2008 NSTI Nanotechnology Conference and Trade Show - Nanotech 2008 - 11th Annual

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TechConnect Summit
Clean Technology 2008

An Efficient Method For Orienting Carbon Nanotubes For Electromechanical Devices

G.Y. Georgiev, Y. Cabrera, M. Cronin, C. Rocheleau, Z. Iftikhar, P. Cebe, R. Doyle, A. Ahlawat, B. Mulkern, J. Mongeau, A. Ogilvie
Assumption College and TUFTS University, US

Keywords:
carbon nanotubes, liquid crystals, electrooptic cells

Abstract:
Carbon nanotubes are one of the most important tools for nanotechnology. Their size makes their manipulation an extremely hard and expensive task. Using their property to form a liquid crystalline state, they can be manipulated if dispersed in and coupled to organic liquid crystals which orient in the presence of electric field. The nematic director of the carbon nanotubes orients along the nematic director of the liquid crystals. Application of electric field directly to the carbon nanotubes cannot control their orientation, but the liquid crystalline molecules serve as a molecular motor applying torque to reorient them. This approach can be used to create electromechanical devices, for example a nanoswitch. The liquid crystal properties of the carbon nanotubes are one of the few ways of controlling them. As a liquid crystal with large dipole moment and difference between the longitudinal and perpendicular to the molecular axis indices of refraction we have chosen 5CB. This is necessary for the method of microscopic transmission ellipsometry that we use for studying the orientation of the carbon nanotubes as a function of the electric field. To characterize the interaction between the carbon nanotubes and liquid crystals we use dielectric spectroscopy.


Nanotech 2008 Conference Program Abstract