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Electronic Durability of Flexible Transparent Films from Type-Specific Single-Wall Carbon Nanotubes

Description: The coupling between mechanical flexibility and electronic performance is evaluated for thin films of metallic and semiconducting single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) deposited on compliant supports. Percolated networks of type-purified SWCNTs are assembled as thin conducting coatings on elastic polymer substrates, and the sheet resistance is measured as a function of compression and cyclic strain through impedance spectroscopy. The wrinkling topography, microstructure and transparency of the films are independently characterized using optical microscopy, electron microscopy, and optical absorption spectroscopy. Thin films made from metallic SWCNTs show better durability as flexible transparent conductive coatings, which we attribute to a combination of superior mechanical performance and higher interfacial conductivity.
Date: December 11, 2011
Creator: Harris, J; Iyer, S; Bernhardt, A; Huh, JY; Hudson, S; Fagan, J et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Structural stability of transparent conducting films assembled from length purified single-wall carbon nanotubes

Description: Single-wall carbon nanotube (SWCNT) films show significant promise for transparent electronics applications that demand mechanical flexibility, but durability remains an outstanding issue. In this work, thin membranes of length purified single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) are uniaxially and isotropically compressed by depositing them on prestrained polymer substrates. Upon release of the strain, the topography, microstructure, and conductivity of the films are characterized using a combination of optical/fluorescence microscopy, light scattering, force microscopy, electron microscopy, and impedance spectroscopy. Above a critical surface mass density, films assembled from nanotubes of well-defined length exhibit a strongly nonlinear mechanical response. The measured strain dependence reveals a dramatic softening that occurs through an alignment of the SWCNTs normal to the direction of prestrain, which at small strains is also apparent as an anisotropic increase in sheet resistance along the same direction. At higher strains, the membrane conductivities increase due to a compression-induced restoration of conductive pathways. Our measurements reveal the fundamental mode of elasto-plastic deformation in these films and suggest how it might be suppressed.
Date: January 1, 2011
Creator: Harris, J. M.; Iyer, G. R. S.; Simien, D. O.; Fagan, J. A.; Huh, J. Y.; Chung, J. Y. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department