In this paper, the compressive stress of pristine and coated vertically-aligned (VA) multi-walled (MW) carbon nanotube (CNT) pillars were investigated using flat-punch nano-indentation. VA-MWCNT pillars of various diameters (30–150 µm) grown by low-pressure chemical vapor deposition on silicon wafer. A conformal brittle coating of niobium-titanium-nitride with high superconductivity temperature was deposited on the VA-MWCNT pillars using atomic layer deposition. The coating together with the pillars could form a superconductive vertical interconnect. The indentation tests showed foam-like behavior of pristine CNTs and ceramic-like fracture of conformal coated CNTs. The compressive strength and the elastic modulus for pristine CNTs could be divided into three regimes of linear elastic, oscillatory plateau, and exponential densification. The elastic modulus of pristine CNTs increased for a smaller pillar diameter. The response of the coated VA-MWCNTs depended on the diffusion depth of the coating in the pillar and their elastic modulus increased with pillar diameter due to the higher sidewall area. Tuning the material properties by conformal coating on various diameter pillars enhanced the mechanical performance and the vertical interconnect access (via) reliability. The results could be useful for quantum computing applications that require high-density superconducting vertical interconnects and reliable operation at reduced temperatures.
- Carbon nanotubes
- Conformal coating