Flexible, stretchable, transparent carbon nanotube thin film loudspeakers

Nano Lett. 2008 Dec;8(12):4539-45. doi: 10.1021/nl802750z.


We found that very thin carbon nanotube films, once fed by sound frequency electric currents, could emit loud sounds. This phenomenon could be attributed to a thermoacoustic effect. The ultra small heat capacity per unit area of carbon nanotube thin films leads to a wide frequency response range and a high sound pressure level. On the basis of this finding, we made practical carbon nanotube thin film loudspeakers, which possess the merits of nanometer thickness and are transparent, flexible, stretchable, and magnet-free. Such a single-element thin film loudspeaker can be tailored into any shape and size, freestanding or on any insulating surfaces, which could open up new applications of and approaches to manufacturing loudspeakers and other acoustic devices.