Nano Research

Article Title

Flammable carbon nanotube transistors on a nitrocellulose paper substrate for transient electronics


carbon nanotube, paper substrate, flammable, transient, security


ABSTRACT Transient electronics represent an emerging class of technology comprising materials that can vanish in a controlled manner in response to stimuli. In contrast to conventional electronic devices that are designed to operate over the longest possible period, transient electronics are defined by operation typically over a short and well-defined period; when no longer needed, transient electronics undergo self-deconstruction and disappear completely. In this work, we demonstrate the fabrication of thermally triggered transient electronic devices based on a paper substrate, specifically, a nitrocellulose paper. Nitrocellulose paper is frequently used in acts of magic because it consists of highly flammable components that are formed by nitrating cellulose by exposure to nitric acid. Therefore, a complete and rapid destruction of electronic devices fabricated on nitrocellulose paper is possible without producing any residue (i.e., ash). The transience rates can be modified by controlling radio frequency signal-induced voltages that are applied to a silver (Ag) resistive heater, which is stamped on the backside of the nitrocellulose paper. The Ag resistive heater was prepared by a simple, low-cost stamping fabrication, which requires no harsh chemicals or complex thermal treatments. For the electronics on the nitrocellulose paper substrate, we employed semiconducting carbon nanotube (CNT) network channels in the transistor for superior electrical and mechanical properties.

Graphical Abstract


Tsinghua University Press