Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Outstanding in their field effect

Abstract:
Rice researchers print field-effect transistors with nano-infused ink

Outstanding in their field effect

Houston, TX | Posted on May 25th, 2010

Rice University researchers have discovered thin films of nanotubes created with ink-jet printers offer a new way to make field-effect transistors (FET), the basic element in integrated circuits.

While the technique doesn't exactly scale down to the levels required for modern microprocessors, Rice's Robert Vajtai hopes it will be useful to inventors who wish to print transistors on materials of any kind, especially on flexible substrates.

In results reported last week in the online edition of ACS Nano, Rice scientists working with researchers in Finland, Spain and Mexico have created nanotube-based circuitry using high-end ink-jet printers and custom inks.

Vajtai, a faculty fellow in Rice's top-ranked Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science Department, led the study. Pulickel Ajayan, Rice's Benjamin M. and Mary Greenwood Anderson Professor in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science and of chemistry, is a co-author.

The process involved the painstaking analysis of sample circuits printed with single-walled carbon nanotubes functionalized with four types of molecules. The researchers found that a single layer of nanotubes-infused ink printed onto a transparent foil didn't conduct electricity very well. But adding layers increased the connections between nanotubes, and so increased conductivity.

"The key is printing the appropriate number of layers to get the type of conduction you want, either metallic or semiconductive," Vajtai said, adding that researchers made no attempt to separate metallic from semiconducting nanotubes, which greatly simplified the process.

They found that at room temperature, electrical transport took place through the network of semiconducting and metallic nanotubes. At low temperatures, the semiconducting nanotubes became insulators, so electron tunneling between adjacent metallic nanotubes took over.

Ultimately, for building transistors, the team used two of the four studied mixtures of functionalized nanotubes as their building blocks. Nanotubes for conductive channels were treated with polyethylene glycol (PEG) while source, drain and gate electrodes were printed with carboxylated nanotubes. A layer of PEG was used as the gate dielectric.

"This is not a perfect transistor, but it is applicable in digital electronics," Vajtai said. "There are some limitations. I doubt anyone could take a $60 ink-jet printer and print predesigned electronic circuits. But with a high-end printer, it is a fairly straightforward process and allows you to put together whatever you want." He expects manufacturing nano-FETS in bulk would require a process more akin to silk-screening.

Though the researchers' test FETs were relatively large -- about a square millimeter -- they reported that circuits could scale down to about 100 microns, about the width of a human hair, with a channel length of about 35 microns - the size of the print head. Shrinking them further might be possible with smaller print heads or pretreated hydrophilic or hydrophobic surfaces.

Vajtai said nanotube-based FETs will be good for logic-based applications that can be printed on a flexible surface but don't need a large number of circuits. "Say you want to have a raincoat made with transistors - doing whatever a raincoat needs to do that requires electricity, such as controlling and analyzing signals from several sensors and light sources, for safety. It can be done."

The paper's co-authors included primary author Eduardo Gracia-Espino of the Advanced Materials Department, Instituto Potosino de Investigacion Cientifica y Tecnologica, San Luis Potosi, Mexico; Giovanni Sala, Flavio Pino, Niina Halonen, Jani Mäklin, Géza Tóth, Krisztiçn Kordás and Heli Jantunen of the University of Oulu, Finland; Juho Luomahaara, Panu Helistö and Heikki Seppä of the VTT Technical Research Center of Finland; and Mauricio Terrones of the Universidad Carlos III of Madrid.

Funding came from Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation; the Academy of Finland; NGS-Nano; a National Science Foundation Materials World Network Grant; and a CONACYT-Mexico Ph.D. fellowship.

Read the abstract at: pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/nn1000723

####

About Rice University
Located in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked one of America's best teaching and research universities. Known for its "unconventional wisdom," Rice is distinguished by its: size -- 3,102 undergraduates and 2,237 graduate students; selectivity -- 12 applicants for each place in the freshman class; resources -- an undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio of 5-to-1; sixth largest endowment per student among American private research universities; residential college system, which builds communities that are both close-knit and diverse; and collaborative culture, which crosses disciplines, integrates teaching and research, and intermingles undergraduate and graduate work.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
David Ruth
713-348-6327

Copyright © Rice University

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Novel nanoparticle-based approach detects and treats oral plaque without drugs August 17th, 2018

UVA multidisciplinary engineering team designs technology for smart materials: The invention could lead to devices and manufactured goods, such as fabrics, that can dynamically regulate between thermally insulating and cooling August 17th, 2018

Smallest transistor worldwide switches current with a single atom in solid electrolyte: Milestone of energy efficiency in information technology -- Publication in Advanced Materials August 17th, 2018

Scientists turn to the quantum realm to improve energy transportation August 17th, 2018

Thin films

CTI Materials drives nano commercialization with it's patented surfactant free nanoparticle dispersions August 15th, 2018

A colossal breakthrough for topological spintronics: BiSb expands the potential of topological insulators for ultra-low-power electronic devices August 2nd, 2018

Picosun’s ALD solutions make quality watches tick July 26th, 2018

New optical sensor can determine if molecules are left or right 'handed' June 13th, 2018

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

UVA multidisciplinary engineering team designs technology for smart materials: The invention could lead to devices and manufactured goods, such as fabrics, that can dynamically regulate between thermally insulating and cooling August 17th, 2018

Scientists turn to the quantum realm to improve energy transportation August 17th, 2018

Research brief: UMN researchers use green gold to rapidly detect and identify harmful bacteria August 15th, 2018

Particles pull last drops of oil from well water: Rice University engineers find nanoscale solution to 'produced water' problem August 15th, 2018

Possible Futures

Novel nanoparticle-based approach detects and treats oral plaque without drugs August 17th, 2018

UVA multidisciplinary engineering team designs technology for smart materials: The invention could lead to devices and manufactured goods, such as fabrics, that can dynamically regulate between thermally insulating and cooling August 17th, 2018

Smallest transistor worldwide switches current with a single atom in solid electrolyte: Milestone of energy efficiency in information technology -- Publication in Advanced Materials August 17th, 2018

Scientists turn to the quantum realm to improve energy transportation August 17th, 2018

Academic/Education

The Institute of Applied Physics at the University of Tsukuba near Tokyo in Japan uses Deben's ARM2 detector to better understand catalytic reaction mechanisms June 27th, 2018

Powering the 21st Century with Integrated Photonics: UCSB-Led Team Selected for Demonstration of a Novel Waveguide Platform Which is Transparent Throughout the MWIR and LWIR Spectral Bands June 19th, 2018

SUNY Poly Professor Eric Lifshin Selected for ‘Fellow of the Microanalysis Society’ Position for Significant Contributions to Microanalysis June 13th, 2018

Grand Opening of UC Irvine Materials Research Institute (IMRI) to Spotlight JEOL Center for Nanoscale Solutions: Renowned Materials Scientists to Present at the 1st International Symposium on Advanced Microscopy and Spectroscopy (ISAMS) April 18th, 2018

Chip Technology

Smallest transistor worldwide switches current with a single atom in solid electrolyte: Milestone of energy efficiency in information technology -- Publication in Advanced Materials August 17th, 2018

Scientists create antilaser for ultracold atoms condensate August 16th, 2018

Flipping the switch on supramolecular electronics August 14th, 2018

Breaking down the Wiedemann-Franz law: In a study exploring the coupling between heat and particle currents in a gas of strongly interacting atoms, physicists at ETH Zurich find puzzling behaviours August 10th, 2018

Nanotubes/Buckyballs/Fullerenes/Nanorods

Nanotube 'rebar' makes graphene twice as tough: Rice University scientists test material that shows promise for flexible electronics August 3rd, 2018

Carbon is the new black: Researchers use carbon nanotubes to develop clothing that can double as batteries July 10th, 2018

Nano-saturn: Supramolecular complex formation: Anthracene macrocycle and C60 fullerene June 8th, 2018

Unzipping graphene nanotubes into nanoribbons: New study shows elegant mathematical solution to understand how the flow of electrons changes when carbon nanotubes turn into zigzag nanoribbons June 6th, 2018

Nanoelectronics

Smallest transistor worldwide switches current with a single atom in solid electrolyte: Milestone of energy efficiency in information technology -- Publication in Advanced Materials August 17th, 2018

Flipping the switch on supramolecular electronics August 14th, 2018

Quantum chains in graphene nanoribbons: Breakthrough in nanoresearch August 9th, 2018

Nanotube 'rebar' makes graphene twice as tough: Rice University scientists test material that shows promise for flexible electronics August 3rd, 2018

Announcements

Novel nanoparticle-based approach detects and treats oral plaque without drugs August 17th, 2018

UVA multidisciplinary engineering team designs technology for smart materials: The invention could lead to devices and manufactured goods, such as fabrics, that can dynamically regulate between thermally insulating and cooling August 17th, 2018

Smallest transistor worldwide switches current with a single atom in solid electrolyte: Milestone of energy efficiency in information technology -- Publication in Advanced Materials August 17th, 2018

Scientists turn to the quantum realm to improve energy transportation August 17th, 2018

Grants/Sponsored Research/Awards/Scholarships/Gifts/Contests/Honors/Records

Scientists turn to the quantum realm to improve energy transportation August 17th, 2018

Research brief: UMN researchers use green gold to rapidly detect and identify harmful bacteria August 15th, 2018

Particles pull last drops of oil from well water: Rice University engineers find nanoscale solution to 'produced water' problem August 15th, 2018

Breaking down the Wiedemann-Franz law: In a study exploring the coupling between heat and particle currents in a gas of strongly interacting atoms, physicists at ETH Zurich find puzzling behaviours August 10th, 2018

Research partnerships

UVA multidisciplinary engineering team designs technology for smart materials: The invention could lead to devices and manufactured goods, such as fabrics, that can dynamically regulate between thermally insulating and cooling August 17th, 2018

Breaking down the Wiedemann-Franz law: In a study exploring the coupling between heat and particle currents in a gas of strongly interacting atoms, physicists at ETH Zurich find puzzling behaviours August 10th, 2018

Yale-NUS scientist and collaborators solve open theoretical problem on electron interactions August 10th, 2018

Scientists squeeze nanocrystals in a liquid droplet into a solid-like state and back again: Simple chemical technique transforms crystal mixture where 2 liquids meet August 9th, 2018

Printing/Lithography/Inkjet/Inks/Bio-printing

CTI Materials drives nano commercialization with it's patented surfactant free nanoparticle dispersions August 15th, 2018

Future electronic components to be printed like newspapers July 20th, 2018

Making carbon nanotubes as usable as common plastics: Researchers discover that cresols disperse carbon nanotubes at unprecedentedly high concentrations May 15th, 2018

New 4-D printer could reshape the world we live in March 20th, 2018

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project