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J Phys Chem Lett. 2015 Feb 19;6(4):620-6. doi: 10.1021/jz502431r. Epub 2015 Feb 2.

Emerging Carbon and Post-Carbon Nanomaterial Inks for Printed Electronics.

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†Department of Materials Science and Engineering, ‡Department of Chemistry, and §Department of Medicine, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 60208, United States.


Carbon and post-carbon nanomaterials present desirable electrical, optical, chemical, and mechanical attributes for printed electronics, offering low-cost, large-area functionality on flexible substrates. In this Perspective, recent developments in carbon nanomaterial inks are highlighted. Monodisperse semiconducting single-walled carbon nanotubes compatible with inkjet and aerosol jet printing are ideal channels for thin-film transistors, while inkjet, gravure, and screen-printable graphene-based inks are better-suited for electrodes and interconnects. Despite the high performance achieved in prototype devices, additional effort is required to address materials integration issues encountered in more complex systems. In this regard, post-carbon nanomaterial inks (e.g., electrically insulating boron nitride and optically active transition-metal dichalcogenides) present promising opportunities. Finally, emerging work to extend these nanomaterial inks to three-dimensional printing provides a path toward nonplanar devices. Overall, the superlative properties of these materials, coupled with versatile assembly by printing techniques, offer a powerful platform for next-generation printed electronics.

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