such applications include ultra-high sensitive chemical sensors, material characterization, and nano electronic devices. For these applications, it is essential to integrate the highly ordered nanoscale structures of CNTs on micro/nano systems for input/output functions. Fig.1 shows an example configuration for chemical sensing by electromechanical transduction.

Northwestern University has developed a unique and advantageous way to fabricate an array of CNTs. Fig. 2(a) and (b) show the deposition methods already employed in prior art. The electrostatic trapping method in Fig,2 (a) was designed to deposit single Pd particle in the gap. The short circuit due to a reference resistance limited the multiple depositions of Pd particles. However, it was found that CNTs are not easily attracted by a DC electric field and many unwanted particles in the CNT solution are deposited instead. Fig. 2(b) shows the AC electric field method to deposit an Au rod on the gap. The low resistance of the Au rod automatically limited the multiple Au rod deposition on the gap. Highly-oriented CNTs could be deposited between two electrodes by applying an AC field, but the number of deposited CNTs was not self-limited due to high resistance of CNTs. COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS: Ultra-high sensitive chemical sensors for detecting gas molecules, e.g., oxygen, hydrogen, and nitrogen etc. Physiological sensors for detecting, e.g., glucose level, CO2 level, and various vital signs with high sensitivity and accuracy. Nano electronics components such as high speed nano mechanical memory.

U.S. Patent 7,381,316

Inventor(s): Junghoon Lee, Jae-Hyun Chung

Type of Offer: Licensing

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