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ACS Nano. 2017 Aug 22;11(8):7925-7937. doi: 10.1021/acsnano.7b02458. Epub 2017 Aug 1.

Investigating Limiting Factors in Stretchable All-Carbon Transistors for Reliable Stretchable Electronics.

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Department of Materials Science & Engineering, ‡Department of Electrical Engineering, and §Department of Chemical Engineering, Stanford University , Stanford, California 94305, United States.


Stretchable form factors enable electronic devices to conform to irregular 3D structures, including soft and moving entities. Intrinsically stretchable devices have potential advantages of high surface coverage of active devices, improved durability, and reduced processing costs. This work describes intrinsically stretchable transistors composed of single-walled carbon nanotube (SWNT) electrodes and semiconductors and a dielectric that consists of a nonpolar elastomer. The use of a nonpolar elastomer dielectric enabled hysteresis-free device characteristics. Compared to devices on SiO2 dielectrics, stretchable devices with nonpolar dielectrics showed lower mobility in ambient conditions because of the absence of doping from water. The effect of a SWNT band gap on device characteristics was investigated by using different SWNT sources as the semiconductor. Large-band-gap SWNTs exhibited trap-limited behavior caused by the low capacitance of the dielectric. In contrast, high-current devices based on SWNTs with smaller band gaps were more limited by contact resistance. Of the tested SWNT sources, SWNTs with a maximum diameter of 1.5 nm performed the best, with a mobility of 15.4 cm2/Vs and an on/off ratio >103 for stretchable transistors. Large-band-gap devices showed increased sensitivity to strain because of a pronounced dependence on the dielectric thickness, whereas contact-limited devices showed substantially less strain dependence.


carbon nanotube sorting; carbon nanotubes; charge transport; stretchable electronics; stretchable transistor


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