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Orthogonally-Oriented Nanotube Arrays: Experiment I

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Abstract:

Recently a new type of self-assembling surface has been proposed that, in theory, possesses a number of desirable tribological, electrical, and thermal characterstics. The surface consists of arrays of carbon nanotubes partially embedded lengthwise in a substrate such that when two arrayed surfaces are brought together orthogonally, the areal contact between them is small, limited to a lattice of nearly point-like contacts. These orthogonally-oriented nanotube arrays (ONAs) are predicted to exhibit: (i) surface adhesion (stiction)10–100 times less than for Teflon or other advanced perfluorocarbons; (ii) frictional coefficients up to 1000 times less than for conventional solids; (iii) ultra-low wear; and (iv) superior thermal and electrical conductivity. In this paper, laboratory methods are described for embedding nanotubes in trenched substrates. Using microscopically trenched substrates and a custom ultrasonic atomization source, experiments show that individual nanotubes can spontaneously and controllably entrench themselves via interfacial forces (capillary and surface tension). Results indicate ONAs might be relatively simply and inexpensively fabricated. More decisive experiments are proposed.

Keywords: ADHESION; CARBON NANOTUBES; FRICTION; MULTI-WALLED CARBON NANOTUBES; SELF-ASSEMBLY; STICTION; SURFACE DEPOSITION; WEAR

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1166/jnn.2007.694

Publication date: 2007-10-01

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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