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Published August 1, 2007 | Published
Journal Article Open

Inherent-opening-controlled pattern formation in carbon nanotube arrays


We have introduced inherent openings into densely packed carbon nanotube arrays to study self-organized pattern formation when the arrays undergo a wetting–dewetting treatment from nanotube tips. These inherent openings, made of circular or elongated hollows in nanotube mats, serve as dewetting centres, from where liquid recedes from. As the dewetting centres initiate dry zones and the dry zones expand, surrounding nanotubes are pulled away from the dewetting centres by liquid surface tension. Among short nanotubes, the self-organized patterns are consistent with the shape of the inherent openings, i.e. slender openings lead to elongated trench-like structures, and circular holes result in relatively round nest-like arrangements. Nanotubes in a relatively high mat are more connected, like in an elastic body, than those in a short mat. Small cracks often initialize themselves in a relatively high mat, along two or more adjacent round openings; each of the cracks evolves into a trench as liquid dries up. Self-organized pattern control with inherent openings needs to initiate the dewetting process above the nanotube tips. If there is no liquid on top, inherent openings barely enlarge themselves after the wetting–dewetting treatment.

Additional Information

© Institute of Physics and IOP Publishing Limited 2007. Received 15 March 2007, in final form 29 May 2007, Published 29 June 2007. Print publication: Issue 30 (1 August 2007). This work is supported by Academic Research Fund (grant no. RG27/05) from Ministry of Education, Singapore.

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August 22, 2023
August 22, 2023