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Controlled synthesis and directed assembly of vertically aligned carbon nanofibers for functional nanoscale devices

V. I. Merkulov, A. V Melechko, M. A. Guillorn, T. E. McKnight, , D. K. Hensley, M. J. Doktycz, D. H. Lowndes, and M. L. Simpson
Oak Ridge National Laboratory, US

Keywords: carbon nanostructures, nanoelectronics, nanoscale sensors

The controlled synthesis and directed assembly of materials at the nanoscale remain two of the most difficult challenges for the realization of functional nanoscale devices. For example, while there has been a great deal of significant nanoscale science accomplished with carbon nanotubes (CNT), difficulties in the control of CNT placement, orientation, and chirality have limited the development of technology based on this science. In contrast, the synthesis and assembly of vertically aligned carbon nanofibers (VACNFs) is highly controllable, allowing the definition of VACNF location, length, tip diameter, shape, orientation and chemical composition. This control capability enables numerous potential applications in scanning microscopy, field emission devices, nanoelectronics, and nanobiotechnology. We will present details of VACNF growth by dc PECVD focusing on how growth parameters may be manipulated to control VACNF properties. We will present results that demonstrate significant progress toward the ability to deterministically synthesize VACNF-based carbon nanostructures in a wafer-scale synthesis process and the control of this process to produce a variety of functional nanoscale devices. Several functional VACNF-based device structures will be presented to illustrate the utility of these nanostructures in a practical nanotechnology.

NSTI Nanotech 2003 Conference Technical Program Abstract

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