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Macroscopic Ensembles of Aligned Carbon Nanotubes in Bubble Imprints Studied by Polarized Raman Microscopy
We study the alignment of single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) in bubble imprints through polarized Raman microscopy. A hemispherical bubble containing SWCNTs is pressed against a glass substrate, resulting in an imprint of the bubble membrane with a coffee ring on the substrate. We find that macroscopic ensembles of aligned SWCNTs are obtained in the imprints, in which there are three patterns of orientations: (i) azimuthal alignment on the coffee ring, (ii) radial alignment at the edge of the membrane, and (iii) random orientation at the center of the membrane. We also find that the alignment of SWCNTs in the imprints can be manipulated by spinning bubbles. The orientation of SWCNTs on the coffee ring is directed radially, which is orthogonal to the case of unspun bubbles. This approach enables one to align SWCNTs in large quantities and in a short time, potentially opening up a wide range of CNT-based electronic and optical applications.