Office of Technology Transfer – University of Michigan

Freeform Carbon Nanotube Structures

Technology #4308

Background

The next generation of nano- and microsystems require increasingly small and complex structures made of versatile materials. Growth of the commercial MEMS industry has fostered many manufacturing innovations towards extreme miniaturization, including immersion, deep UV, and nanoimprint lithography; and versatile patterning techniques such as SU-8 processing, deep reactive ion etching of silicon, and soft lithography using PDMS. However, it remains challenging to create freeform (3D) shapes at the nano- and micro-scales, and particularly few processes allow generation of non-planar, curved, or re-entrant geometries.

Technology

Researchers at University of Michigan have created a novel and versatile method for batch fabrication of freeform nano- and microstructures, by controlling capillary interactions between organic solvents and aligned carbon nanotubes (CNTs).

Applications and Advantages

Applications

  • Carbon nanotubes

Advantages

  • Collectively harness the attractive mechanical, electrical, thermal, and chemical properties of CNTs in functional microstructures
  • Allows hand-on training in an interactive environment