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Nat Commun. 2019 May 14;10(1):2161. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-10145-9.

Low-voltage high-performance flexible digital and analog circuits based on ultrahigh-purity semiconducting carbon nanotubes.

Author information

1
Department of Chemical Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, 94305, USA.
2
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, College of Engineering, Peking University, 100871, Beijing, China.
3
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA, 93106, USA.
4
Hewlett Packard Labs, Palo Alto, CA, 94304, USA.
5
Department of Electrical Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, 94305, USA.
6
Department of Materials Science & Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, 94305, USA.
7
Hewlett Packard Labs, Palo Alto, CA, 94304, USA. tsung-ching.huang@hpe.com.
8
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA, 93106, USA. timcheng@ust.hk.
9
School of Engineering, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong, 999077, China. timcheng@ust.hk.
10
Department of Chemical Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, 94305, USA. zbao@stanford.edu.

Abstract

Carbon nanotube (CNT) thin-film transistor (TFT) is a promising candidate for flexible and wearable electronics. However, it usually suffers from low semiconducting tube purity, low device yield, and the mismatch between p- and n-type TFTs. Here, we report low-voltage and high-performance digital and analog CNT TFT circuits based on high-yield (19.9%) and ultrahigh purity (99.997%) polymer-sorted semiconducting CNTs. Using high-uniformity deposition and pseudo-CMOS design, we demonstrated CNT TFTs with good uniformity and high performance at low operation voltage of 3 V. We tested forty-four 2-µm channel 5-stage ring oscillators on the same flexible substrate (1,056 TFTs). All worked as expected with gate delays of 42.7 ± 13.1 ns. With these high-performance TFTs, we demonstrated 8-stage shift registers running at 50 kHz and the first tunable-gain amplifier with 1,000 gain at 20 kHz. These results show great potentials of using solution-processed CNT TFTs for large-scale flexible electronics.

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