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Integrated three-dimensional microelectromechanical devices from processable carbon nanotube wafers


In order to be useful as microelectromechanical devices, carbon nanotubes with well-controlled properties and orientations should be made at high density and be placed at predefined locations. We address this challenge by hierarchically assembling carbon nanotubes into closely packed and highly aligned three-dimensional wafer films from which a wide range of complex and three-dimensional nanotube structures were lithographically fabricated. These include carbon nanotube islands on substrates, suspended sheets and beams, and three-dimensional cantilevers, all of which exist as single cohesive units with useful mechanical and electrical properties. Every fabrication step is both parallel and scalable, which makes it easy to further integrate these structures into functional three-dimensional nanodevice systems. Our approach opens up new ways to make economical and scalable devices with unprecedented structural complexity and functionality.

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Figure 1: Schematic illustration and fabrication of planar/3D CNT wafers and islands.
Figure 2: CNT wafer characterization.
Figure 3: Nonplanar and multitier 3D CNT wafers and structures.
Figure 4: An all-SWNT 3D relay.
Figure 5: Parallel fabrication of 1,276 CNT relays.

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We thank Y. Yamamoto, N. Makimoto, S. Yamada and T. Kikuchi for technical assistance. Partial support by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) and Highly Integrated, Complex MEMS Production Technology Development Project is acknowledged.

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Authors and Affiliations



Y.H. conducted and designed the experiments; T.Y. contributed to process development of planar and 3D nanotube structures; K.M. contributed to CNT wafer; D.F. contributed to CNT synthesis; R.D. contributed to process development; K.H. designed and conceived the experiments and wrote the paper.

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Correspondence to Kenji Hata.

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Hayamizu, Y., Yamada, T., Mizuno, K. et al. Integrated three-dimensional microelectromechanical devices from processable carbon nanotube wafers. Nature Nanotech 3, 289–294 (2008).

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