Scalable nanomanufacturing of surfactant-free carbon nanotube inks for spray coatings with high conductivity
carbon nanotubes, surfactant-free ink, spray coating, high conductivity, zeta potential
Spray-coated carbon nanotube films offer a simple and printable solution for fabricating low cost, lightweight, and flexible thin-film electronics. However, current nanotube spray inks require either a disruptive surfactant or destructive surface functionalization to stabilize dispersions at the cost of the electrical properties of the deposited film. We demonstrate that high-purity few-walled carbon nanotubes may be stabilized in isopropanol after surface functionalization and that optimizing the ink stability dramatically enhances the conductivity of subsequent spray-coated thin films. We consequently report a surfactant-free carbon nanotube ink for spray-coated thin films with conductivities reaching 2,100 S/cm. Zeta-potential measurements, used to quantify the nanotube ink dispersion quality, directly demonstrate a positive correlation with the spray- coated film conductivity, which is the key metric for high-performance printed electronics.
Tsinghua University Press
Colin Preston,Da Song,Jaiqi Dai,Zois Tsinas,John Bavier,John Cumings,Vince Ballarotto,Liangbing Hu, Scalable nanomanufacturing of surfactant-free carbon nanotube inks for spray coatings with high conductivity. NanoRes.2015, 8(7): 2242–2250