Nanotube Alignment Using Lyotropic Liquid Crystals


  • We thank A. Schulz for help with the Raman experiments. Financial support from the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation (JL), the Swedish Research Council ‘Vetenskapsrådet' (GS), and the EU projects SPANG and CANAPE is gratefully acknowledged.


original image

A new method for the successful alignment of carbon nanotubes is presented. An aqueous lyotropic nematic liquid-crystal phase acts as a self-organizing template to align and disperse the nonfunctionalized nanotubes simultaneously, and the success of the method is confirmed through Raman spectroscopy analysis (see figure). This work could be extended to allow tailoring of the alignment for specific purposes and properties, using different lyotropic liquid crystals.