Precise assembly of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) in arbitrary 3D space with proper alignment is critically important and desirable for CNT applications but still remains as a long-standing challenge. Using the two-photon polymerization (TPP) technique, it is possible to fabricate 3D micro/nanoscale CNT/polymer architectures with proper CNT alignments in desired directions, which is expected to enable a broad range of applications of CNTs in functional devices. To unleash the full potential of CNTs, it is strategically important to develop TPP-compatible resins with high CNT concentrations for precise assembly of CNTs into 3D micro/nanostructures for functional device applications. We investigated a thiol grafting method in functionalizing multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) to develop TPP-compatible MWNT-thiol-acrylate (MTA) composite resins. The composite resins developed had high MWNT concentrations up to 0.2 wt%, over one order of magnitude higher than previously published work. Significantly enhanced electrical and mechanical properties of the 3D micro/nanostructures were achieved. Precisely controlled MWNT assembly and strong anisotropic effects were confirmed. Microelectronic devices made of the MTA composite polymer were demonstrated. The nanofabrication method can achieve controlled assembly of MWNTs in 3D micro/nanostructures, enabling a broad range of CNT applications, including 3D electronics, integrated photonics, and micro/nanoelectromechanical systems (MEMS/NEMS).
Ying Liu, Wei Xiong, Li Jia Jiang, Yunshen Zhou, Dawei Li, Lan Jiang, Jean-Francois Silvain, and Yongfeng Lu, "Laser-directed 3D assembly of carbon nanotubes using two-photon polymerization (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10095, Laser 3D Manufacturing IV, 1009508 (Presented at SPIE LASE: January 31, 2017; Published: 19 April 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2257051.5389862344001.
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