Research Papers

Purification of Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes Based on Thermocapillary Flow

[+] Author and Article Information
Jizhou Song

Department of Engineering Mechanics and
Soft Matter Research Center,
Zhejiang University,
Hangzhou 310027, China
e-mail: jzsong@zju.edu.cn

Chaofeng Lu

Department of Civil Engineering and
Soft Matter Research Center,
Zhejiang University,
Hangzhou 310058, China

Sung Hun Jin

Department of Electronic Engineering,
Incheon National University,
Incheon 406-772, South Korea

Simon N. Dunham, Xu Xie, John A. Rogers

Department of Materials Science and Engineering,
Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory,
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign,
Urbana, IL 61801

Yonggang Huang

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering,
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Center for Engineering and Health, and
Skin Disease Research Center,
Northwestern University,
Evanston, IL 60208
e-mail: y-huang@northwestern.edu

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Applied Mechanics Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF APPLIED MECHANICS. Manuscript received December 30, 2014; final manuscript received January 22, 2015; published online June 3, 2015. Assoc. Editor: Arun Shukla.

J. Appl. Mech 82(7), 071010 (Jul 01, 2015) (4 pages) Paper No: JAM-14-1618; doi: 10.1115/1.4030330 History: Received December 30, 2014; Revised January 22, 2015; Online June 03, 2015

Single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) are of significant interest in the electronic materials research community due to their excellent electrical properties and many promising applications. However, SWNTs grow as mixture of both metallic and semiconducting tubes and this heterogeneity frustrates their practical use in high performance electronics. Recently developed purification techniques based on nanoscale thermocapillary flow of thin film overcoats enables complete elimination of metallic SWNTs from as-grown arrays. We studied the thermocapillary flow to purify SWNTs analytically and established a simple scaling law for the film thickness profile in terms of the geometry (e.g., film thickness), material (e.g., thermal conductivity and viscosity), and loading (e.g., power density) parameters. The results show that the normalized thickness profile only depends on one nondimensional parameter: the normalized power density. These findings may serve as useful design guidelines for process optimization.

Copyright © 2015 by ASME
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Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Schematic illustration of the process for purifying arrays of SWNTs

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

(a) AFM images of a SWNT coated with thin film (∼25 nm) after Joule heating for 1, 10, 30, 60, 120, and 300 s, (b) trench profiles extracted from experimental measurements. (Reprinted with permission from Jin et al. [18]. Copyright 2013 by Macmillan.)

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Evolution of the trench profile from the scaling law

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

The normalized trench depth HTC/hf versus the normalized time t¯ = γ0t/(μhf)

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

The critical normalized time t¯cr = γ0tcr/(μhf) versus the normalized power density Q¯ = Q0γ1/(ksγ0)



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