Controlled growth of carbon, boron nitride, and zinc oxide nanotubes

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Department of Physics


Nanotubes represent a unique class of materials in which all atoms are located near the surface. Since electrons flowing through nanotubes are confined near the surface, nanotubes are attractive for sensing biological and chemical molecules. In addition, their tubular structures enable nanofluidic devices that are useful for novel sensing applications. In this paper, we will discuss current applications and the latest advancements on the growth of carbon nanotubes (CNTs), boron nitride nanotubes (BNNTs), and ZnO nanotubes (ZnONTs). First, CNT growth is highly controlled by regulating the effective catalysts and the dissociative adsorption of the hydrocarbon molecules during chemical-vapor deposition growth. Second, we have achieved low temperature growth of vertically aligned BNNTs at 600 degC , the first success of growing pure BNNTs directly on substrates at temperatures about half of those reported so far. Finally, we have developed an original approach for growing ZnONTs without catalyst or template. Robust, controllable growth techniques for nanotubes are necessary in order to fully realize their sensing potential.

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© 2008 IEEE. Publisher's version of record: https://doi.org/10.1109/JSEN.2008.923906

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IEEE Sensors Journal