Microfabrication with Smooth, Thin CNT/Polymer Composite Sheets

Nathan Edward Boyer, Brigham Young University - Provo


Carbon nanotube (CNT)/polymer composite sheets can be extremely high strength and lightweight, which makes them attractive for fabrication of mechanical structures. This thesis demonstrates a method whereby smooth, thin CNT/polymer composite sheets can be fabricated and patterned on the microscale using a process of photolithography and plasma etching. CNT/polymer composites were made from CNTs grown using chemical vapor deposition using supported catalyst growth and floating catalyst growth. The composite sheets had a roughness of approximately 30nm and were about 61¼m or 261¼m depending on whether they were made from supported catalyst grown or floating catalyst grown CNTs. The composites were patterned using an oxygen plasma as the etchant and a hard mask of silicon nitride.