Aug. 31, 2006 – U.S. scientists using an off-the-shelf inkjet printer have developed a technique for printing patterns of carbon nanotubes on paper and plastic surfaces.
The research team says the method could lead to a new process for manufacturing a wide range of nanotube-based devices, from flexible electronics and conducting fabrics to sensors for detecting chemical agents.
Carbon nanotubes offer the combination of high strength, low weight and excellent conductivity. But most current techniques to make nanotube-based devices require complex and expensive equipment.
“Our results suggest new alternatives for fabricating nanotube patterns by simply printing the dissolved particles on paper or plastic surfaces,” said Robert Vajtai, a researcher with the Rensselaer Nanotechnology Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and corresponding author of the paper.
Vajtai and colleagues at Rensselaer — along with a group of researchers led by Krisztian Kordas and Geza Toth at the University of Oulu in Finland — explain the discovery in the August issue of the journal Small.
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