Carbon nanotubes represent a promising material for nanotechnology. It can be considered as a curved graphene sheet. While carbon nanotubes are sythesized successfully with laser ablation, carbon arc, or CVD techniques, it is also speculated that tailoring graphene sheet to form nanotubes or even other novel materials might be possible. There has already been some research on manipulating graphene sheets on highly oriented pyrolytic graphite (HOPG) surfaces with scanning probe microscope (SPM) tips; such sheets were obtained either accidentally or with a less controllable indenting technique. Here we present a different approach, which is more reliable and controllable. Before employing manipulation by SPM tip, the HOPG surface was patterned to create an array of small graphite islands. Current research efforts involve attempting to peel graphene sheets from the graphite islands and to further manipulate them with SPM tips. HOPG surface patterning and graphite islands manipulation will be described and discussed.
(we appreciate receiving HOPG samples from Dr. Arthur Moore)
Department of Physics, Washington University
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