The formation of nanobubbles, straightening, and orientation of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) are investigated by preparing thin films employing dip casting of colloidal solutions on few-layer graphene (FLG) surfaces. In contrast to what is known, it is observed that nanobubbles are formed on an ultrathin dewetted layer of 0.5 nm thickness and exhibit unusual stability at ultrahigh vacuum conditions. Further, nanobubble rings are observed at atmospheric pressure. The results provide direct experimental evidence of the interaction between MWCNTs and nanobubbles at air-liquid-solid triple contact line and at lower step edge of the FLG, which together lead to the alignment of MWCNTs. Due to the balance between the surface tension forces and the strain forces arising from tube bending, MWCNTs attained straight rod-like shape. This enabled us to evaluate the elastic modulus of the MWCNT as E = 0.9 TPa.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Physics and Astronomy