Structurally programmed capillary folding of carbon nanotube assemblies

Sameh Tawfick, Michael De Volder, A. John Hart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We demonstrate the fabrication of horizontally aligned carbon nanotube (HA-CNT) networks by spatially programmable folding, which is induced by self-directed liquid infiltration of vertical CNTs. Folding is caused by a capillary buckling instability and is predicted by the elastocapillary buckling height, which scales with the wall thickness as t3/2. The folding direction is controlled by incorporating folding initiators at the ends of the CNT walls, and the initiators cause a tilt during densification which precedes buckling. By patterning these initiators and specifying the wall geometry, we control the dimensions of HA-CNT patches over 2 orders of magnitude and realize multilayered and multidirectional assemblies. Multidirectional HA-CNT patterns are building blocks for custom design of nanotextured surfaces and flexible circuits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6389-6394
Number of pages6
Issue number10
StatePublished - Jun 1 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry

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