An ice-assisted transfer technique for carbon nanotube arrays

(Nanowerk News) In summary, by following the icing phenomenon in daily life, a research team from Tsinghua University developed an ice-assisted transfer technique to transfer carbon nanotube (CNT) arrays onto a variety of target substrates by using ice as a binder.
Ice is not only efficient but also ultraclean for the CNT transfer, as it does not introduce any binder remnants after evaporation. Consequently, the technique provides a solution for transferring SACNT arrays with preserved spinnability.
The team reported their findings in Nano Letters ("Ice-Assisted Transfer of Carbon Nanotube Arrays").
Ice-Assisted Transfer of Carbon Nanotube Arrays
Comparative studies revealed that the transfer procedure introduced no significant changes to the CNT films spun from the transferred CNT arrays on target substrates. It is thus a feasible way to decouple the growth and the application of superaligned carbon nanotube arrays, and the mass production of superaligned carbon nanotube will benefit from the transfer-then-spin strategy as it can greatly improve the recovery efficiency of Si wafers.
The ice-assisted transfer technique can find its application in more fields. The transfer-then-spin strategy was utilized to produce patterned CNT arrays, which can be used as 3D electrodes for thermoacoustic chips to simplify the manufacturing process.
Moreover, flip-chipped CNT arrays are also promising field electron emitters, as CNT tips are well aligned on the array surface.
The ultraclean ice-assisted transfer technique will greatly promote the applications of CNT arrays and give CNT technologies a competitive advantage, and it is also attractive to extend this technique to transfer other nanomaterials and to assist the microtransfer printing.
Source: American Chemical Society
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