We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Durham University

Department of Engineering

Staff Profile

Publication details for Professor Michael Petty

Palumbo, M, Lee, KU, Ahn, BT, Suri, A, Coleman, KS, Zeze, D, Wood, D, Pearson, C & Petty, MC (2006). Electrical investigations of layer-by-layer films of carbon nanotubes. Journal of Physics D - Applied Physics 39(14): 3077-3085.

Author(s) from Durham


Single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) with anionic or cationic coatings have been prepared by exploiting the ability of certain surfactants to form a monolayer shell around the nanotube. The presence of electrically charged functional groups on the surface of the SWNT allows thin film deposition to proceed via the electrostatic layer-by-layer method. This self-assembly process was monitored using the quartz microbalance technique and Raman spectroscopy, while the morphology of the resulting thin layers was studied with atomic force microscopy. A variety of different architectures has been built up. In one arrangement, a single species of a modified SWNT (anionic or cationic) was alternated with a passive polymer to form a composite structure. A 'superlattice' architecture comprising alternating anionic and cationic modified nanotubes was also fabricated. The in-plane and out-of-plane dc conductivities of the films were measured at room temperature and contrasted with reference architectures (i.e. those containing no nanotubes). The results showed clearly that the incorporation of SWNTs into the multilayer assemblies provided electrically conductive thin films. It is suggested that the current versus voltage behaviour, particularly in the out-of-plane direction, is controlled by quantum mechanical tunnelling of carriers between the nanotubes.



Decher G, Hong J D and Schmitt J 1992 Thin Solid Films 210


Decher G 1997 Science 277 1232


Lvov Y, Decher G and Mohwald H 1993 Langmuir 9 481


Decher G and Schlenoff J B (ed) 2003 Multilayer Thin
Films-Sequential Assembly of Nanocomposite Materials
(Weinheim: Wiley-VCH)


Hammond P T 1999 Curr. Opin. Colloid Interface Sci. 4 430


Hammond P T 2004 Adv. Mater. 16 1271


Caruso F and Mohwald H 1999 Langmuir 15 8276


Caruso F 2001 Adv. Mater. 13 11


Lvov Y 2001 Thin film nanofabrication by alternate adsorption
of polyions, nanoparticles, and proteins Handbook of
Surfaces and Interfaces of Materials ed H S Nalwa
(New York: Academic) chapter 4


Shiratori S S and Rubner M F 2000 Macromolecules 33


Schoeler B, Kumaraswamy G and Caruso F 2002
Macromolecules 35 889


Schoeler B, Poptoschev E and Caruso F 2003 Macromolecules
36 5258


Palumbo M, Pearson C and Petty M C 2005 Thin Solid Films
483 114


Iijima S 1991 Nature 354 56


Dresselhaus M S, Dresselhaus G and Avouris P 2001 Carbon
Nanotubes: Synthesis, Structure, Properties, and
Applications (Berlin: Springer)


Harris P J F 1999 Carbon Nanotubes and Related Structures:
New Materials for the Twenty-First Century (Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press)


Meyyappan M and Srivastava D 2003 Carbon nanotubes
Handbook of Nanoscience, Engineering and Technology
ed W A I Goddard et al (Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press)


Kroto H W, Heath J R, Obrien S C, Curl R F and Smalley R E
1985 Nature 318 162


Mamedov A A, Kotov N A, Prato M, Guldi D M, Wicksted J P
and Hirsch A 2002 Nature Mater. 1 190


Olek M, Ostrander J, Jurga S, Mohwald H, Kotov N, Kempa K
and Giersig M 2004 Nano Lett. 4 1889


Shim B S and Kotov N A 2005 Langmuir 21 9381


Artyukhin A B, Bakajin O, Stroeve P and Noy A 2004
Langmuir 20 1442


Zhang M N, Yan Y M, Gong K P, Mao L Q, Guo Z X and
Chen Y 2004 Langmuir 20 8781


Takahashi T, Tsunoda K, Yajima H and Ishii T 2004 Japan.
J. Appl. Phys. 1 43 3636


Rao A M, Chen J, Richter E, Schlecht U, Eklund P C,
Haddon R C, Venkateswaran U D, Kwon Y K and
Tomanek D 2001 Phys. Rev. Lett. 86 3895


Geelhood S J, Frank C W and Kanazawa K 2002
J. Electrochem. Soc. 149 H33


O’Connell M J et al 2002 Science 297 593


Lu C and Lewis O 1972 J. Appl. Phys. 43 4385


Picart C, Lavalle P, Hubert P, Cuisinier F J G, Decher G,
Schaaf P and Voegel J C 2001 Langmuir 17 7414


Tsukruk V V, Bliznyuk V N, Visser D, Campbell A L,
Bunning T J and Adams W W 1997 Macromolecules 30


Roberts G G, Apsley N and Munn R W 1980 Phys. Rep.-Rev.
Sect. Phys. Lett. 60 59


Stratton R 1962 J. Phys. Chem. Solids 23 1177.