Nanoscience and Microsystems ETDs

Publication Date

Spring 4-13-2017


Carbon nanotubes have rightfully been regarded as a wonder material since their discovery by Iijima in 1991 and the subsequent elucidation of their many material properties. Their extreme strength is 10-fold higher than any industrial fiber. Their current density carrying capability is orders of magnitude higher than copper without failure from electromigration. Their high thermal conductivity bests diamond, and their structural versatility leads to either semiconducting or metallic electronic character. These properties all make the integration of carbon nanotubes into functional devices of high value. However, they remain a material of largely unrealized potential due to several challenges that arise in their integration into devices. Integration challenges of primary importance are the ability to sort the metallic species from the semiconducting species in a scalable manner and to exercise orientational control in placing the sorted species into electrical devices. Our research demonstrates a path that robustly addresses these important concerns. First we selectively and non-covalently functionalize the tips of only the metallic species with gold. This result allows for metallic tubes to be selectively used in DNA-directed assembly on electrode structures, solving both selectivity and orientation integration challenges. The performance of the resulting electronic device architectures is also characterized. Together, these results provide a demonstration of how selective chemistry, top-down fabrication of electrodes and bottom-up DNA-based assembly can be applied to reliably produce electronic device structures built around metallic carbon nanotubes. We expect this work will enable future studies of the performance of a wide range of carbon-nanotube-based device structures.


metallic carbon nanotubes, directed assembly, device integration

Document Type




Degree Name

Nanoscience and Microsystems

Level of Degree


Department Name

Nanoscience and Microsystems

First Committee Member (Chair)

Andrew Shreve

Second Committee Member

Deborah Evans

Third Committee Member

Jennifer Martinez

Fourth Committee Member

Zayd Leseman