Nano Research

Article Title

Water-assisted self-sustained burning of metallic single-walled carbon nanotubes for scalable transistor fabrication


single-walled carbon nanotubes, field-effect transistor, selective removal, electrical breakdown, one-way burning


ABSTRACT Although aligned arrays of semiconducting single-walled carbon nanotubes (s-SWNTs) are promising for use in next-generation electronics owing to their ultrathin bodies and ideal electrical properties, even a small portion of metallic (m-) counterparts causes excessive leakage in field-effect transistors (FETs). To fully exploit the benefits of s-SWNTs for use in large-scale systems, it is necessary to completely eliminate m-SWNTs from as-grown SWNT arrays and thereby obtain purely semiconducting large-area arrays, wherein numerous FETs can be flexibly built. In this study, we performed electrical burning of m-SWNTs assisted by water vapor and polymer coating to eliminate m-SWNTs over a long length for the scalable fabrication of transistors from the remaining s-SWNT arrays. During the electrical-breakdown process, the combination of water vapor and the polymer coating significantly enhanced the burning of the SWNTs, resulting in a self-sustained reaction along the nanotube axis. We found that m-SWNT segments partially remaining on the anode side resulted from one-way burning from the initial breakdown position, where Joule-heatinginduced oxidation first occurred. The s-SWNT-enriched arrays obtained were used to fabricate multiple FETs with a high on-off current ratio. The results indicate the advantages of this approach over conventional electrical breakdown for the large-scale purification of s-SWNTs.

Graphical Abstract


Tsinghua University Press