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Nanoscale. 2013 Jul 21;5(14):6584-8. doi: 10.1039/c3nr01877f. Epub 2013 Jun 12.

Facile manipulation of individual carbon nanotubes assisted by inorganic nanoparticles.

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Beijing Key Laboratory of Green Chemical Reaction Engineering and Technology, Department of Chemical Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing, 100084, China.


Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are promising building blocks for nanodevices owing to their superior electrical, thermal and mechanical properties. One of the key issues for their study and application is the efficient location, transfer and manipulation of individual CNTs. In this contribution, we show that the manipulation of individual suspended CNTs has been carried out on the macroscale under low magnification, using inorganic nanoparticles (NPs) as indicators. Individual ultralong CNTs can be stretched, cut, and transferred to other substrates for further characterization. Complicated CNT structures were fabricated under optical microscopes. The inorganic NPs also facilitate the manipulation and characterization of individual CNTs under a scanning electron microscope with low magnification. Additionally, the irregular NPs deposited on suspended CNTs can also make the outer shell of the suspended CNTs display torsion or rotation around the inner shells when placed in a flow of gas, making the fabrication of CNT-NP-hybrid-based nanodevices feasible. Our results demonstrate the extraordinary capability of this manipulation technique for individual CNTs, enabled by decoration with inorganic NPs.

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