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Shearing the carbon nanotubes (CNTs) to desired size or trimming the CNT tips conveniently is usually necessary for many applications. CNTs are normally believed possessing very high strength and toughness. In this paper we present a simple and novel method to actualize this process. In this method, aligned CNT arrays were embedded in paraffin matrix, and then the materials were carefully sliced up along the direction normal to the CNTs with a microtome. These slices consisted of vertically aligned CNTs with desired and uniform length. The experiments proved that there were enough interaction forces between the CNTs and the paraffin matrix to prevent the CNTs from being pulled out during the machining process. These sheared CNTs have shown better performance for thermal interface materials and field emission applications. This process may redound to unlocking the great potential of CNT applications.
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.