Carbon nanotube arrays have been found to be highly effective at carrying out intracellular delivery of cargo at high efficiencies while ensuring cell viability. Template based chemical vapor deposition is a commonly used process to fabricate these arrays. However, current etching methods used to expose carbon nanotubes from templates are expensive and time consuming. The high cost and time-consuming processes currently required to fabricate such arrays are factors which limit the commercialization of this technology and inhibit scope for larger research programs. In this thesis, alternative nanofabrication methods were explored with the aim of making the fabrication of CNT arrays cost effective and efficient. Mechanical polishing coupled with wet chemical etching is shown as a feasible alternative option to dry etching. The effects of process variables on physical properties of CNT arrays have been studied and quantified in order to demonstrate control over the process. Scanning Electron Microscopy has been used to qualitatively understand the differences between CNT arrays fabricated using dry etching and the alternative process. Cell culture has been demonstrated on the CNT arrays and the potential to use 3D printing to fabricate a nanofluidic device is also demonstrated. The alternative process can save etching time by 97% while maintaining a similar level of control over the process. This study, therefore, opens the path to quicker production of CNT arrays at low cost for biomedical use.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Carbon nanotubes--Synthesis; Cell culture

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Mechanical Engineering (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

Mechanical Engineering (KGCOE)


Michael G. Schrlau

Advisor/Committee Member

Kathleen Lamkin-Kennard

Advisor/Committee Member

Thomas Gaborski


Physical copy available from RIT's Wallace Library at TA455.C3 A46 2017


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes