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'Nanonet' circuits closer to making flexible electronics reality
Date:7/23/2008

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Researchers have overcome a major obstacle in producing transistors from networks of carbon nanotubes, a technology that could make it possible to print circuits on plastic sheets for applications including flexible displays and an electronic skin to cover an entire aircraft to monitor crack formation.

The so-called "nanonet" technology - circuits made of numerous carbon nanotubes randomly overlapping in a fishnet-like structure - has been plagued by a critical flaw: The network is contaminated with metallic nanotubes that cause short circuits.

The discovery solves this problem by cutting the nanonet into strips, preventing short circuits by breaking the path of metallic nanotubes.

"This is a fundamental advance in how nanotube circuits are made," said Ashraf Alam, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Purdue University. He is working with Kaushik Roy, Purdue's Roscoe H. George Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and doctoral students Ninad Pimparkar and Jaydeep P. Kulkarni.

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign led experimental laboratory research to build the circuits, and Purdue led research to develop and use simulations and mathematical models needed to design the circuits and to interpret and analyze data.

Findings will be detailed in a research paper appearing in the journal Nature on July 24. The paper was written by the Purdue engineers and University of Illinois researchers : John A. Rogers, Founder Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and a professor of chemistry; Moonsub Shim, Racheff Assistant Professor of Materials Science and Engineering; and doctoral students Qing Cao, Hoon-sik Kim and Congjun Wang.

"These findings represent the culmination of four years of collaborative efforts between the Illinois and Purdue groups," Rogers said. "The work established the fundamental scientific knowledge tha
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Contact: Emil Venere
venere@purdue.edu
765-494-4709
Purdue University
Source:Eurekalert  

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