Plastic products could easily become electronic with first moldable allcarbon circuits

center_img Citation: Plastic products could easily become electronic with first moldable all-carbon circuits (2013, August 23) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-08-plastic-products-easily-electronic-moldable.html (Left) A dome-shaped all-carbon device (scale bar, 10 mm). Inset: magnified photograph (scale bar, 1 mm). (Right) Illustration of the cross-section of the air-assisted thermopressure-forming apparatus used to mold the all-carbon device. Credit: Sun, et al. ©2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited Unlike the polymers and ionic liquids that have been previously tried as materials for flexible dielectrics, the PMMA that the researchers used here can enable transistors and integrated circuits to operate at low voltages and high speeds. The low operating voltage can be explained in part by the sparse, network-like carbon nanotube thin film used as the channels, which enhances coupling between the channel and gate electrode compared with using thick polymers as the channels.Previously, the researchers successfully fabricated a thin-film transistor with a mobility greater than 600 cm2V-1s-1 by developing a technology for forming a long, yet pure, carbon nanotube film on plastic. In the new study, the researchers made further progress on the optimization of the film-forming technology, achieving a mobility of 1,027 cm2V-1s-1. This mobility is higher than that of a MOSFET, which uses monocrystalline silicon, and the researchers describe it as an astonishing value for a thin-film transistor fabricated on a plastic substrate.Because these all-carbon devices are made of carbon nanotubes and polymers, they exhibit better flexibility and stretchability compared with devices fabricated from rigid metals and oxide insulators. Perhaps the most useful feature of the all-carbon circuits is their moldability, which the researchers demonstrated by heating and blowing a planar substrate to form a dome-shaped structure. The 3D dome is stretched during this molding process without cracking, in sharp contrast to rigid materials such as metals. The extreme stretchability of both the passive and active elements of the devices can allow them to be formed using the same molding techniques used today to shape plastic products. In order to scale up the devices, the researchers note that it will be important to grow carbon nanotubes with a uniform length and diameter to minimize current variation. Eliminating metallic nanotubes can also offer further performance improvements. They also hope to use fabrication methods other than the lithographic methods they used here.”It is desirable to form carbon nanotube channels and wirings at atmospheric pressure and low temperature by high-throughput printing techniques rather than current lithographic techniques,” Sun said. Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. , Nature Nanotechnologylast_img read more