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Printed Carbon Nanotube Transistor

Researchers from Aneeve Nanotechnologies have used low-cost ink-jet printing to fabricate the first circuits composed of fully printed back-gated and top-gated carbon nanotube-based electronics for use with OLED displays. OLED-based displays are used in cell phones, digital cameras and other portable devices.

But developing a lower-cost method for mass-producing such displays has been complicated by the difficulties of incorporating thin-film transistors that use amorphous silicon and polysilicon into the production process.

In this innovative study, the team made carbon nanotube thin-film transistors with high mobility and a high on-off ratio, completely based on ink-jet printing. They demonstrated the first fully printed single-pixel OLED control circuits, and their fully printed thin-film circuits showed significant performance advantages over traditional organic-based printed electronics.

This distinct process utilizes an ink-jet printing method that eliminates the need for expensive vacuum equipment and lends itself to scalable manufacturing and roll-to-roll printing. The team solved many material integration problems, developed new cleaning processes and created new methods for negotiating nano-based ink solutions.
Ink-jet-printed circuit. (Credit: University of California - Los Angeles)
For active-matrix OLED applications, the printed carbon nanotube transistors will be fully integrated with OLED arrays, the researchers said. The encapsulation technology developed for OLEDs will also keep the carbon nanotube transistors well protected, as the organics in OLEDs are very sensitive to oxygen and moisture.

(Adapted from PhysOrg)

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