American Chemical Society
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Dip-Pen Nanolithography of Electrical Contacts to Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes

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journal contribution
posted on 2009-11-24, 00:00 authored by Wechung Maria Wang, Melburne C. LeMieux, Selvapraba Selvarasah, Mehmet R. Dokmeci, Zhenan Bao
This paper discusses a method for the direct patterning of Au electrodes at nanoscale resolution using dip-pen nanolithography, with proof-of-concept demonstrated by creating single-walled carbon nanotube devices. This technique enables insight into three key concepts at the nanoscale: using dip-pen nanolithography as an alternative to electron-beam lithography for writing contacts to carbon nanotubes, understanding the integrity of contacts and devices patterned with this technique, and on a more fundamental level, providing a facile method to compare and understand electrical and Raman spectroscopy data from the same isolated carbon nanotube. Electrical contacts to individual and small bundle single-walled carbon nanotubes were masked by an alkylthiol that was deposited via dip-pen nanolithography on a thin film of Au evaporated onto spin-cast, nonpercolating, and highly isolated single-walled carbon nanotubes. A wet Au etching step was used to form the individual devices. The electrical characteristics for three different single-walled carbon nanotube devices are reported: semimetallic, semiconducting, and metallic. Raman analysis on representative devices corroborates the results from AFM imaging and electrical testing. This work demonstrates a technique for making electrical contact to nanostructures of interest and provides a platform for directly corroborating electrical and optical measurements. The merits of using dip-pen nanolithography include flexible device configuration (such as varying the channel length and the number, size, and orientation of contacts), targeted patterning of individual devices with imaging and writing conducted in the same instrument under ambient conditions, and negligible damage to single-walled carbon nanotubes during the fabrication process.