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ACS Nano. 2010 Aug 24;4(8):4388-95. doi: 10.1021/nn100966s.

Printed, sub-3V digital circuits on plastic from aqueous carbon nanotube inks.

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Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, University of Minnesota, 421 Washington Avenue SE, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455, USA.


Printing electronic components on plastic foils with functional liquid inks is an attractive approach for achieving flexible and low-cost circuitry for applications such as bendable displays and large-area sensors. The challenges for printed electronics, however, include characteristically slow switching frequencies and associated high supply voltages, which together impede widespread application. Combining printable high-capacitance dielectrics with printable high-mobility semiconductors could potentially solve these problems. Here we demonstrate fast, flexible digital circuits based on semiconducting carbon nanotube (CNT) networks and high-capacitance ion gel gate dielectrics, which were patterned by jet printing of liquid inks. Ion gel-gated CNT thin-film transistors (TFTs) with 50 microm channel lengths display ambipolar transport with electron and hole mobilities >20 cm(2)/V.s; these devices form the basis of printed inverters, NAND gates, and ring oscillators on both polyimide and SiO(2) substrates. Five-stage ring oscillators achieve frequencies >2 kHz at supply voltages of 2.5 V, corresponding to stage delay times of 50 micros. This performance represents a substantial improvement for printed circuitry fabricated from functional liquid inks.


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