Researchers from the Laser-Assisted Nano Engineering (LANE) Lab in the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL), US, are using tip-induced enhancement of optical near-fields as a driving force to direct the controlled integration of CNTs. To grow the CNTs, the researchers have developed a laser-assisted chemical vapor deposition (LCVD) technique. A continuous-wave CO2 laser is used as an irradiation source, and the group has studied the growth process on electrode arrays containing different patterns.

Growing CNTs to connect electrodes of different orientations can be realized by tuning the polarization of the laser. Only electrode tips that followed the polarization were selectively heated up and precisely connected. Parallel integration of CNTs into multiple sites can be achieved by covering the regions of interest with the laser beam.

This laser-based synthetic strategy provides a simple, inexpensive and scalable way to fabricate CNT-integrated devices and structures and achieve CNT-based electronics and devices.

Full details can be found in the journal Nanotechnology.