Recent progress *RF 1-3* in the synthesis of high-quality single-walled carbon nanotubes  (SWNTs) has enabled the measurement of their physical and materials properties [5-8]. The idea that nanotubes might be integrated with conventional microstructures to obtain new types of nanoscale devices, however, requires an ability to synthesize, isolate, manipulate and connect individual nanotubes. Here we describe a strategy for making high-quality individual SWNTs on silicon wafers patterned with micrometrescale islands of catalytic material. We synthesize SWNTs by chemical vapour deposition of methane on the patterned substrates. Many of the synthesized nanotubes are perfect, individual SWNTs with diameters of 1-3 nm and lengths of up to tens of micrometres. The nanotubes are rooted in the islands, and are easily located, characterized and manipulated with the scanning electron microscope and atomic force microscope. Some of the SWNTs bridge two metallic islands, offering the prospect of using this approach to develop ultrafine electrical interconnects and other devices.