The world’s first carbon nanotube-based integrated circuits on plastic substrate
The production method developed makes it possible to manufacture high-quality, flexible electronic products at a reasonable price.
Professor Yutaka Ohno from Nagoya University in Japan and Professor Esko I. Kauppinen from Aalto University and their research group have developed a fast and simple method of producing high-performance thin-film transistors on plastic substrate. The inventors believe that the technology for producing semiconducting carbon nanotube plastic substrates will make it possible to manufacture flexible electronic products, such as electronic paper, at a low cost. They used the new technology to produce the world’s first sequential logic circuits based on carbon nanotubes.
Light and flexible devices such as flexible mobile phones and e-paper have become more popular with the development of the information society. These devices require flexible electronic components that can be manufactured inexpensively and quickly on a plastic substrate.
Recent years have seen an increase in the use of carbon nanotubes as a transistor material. This is due to their good conduction ability and chemical stability. However, although quite simple solution-based manufacturing processes have been developed for producing nanotube thin-film transistors, the transistors have not met capability expectations in comparison to transistors produced from individual nanotubes. This is due to the fact that the conduction properties of the nanotubes deteriorate somewhat during the process.
The new method involves growing the nanotubes in atmospheric pressure gas and collecting them with a filter. The resulting thin film is then transferred from the filter onto plastic, which provides a very clean film of uniform quality in just a few seconds. This process is being developed as a technology for high-speed roll-to-roll (R2R) manufacturing.
The research results were published on 6 February 2011 in electronic format (impact factor 26.3) in a leading nanotechnology journal.
Nature Nanotechnology http://www.nature.com/nnano/index.html
The research was financed by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), Japan and Aalto University’s Multidisciplinary Institute of Digitalisation and Energy (MIDE) research programme.
For further information:
The world's first successful operation of carbon nanotube-based integrated circuits manufactured on plastic substrates (read the unedited version)
Aalto University’s Department of Applied Physics
Professor Esko I. Kauppinen
Tel. +358 40 509 8064
E-mail: esko.kauppinen [at] tkk [dot] fi
MIDE research programme
Professor Yrjö Neuvo
E-mail: yrjo.neuvo [at] tkk [dot] fi