Nanotubes Fall into Line

May 25, 2001 | Source: Technology Review

Nanocrystal arrays of perfectly aligned nanotubes have been produced by a team from the University of Cambridge.

The team created pillars by depositing alternating layers of buckyballs and a nickel catalyst onto a substrate, patterning them with a ceramic mask attached to an atomic force microscope. The researchers then heated the pillars to 900 °C in the presence of a magnetic field. The result was a pattern of millions of carbon nanotube crystals.

Next step: grow crystals of semiconducting tubes to build nanotransistors. IBM will have the first crack at commercializing the process.