Drying induced upright sliding and reorganization of carbon nanotube arrays

Qingwen Li, Raymond DePaula, Xiefei Zhang, Lianxi Zheng, Paul N. Arendt, Fred M. Mueller, Y. T. Zhu, Yi Tu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Driven by capillary force, wet carbon nanotube (CNT) arrays have been found to reorganize into cellular structures upon drying. During the reorganization process, individual CNTs are firmly attached to the substrate and have to lie down on the substrate at cell bottoms, forming closed cells. Here we demonstrate that by modifying catalyst structures, the adhesion of CNTs to the substrate can be weakened. Upon drying such CNT arrays, CNTs may slide away from their original sites on the surface and self-assemble into cellular patterns with bottoms open. It is also found that the sliding distance of CNTs increases with array height, and drying millimetre tall arrays leads to the sliding of CNTs over a few hundred micrometres and the eventual self-assembly into discrete islands. By introducing regular vacancies in CNT arrays, CNTs may be manipulated into different patterns.

Original languageBritish English
Article number001
Pages (from-to)4533-4536
Number of pages4
Issue number18
StatePublished - 28 Sep 2006


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