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Unbundling SWCNT mechanically via nanomanipulation using AFM
1  Faculty of Engineering, May University in Cairo, Cairo, Egypt
2  National Institute of Chemistry, P.O. Box 660, SI-1001 Ljubljana, Slovenia
3  Department of Physics, The American University in Cairo, Cairo, 11835, Egypt
Academic Editor: Manoj Gupta


Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are cylindrical nanostructures fabricated from carbon atoms that seem like seamless cylinders composed of rolled sheets of graphite. Owing to the unique properties of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs), they are a promising candidate in various fields such as chemical sensing, hydrogen storage, catalyst support, electronics, nanobalances, and nanotubes. Because of their small size, large surface area, high sensitivity, and reversible behavior at room temperature, CNTs are ideal for measuring gas. They also show improved electron transfer when used as electrodes in electrochemical reactions and serve as solid media for Protein immobilization on biosensors. SWCNTs can be metallic or semi-conductive, counting on their structural properties. In this study, we use the atomic force microscope (AFM) as a powerful tool to manipulate and disaggregate SWCNTs. By precisely controlling the AFM probe, we were able to manipulate individual SWCNTs and separate them from the bundle structures. Next, the electrical transport of disaggregated SWCNTs was studied using the conductive atomic force microscope (cAFM) technique. Through careful measurement and analysis, we were able to observe the triggering effect and confirm the presence of both the semiconductor and the metallic SWCNT in the sample.

Keywords: AFM, SWCNT, cAFM, gatting effect, nanotransport