Sunday, February 13, 2011

Successful Operation of Carbon Nanotube-Based Integrated Circuits Manufactured on Plastic Substrates

As part of NEDO's Industrial Technology Research Grant Japan-Finland collaborative project, Professors Yutaka Ohno from Nagoya University in Japan and Esko I. Kauppinen from Aalto University in Finland along with their colleagues have developed a simple and fast process to manufacture high-quality carbon nanotube-based thin film transistors (TFT) on a plastic substrate.They used this technology to manufacture the world's first sequential logic circuits using carbon nanotubes. The technology could lead to the development of high-speed, roll-to-roll manufacturing processes to manufacture low-cost flexible devices such as electronic paper in the future.

The results were published on Feb. 6, 2011 in the online edition of the journal Nature Nanotechnology.


Lightweight and flexible devices such as mobile phones and electronic paper are gaining attention for their roles in achieving a smarter ubiquitous information society. For flexible electronics, as a substitute for conventional solid silicon substrates, there is a demand for integrated circuits to be manufactured on a plastic substrate with high speed and low cost .

Thus far, flexible thin-film transistors (TFT) have been produced using a variety of semiconductor materials such as silicon and zinc-oxide, which require vacuum deposition, high-temperature curing, and complex transfer processes. In recent years, organic semiconductors have been rapidly developing, however such semiconductors still have low-mobility and there are problems with their chemical stability. Recently, carbon nanotube thin films have been attracting attention due to their chemical stability and high-mobility. However, although simple solution processes have been developed to produce TFTs, such TFTs have not been yet fulfilled capability expectations thus far, due to the deterioration of the conduction properties of carbon nanotube thin films through the dispersion process in the solution.


(1) Easy and fast thin film deposition: Gas phase filtration and transfer processes

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