Suspended carbon nanotube nanocomposite beams with a high mechanical strength via layer-by-layer nano-self-assembly

Dongjin Lee, Tianhong Cui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The fabrication and characterization of single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT) composite thin film micropatterns and suspended beams prepared by lithography-compatible layer-by-layer (LbL) nano-self-assembly are demonstrated. Negatively charged SWCNTs are assembled with a positively charged polydiallyldimethylammonium chloride, and the composite thin film is patterned by oxygen plasma etching with a masking layer of photoresist, resulting in a feature size of 2νm. Furthermore, the SWCNT nanocomposite stripe pattern with a metal clamp on both ends is released by etching a sacrificial layer of silicon dioxide in the hydrofluoric acid vapor. I-V measurement reveals that the resistance of SWCNT nanocomposite film decreases by 23% upon release, presumably due to the effect of reorientation of CNTs caused by the deflection of about 50nm. A high Young's modulus is found in a range of 500-800GPa based on the characterization of a fixed-fixed beam using nanoindentation. This value is much higher than those of the other CNT-polymer composites reported due to organization of structures by self-assembly and higher loading of CNTs. The stiff CNT-polymer composite thin film micropattern and suspended beam have potential applications to novel physical sensors, nanoelectromechanical switches, other M/NEMS devices, etc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number165601
Issue number16
StatePublished - Apr 22 2011


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