DNA-Linker Induced Surface Assembly of Ultra Dense Parallel Single Walled Carbon Nanotube Arrays

S-P Han, H.T. Maune, R.D. Barish, M. Bockrath, W.A. Goddard III
IBM Almaden Research Center, US

Keywords: self-assembly, DNA, carbon nanotube, devices


In the past the fabrication of nanowire arrays and crossbars using SNAP and other stamping processes has allowed development of numerous novel device architectures and materials. Similar applications abound for single-walled carbon nanotube (SWNT) arrays but state of the art techniques such as quartz aligned growth, Langmuir-Blodgett alignment, and chemical template driven organization are unable to achieve average densities greater than 30 SWNTs µm-1 or control inter-nanotube spacing at sub 30 nm scales. We have developed a self-assembly process where partially duplex DNA linkers can assemble neighboring SWNTs into parallel orientation while keeping them at a fixed nanometer scale distance. The dispersed SWNTs, using multi-domain DNA linkers, are deposited onto electrostatically charged substrates under conditions that induce surface diffusion. We demonstrate CNT arrays with ~2.9 nm, ~8.5 nm, and ~ 22 nm pitch on Muscovite mica and phospholipid bilayers which can then be stamped onto silica substrates that are amenable to fabrication of CMOS electronics. These arrays may allow exploration of macromolecular scale physical and chemical phenomena in ways that enable diverse new sensors, devices, and metamaterials. We will discuss the self-assembly process, device characteristics, and prospect for such novel devices in future.