Assemblies of silicon nanoparticles roll up into flexible nanotubes

Sahraoui Chaieb, Munir H. Nayfeh, Adam D. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


When a colloidal dispersion of fluorescent 1 nm silicon nanoparticles in alcohol is subjected to an electric field, the nanoparticles are driven to the surface of the anode substrate, where they form a thin film. Upon drying, the film delaminates from the surface of the anode and rolls up into ∼100 μm long nanotube. Nanotube diameters ranging from 0.2 to 5 μm with wall thicknesses in the range of 20-40 nm have been achieved. By applying a force on the tubes using atomic force microscopy, we estimate Young's modulus of the film and find it to be close to that of rubber. We also study the crystalline structure of the film using electron diffraction and find it to be quartzlike.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number062104
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors acknowledge the U.S. NSF (Grant No. BES-0118053) (M.H.F.), NSF CAREER (CMS-0238874) (S.C.), State of Illinois (Grant IDCCA No. 00-49106), and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for financial support. The authors thank K. J. Hsia for calibrating the AFM cantilever and Glenn Fried at the Beckman Institute for his assistance. TEM and Election diffraction were carried out in the Center for Microanalysis of Materials, University of Illinios, which is partially supported by the U.S. Department of Energy under Grant No. DEFG02-91-ER45439.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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