Aligned Carbon Nanotube Films: Production and Optical and Electronic Properties

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Science  12 May 1995:
Vol. 268, Issue 5212, pp. 845-847
DOI: 10.1126/science.268.5212.845


Carbon nanotube material can now be produced in macroscopic quantities. However, the raw material has a disordered structure, which restricts investigations of both the properties and applications of the nanotubes. A method has been developed to produce thin films of aligned carbon nanotubes. The tubes can be aligned either parallel or perpendicular to the surface, as verified by scanning electron microscopy. The parallel aligned surfaces are birefringent, reflecting differences in the dielectric function along and normal to the tubes. The electrical resistivities are anisotropic as well, being smaller along the tubes than perpendicular to them, because of corresponding differences in the electronic transport properties.