Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors


Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Totally tubular films show promise for touchscreens: Rice University lab creates simple method for flexible, conductive carbon nanotube sheets

A thin film of pure carbon nanotubes produced at Rice Universityshows promise as a component of flexible, transparent touchscreens. (Credit: Pasquali Lab/Rice University)
A thin film of pure carbon nanotubes produced at Rice Universityshows promise as a component of flexible, transparent touchscreens.

(Credit: Pasquali Lab/Rice University)

Abstract:
A Rice University team has hit upon a method to produce nearly transparent films of electrically conductive carbon nanotubes, a goal sought by researchers around the world.

Totally tubular films show promise for touchscreens: Rice University lab creates simple method for flexible, conductive carbon nanotube sheets

Houston, TX | Posted on October 29th, 2012

The lab of Rice researcher Matteo Pasquali found that slides dipped into a solution of pure nanotubes in chlorosulfonic acid (CSA) left them with an even coat of nanotubes that, after further processing, had none of the disadvantages seen with other methods.

The films may be suitable for flexible electronic displays and touchscreens, according to the paper published this month in the American Chemical Society journal ACS Nano.

"I think this could be the way that high-performance transparent electrodes are made in the future," said Pasquali, a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering and of chemistry. "The solution is straightforward. It's a very simple process."

The method is scalable to high-throughput processes like slot, slide and roll coating used by industry, Pasquali said.

A frustrating characteristic of nanotubes, particularly long ones, is that they attract each other in common solvents, making it a challenge to disperse them. Long nanotubes are believed to be the key to high-performance films.

Researchers have tried other ways to keep them from aggregating, Pasquali said. Functionalizing nanotubes - dressing them with chemicals - can make them less attractive to each other, but it degrades their desirable electrical properties. Combinations of surfactants and sonication have also been tried, but the nanotubes breakduring sonication, and the surfactant leaves a residue that cannot be washed away, he said.

These methods, combined with various means of mechanical coating, have been used to create nanotube films, but none with the level of quality achieved by the Pasquali lab. TheRice films, which are made of nanotubes thousands of times longer than they are wide, remain electrically stable after more than three months, said graduate student and lead author Francesca Mirri.

The nanotubes, literally, had to pass an acid test. "(CSA) is the acid we typically use in our lab, so the first thing we say when we get a new type of carbon nanotubes is, 'OK, let's put it in acid and see what happens,'" Mirri said. In previous research, Pasquali's lab had determined that CSA can dissolve high-quality nanotubes because the acid induces repulsive forces between the tubes that counterbalance the van der Waals force that draws them together.

Mirri and her colleagues produced films by combining single- or double-walled carbon nanotubes with CSA in various concentrations. They dipped glass slides into the nanotube solutions with a motorized arm to ensure even coating as the slides were steadily withdrawn.

They used chloroform to coagulate the acid and dry the slides, followed by a wash of diethyl ether. The researchers were surprised to find the chloroform did not disrupt the thin liquid layer. The result was a film several nanometers thick that provided the best tradeoff between transparency and sheet resistance, a measure of conductivity.

Mirri sees nanotube films as a viable alternative to indium tin oxide (ITO), the current standard conductive layer in transparent displays. "Everybody uses ITO for commercial applications, but the problem is it's a ceramic and really fragile," she said. "It's not good for flexible electronics, and also requires high temperature or vacuum processes to produce; that uses more energy and makes it more expensive.

"Our thin film for something like a cell phone would need very little material -- a few micrograms of nanotubes -- so it wouldn't be that expensive, but it would have similarproperties in transparency and conductivity to ITO," she said.

Co-authors are former postdoctoral researcher Anson Ma, now an assistant professor at the University of Connecticut; postdoctoral researchers Shannon Eichmann and Tienyi Theresa Hsu; former graduate student Natnael Behabtu, now a researcher at DuPont; graduate student Colin Young; and senior undergraduate Dmitri Tsentalovich, all of Rice.

The research was supported by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the Air Force Research Laboratories and the Robert A. Welch Foundation.

####

About Rice University
Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation's top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute forPublic Policy. With 3,708 undergraduates and 2,374 graduate students, Rice's undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice has been ranked No. 1 for best quality of life multiple times by the Princeton Review and No. 2 for "best value" among private universities by Kiplinger's Personal Finance. To read "What they're saying about Rice," go to tinyurl.com/AboutRice.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
David Ruth
713-348-6327


Mike Williams
713-348-6728

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 Links

Read the abstract at:

Related News Press

News and information

Ultra-flat circuits will have unique properties: Rice University lab studies 2-D hybrids to see how they differ from common electronics July 25th, 2016

Attosecond physics: Mapping electromagnetic waveforms July 25th, 2016

Borrowing from pastry chefs, engineers create nanolayered composites: Method to stack hundreds of nanoscale layers could open new vistas in materials science July 25th, 2016

Integration of novel materials with silicon chips makes new 'smart' devices possible July 25th, 2016

Display technology/LEDs/SS Lighting/OLEDs

Researchers develop faster, precise silica coating process for quantum dot nanorods July 12th, 2016

Integrated trio of 2-D nanomaterials unlocks graphene electronics applications: Voltage-controlled oscillator developed at UC Riverside could be used in thousands of applications from computers to wearable technologies July 7th, 2016

GraphExeter illuminates bright new future for flexible lighting devices June 23rd, 2016

Thin films

Cambridge Advanced Imaging Centre praises support film consistency and quality from EM Resolutions July 5th, 2016

Novel capping strategy improves stability of perovskite nanocrystals: Study addresses instability issues with organometal-halide perovskites, a promising class of materials for solar cells, LEDs, and other applications June 13th, 2016

New nanomaterial offers promise in bendable, wearable electronic devices: Electroplated polymer makes transparent, highly conductive, ultrathin film June 13th, 2016

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Designing climate-friendly concrete, from the nanoscale up: New understanding of concrete’s properties could increase lifetime of the building material, decrease emissions July 25th, 2016

Ultra-flat circuits will have unique properties: Rice University lab studies 2-D hybrids to see how they differ from common electronics July 25th, 2016

Borrowing from pastry chefs, engineers create nanolayered composites: Method to stack hundreds of nanoscale layers could open new vistas in materials science July 25th, 2016

Integration of novel materials with silicon chips makes new 'smart' devices possible July 25th, 2016

Nanotubes/Buckyballs/Fullerenes

Easier, faster, cheaper: A full-filling approach to making nanotubes of consistent quality: Approach opens a straightforward route for engineering the properties of single-wall carbon nanotubes July 19th, 2016

Sensing trouble: A new way to detect hidden damage in bridges, roads: University of Delaware engineers devise new method for monitoring structural health July 8th, 2016

Wireless, wearable toxic-gas detector: Inexpensive sensors could be worn by soldiers to detect hazardous chemical agents July 4th, 2016

Nanotubes' 'stuffing' as is: A scientist from the Lomonosov Moscow State University studied the types of carbon nanotubes' 'stuffing' June 2nd, 2016

Discoveries

Attosecond physics: Mapping electromagnetic waveforms July 25th, 2016

Borrowing from pastry chefs, engineers create nanolayered composites: Method to stack hundreds of nanoscale layers could open new vistas in materials science July 25th, 2016

Integration of novel materials with silicon chips makes new 'smart' devices possible July 25th, 2016

Accurate design of large icosahedral protein nanocages pushes bioengineering boundaries: Scientists used computational methods to build ten large, two-component, co-assembling icosahedral protein complexes the size of small virus coats July 25th, 2016

Announcements

Borrowing from pastry chefs, engineers create nanolayered composites: Method to stack hundreds of nanoscale layers could open new vistas in materials science July 25th, 2016

Integration of novel materials with silicon chips makes new 'smart' devices possible July 25th, 2016

Accurate design of large icosahedral protein nanocages pushes bioengineering boundaries: Scientists used computational methods to build ten large, two-component, co-assembling icosahedral protein complexes the size of small virus coats July 25th, 2016

XEI Scientific Partners with Electron Microscopy Sciences to Promote and Sell its Products in North and South America July 25th, 2016

Military

Ultra-flat circuits will have unique properties: Rice University lab studies 2-D hybrids to see how they differ from common electronics July 25th, 2016

Borrowing from pastry chefs, engineers create nanolayered composites: Method to stack hundreds of nanoscale layers could open new vistas in materials science July 25th, 2016

Integration of novel materials with silicon chips makes new 'smart' devices possible July 25th, 2016

Accurate design of large icosahedral protein nanocages pushes bioengineering boundaries: Scientists used computational methods to build ten large, two-component, co-assembling icosahedral protein complexes the size of small virus coats July 25th, 2016

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

Ultra-flat circuits will have unique properties: Rice University lab studies 2-D hybrids to see how they differ from common electronics July 25th, 2016

Accurate design of large icosahedral protein nanocages pushes bioengineering boundaries: Scientists used computational methods to build ten large, two-component, co-assembling icosahedral protein complexes the size of small virus coats July 25th, 2016

New reaction for the synthesis of nanostructures July 21st, 2016

Scientists glimpse inner workings of atomically thin transistors July 21st, 2016

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




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







Car Brands
Buy website traffic