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Nat Nanotechnol. 2016 Jul;11(7):633-8. doi: 10.1038/nnano.2016.44. Epub 2016 Apr 4.

Wafer-scale monodomain films of spontaneously aligned single-walled carbon nanotubes.

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Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Rice University, Houston, Texas 77005, USA.
College of Biosystems Engineering and Food Science, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310058, China.
Department of Materials Science and NanoEngineering, Rice University, Houston, Texas 77005, USA.
Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico 87545, USA.
Department of Chemistry, Rice University, Houston, Texas 77005, USA.
Department of Physics and Astronomy, Rice University, Houston, Texas 77005, USA.


The one-dimensional character of electrons, phonons and excitons in individual single-walled carbon nanotubes leads to extremely anisotropic electronic, thermal and optical properties. However, despite significant efforts to develop ways to produce large-scale architectures of aligned nanotubes, macroscopic manifestations of such properties remain limited. Here, we show that large (>cm(2)) monodomain films of aligned single-walled carbon nanotubes can be prepared using slow vacuum filtration. The produced films are globally aligned within ±1.5° (a nematic order parameter of ∼1) and are highly packed, containing 1 × 10(6) nanotubes in a cross-sectional area of 1 μm(2). The method works for nanotubes synthesized by various methods, and film thickness is controllable from a few nanometres to ∼100 nm. We use the approach to create ideal polarizers in the terahertz frequency range and, by combining the method with recently developed sorting techniques, highly aligned and chirality-enriched nanotube thin-film devices. Semiconductor-enriched devices exhibit polarized light emission and polarization-dependent photocurrent, as well as anisotropic conductivities and transistor action with high on/off ratios.

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