Interstitial Filling

Filled infiltrated carbon nanotube forest device

The nanotubes by themselves are not bound together and thus do not form a durable structure, but they can be coated in other materials through various processes such as Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) or Electroplating. This has huge advantages because many materials cannot be deposited to high thicknesses without developing too much stress and tearing themselves apart, but when coating carbon nanotubes the filler material need only be deposited to a thickness of a few hundred nanometers in order to form a solid structure of nearly any desired size. This technique also means that high aspect ratio (tall and skinny) devices can be formed from a wide variety of materials, where traditional micromachining is very limited in possible substances and an entirely new process has to be developed to shape each material. Using a carbon nanotube scaffold allows the structure of the device to be predeterminded by one procedure while the material of the device can be determined separately.