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Home > News > Lipid-modulated assembly of magnetized iron-filled carbon nanotubes in millimeter-scale structures

October 15th, 2007

Lipid-modulated assembly of magnetized iron-filled carbon nanotubes in millimeter-scale structures

Abstract:
Biomolecule-functionalized carbon nanotubes (CNTs) combine the molecular recognition properties of biomaterials with the electrical properties of nanoscale solid state transducers. Application of this hybrid material in bioelectronic devices requires the development of methods for the reproducible self-assembly of CNTs into higher-order structures in an aqueous environment. To this end, we have studied pattern formation of lipid-coated Fe-filled CNTs, with lengths in the 1-5 µm range, by controlled evaporation of aqueous CNT-lipid suspensions. Novel diffusion limited aggregation structures composed of end-to-end oriented nanotubes were observed by optical and atomic force microscopy. Significantly, the lateral dimension of assemblies of magnetized Fe-filled CNTs was in the millimeter range. Control experiments in the absence of lipids and without magnetization indicated that the formation of these long linear nanotube patterns is driven by a subtle interplay between radial flow forces in the evaporating droplet, lipid-modulated van der Waals forces, and magnetic dipole-dipole interactions.

Source:
University of Southampton

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