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Published May 11, 2009 | Published
Book Section - Chapter Open

High-throughput processes and structural characterization of single-nanotube based devices for 3D electronics


We have developed manufacturable approaches to form single, vertically aligned carbon nanotubes, where the tubes are centered precisely, and placed within a few hundred nm of 1-1.5 μm deep trenches. These wafer-scale approaches were enabled by chemically amplified resists and inductively coupled Cryo-etchers to form the 3D nanoscale architectures. The tube growth was performed using dc plasmaenhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD), and the materials used for the pre-fabricated 3D architectures were chemically and structurally compatible with the high temperature (700 °C) PECVD synthesis of our tubes, in an ammonia and acetylene ambient. The TEM analysis of our tubes revealed graphitic basal planes inclined to the central or fiber axis, with cone angles up to 30° for the particular growth conditions used. In addition, bending tests performed using a custom nanoindentor, suggest that the tubes are well adhered to the Si substrate. Tube characteristics were also engineered to some extent, by adjusting growth parameters, such as Ni catalyst thickness, pressure and plasma power during growth.

Additional Information

© 2009 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). We sincerely acknowledge Robert Kowalczyk for his assistance with the PECVD growth chamber and performing chamber upgrades as necessary, in addition to Dr. Choonsup Lee and Dr. Paul von Allmen for useful discussions. We would also like to thank Shelby Hutchins of the California Institute of Technology and Brian Peters of Agilent Technologies for the images taken in Fig. 6f and Fig. 6e, respectively. We also acknowledge the Kavli Nanoscience Institute at the California Institute of Technology for providing use of TEM sample preparation facilities. This research was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and was funded through the internal Research and Technology Development (R&TD) program.

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