Tip-based Creation and Functionalization of Nanoscale Surface Patterns
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Nanostructures are being intensely studied due to unusual material properties and simple scaling concerns in the microelectronics industry. Fabricating useful nano-scale structures and devices, either by arranging existing nanoparticles such as carbon nanotubes or by manipulating bulk materials into nanometer-scale geometries, is a challenging prospect. One promising approach is to generate a nanometer-scale pattern and transfer that geometry into another material. The research described in this dissertation concerns the fabrication of nanometer-scale patterns, by Atomic Force Microscope-based methods and Electron Beam Lithography, on planar surfaces and the transfer of those patterns into functional materials. Differences in surface energy were used to guide the growth of bulk conducting polymer along predefined nano-scale patterns. Carbon nanotubes were assembled into an ordered and continuous material with no guidance and used to lithographically write silicon oxide nanopatterns on a silicon surface. Finally, the two previous projects were combined, and surface energy patterns were used to guide the deposition of dense carbon nanotube bundles along a planar substrate.
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