Bending of a Carbon Nanotube in Vacuum Using a Focused Ion Beam


  • This work was supported in part by the national program for Tera-level Nanodevices and a national R&D project for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology. The authors acknowledge Prof. Young Hee Lee of Sungkyunkwan University for providing the carbon nanotube boule.


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A focused ion beam is used to plastically bend and straighten freestanding multiwalled carbon nanotubes held at the apex of a scanning force microscopy tip (see Figure). The nanotube aligns itself parallel to the beam direction so that its free end is directed toward the ion source. In this orientation, the nanotube is not subject to any external electric or magnetic field. This method may be useful for precisely aligning carbon nanotubes for their testing and application.