Carbon nanotubes and graphene exhibit extraordinary electrical properties for organic materials, and have a huge potential in electrical and electronic applications such as sensors, microelectronic and semi-conductor devices, field emission displays (FEDs), nanoelectrodes and energy conversion devices (e.g., fuel cells and batteries).
Depending on their chemical structure carbon nanotubes (CNTs) can be used as an alternative to organic and inorganic semiconductors as well as conductors, but the cost is currently the greatest restraint. However, that has the ability to rapidly fall as applications grow and manufacturing costs improve. Interest is high as CNTs have demonstrated carrier mobilities which are magnitudes higher than silicon, meaning that fast switching transistors can be fabricated. This is in contrast to polymer organic materials that many companies are developing for transistors, where the mobility is currently very low, severely restricting possible uses. 78 organizations working on the topic are profiled in the new IDTechEx report, for more details see www.IDTechEx.com/nano.
In electronics one of the first applications for CNTs will be transparent conductors. Here, applications are for displays, replacing ITO, touch screens, photovoltaics and display bus bars, connecting TFTs to the front plane, such as OLEDs. The following figure shows different applications and their requirements in terms of sheet resistance and optical wavelength transmittance.
IDTechEx’s sixth annual Printed Electronics & Photovoltaics USA conference and Trade Show on December 2-3 in San Jose, California, covers all the applications, technologies and opportunities in the field of Printed Electronics and Photovoltaics. This event, the worlds largest on the topic and growing rapidly every year, will have over 100 world class speakers - some presenting exclusively for the first time here - covering components, materials and applications. End user speakers include Procter & Gamble and Kimberly Clark, among others.