, Volume 8, Issue 5, pp 609-617
Date: 11 Aug 2009

Manipulation and patterning of carbon nanotubes utilizing optically induced dielectrophoretic forces

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This study reports an optically driven platform upon which the manipulation and patterning of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) can be accomplished. A photoconductive layer made of amorphous silicon generates a nonuniform electric field within the developed platform at specific optically illuminated sites, which are usually referred to as “virtual electrodes,” that induces dielectrophoretic forces for manipulating the CNTs. The software-controlled light patterns enable a variety of flexible manipulation modes since it is now possible to dynamically reconfigure the optically projected electrode patterns. This approach allows for real-time manipulation and miscellaneous patterning of CNTs. The sorting and separation of bundled and dispersed CNTs is also demonstrated. This developed platform may be promising for rapid fabrication of CNT-based nanosensors together with nanoelectronics, purification as well as classification of synthesized CNTs and other applications requiring nanoscale manipulation.