3 years ago

Polymer-Free Electronic-Grade Aligned Semiconducting Carbon Nanotube Array

Polymer-Free Electronic-Grade Aligned Semiconducting Carbon Nanotube Array
Yongho Joo, Padma Gopalan, Catherine Kanimozhi, Michael S. Arnold, Michael T. Strand, Jaehyoung Ko, Matthew J. Shea, Gerald J. Brady
Conjugated polymers are used commonly to selectively sort semiconducting carbon nanotubes (S-CNTs) from their metallic counterparts in organic solvents. The polymer-wrapped S-CNTs can be easily processed from organic solvents into arrays of CNTs for scalable device fabrication. Though the conjugated polymers are essential for sorting and device fabrication, it is highly desirable to remove them completely as they limit the electronic properties of the device. Here, we use a commercially available polymer, namely, poly[(9,9-dioctylfluorenyl-2,7-diyl)-alt-co-(6,6′-(2,2′-bipyridine))] (PFO-BPy), to sort large-diameter S-CNTs with ultrahigh selectivity and fabricate CNT-array-based field effect transistors (FETs) via a floating evaporative self-assembly (FESA) process. We report quantitative removal of the polymer wrapper from the FESA aligned S-CNT arrays using a metal-chelation-assisted polymer removal (McAPR) process. The implementation of this process on FESA films requires the selective thermal degradation of the polymer into oligomers, combined with optimization of the solvent type and temperature of the metal complexation reaction. Resulting S-CNT array FET devices show that the electronic properties of pristine CNT are preserved through this process. Optical microscopy, UV–vis spectroscopy, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) were used to characterize the quantitative polymer removal. We quantitatively describe the FET devices to analyze the fundamental characteristics of FETs (mobility (μ), on-conductance (Gon), and contact resistance (2Rc)) by comparing before and after polymer removal. The ability to completely remove the polymer wrapper in aligned CNT arrays without adversely affecting the device properties opens up applications beyond FETs into photovoltaics and biosensing.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsami.7b06850

DOI: 10.1021/acsami.7b06850

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