Universal Selective Dispersion of Semiconducting Carbon Nanotubes from Commercial Sources Using a Supramolecular Polymer

ACS Nano. 2017 Jun 27;11(6):5660-5669. doi: 10.1021/acsnano.7b01076. Epub 2017 May 24.


Selective extraction of semiconducting carbon nanotubes is a key step in the production of high-performance, solution-processed electronics. Here, we describe the ability of a supramolecular sorting polymer to selectively disperse semiconducting carbon nanotubes from five commercial sources with diameters ranging from 0.7 to 2.2 nm. The sorting purity of the largest-diameter nanotubes (1.4 to 2.2 nm; from Tuball) was confirmed by short channel measurements to be 97.5%. Removing the sorting polymer by acid-induced disassembly increased the transistor mobility by 94 and 24% for medium-diameter and large-diameter carbon nanotubes, respectively. Among the tested single-walled nanotube sources, the highest transistor performance of 61 cm2/V·s and on/off ratio >104 were realized with arc discharge carbon nanotubes with a diameter range from 1.2 to 1.7 nm. The length and quality of nanotubes sorted from different sources is compared using measurements from atomic force microscopy and Raman spectroscopy. The transistor mobility is found to correlate with the G/D ratio extracted from the Raman spectra.

Keywords: CNT sorting; CNT transistor; carbon nanotubes; supramolecular polymer; thin-film transistor.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't