Thin film nanotube transistors based on self-assembled, aligned, semiconducting carbon nanotube arrays

Michael Engel, Joshua P. Small, Mathias Steiner, Marcus Freitag, Alexander A. Green, Mark C. Hersam, Phaedon Avouris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

475 Scopus citations


Thin film transistors (TFTs) are now poised to revolutionize the display, sensor, and flexible electronics markets. However, there is a limited choice of channel materials compatible with low-temperature processing. This has inhibited the fabrication of high electrical performance TFTs. Single-walled carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have very high mobilities and can be solution-processed, making thin film CNT-based TFTs a natural direction for exploration. The two main challenges facing CNT-TFTs are the difficulty of placing and aligning CNTs over large areas and low on/off current ratios due to admixture of metallic nanotubes. Here, we report the self-assembly and self-alignment of CNTs from solution into micron-wide strips that form regular arrays of dense and highly aligned CNT films covering the entire chip, which is ideally suitable for device fabrication. The films are formed from pre-separated, 99% purely semiconducting CNTs and, as a result, the CNT-TFTs exhibit simultaneously high drive currents and large on/off current ratios. Moreover, they deliver strong photocurrents and are also both photo- and electroluminescent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2445-2452
Number of pages8
JournalACS nano
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 23 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Alignment
  • Carbon nanotube
  • Field-effect transistor
  • Opto-electronic
  • Self-assembly
  • Thin film

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • General Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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