Directly produced semiconducting carbon nanotubes and their application

V. Bezugly
ProNT GmbH, TU Dresden,

Keywords: Carbon nanotubes, single-walled, semiconducting, application, nanoelectronics, nanophotonics


For the development of the semiconductor industry and applications there is an urgent need for the new materials which allow further miniaturization of active elements and enable increased energy efficiency and reliability of devices operation. Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are nanoscopic tubular objects consisting of carbon atoms. Single-walled CNTs have extraordinary electronic and thermal conductivities and are very attractive materials for the use in innovative electronic and photonic devices like computer chips, sensors, displays, photodetectors and other. However, conventional processes to produce single-walled CNTs are not optimal, they yield a mixture of metallic and semiconducting CNTs, having also admixture of other chemical substances like catalysts. This induces failures and dysfunctions, when integrated in certain CNT-based applications. Start-up company ProNT GmbH is engaged in the production of carbon nanotubes. Our know-how is a new method of catalyst-free production of high-quality single-walled CNTs with defined electronic properties, either semiconducting or metallic. This technology solves the problem of the direct production of CNTs with specified electronic properties. This will finally allow using the high potential of CNTs in electronic and photonic applications. Moreover, compared to CNTs obtained by sorting-out the raw mixture, CNTs produced with our methods are defect-free, have no rests of catalyst particles or other chemicals. Such kind of CNTs was not available on the market up to now. Our production procedure yields "ready-to-use" CNTs allowing their direct application by customers without a pre-treatment. The obtained products are materials and components, which have a high potential in the application in innovative electronic and photonic devices. We provide optimally designed CNTs and CNT monolayers on different substrates for the individual needs of customers from academia, R&D and industry. Several applications of semiconducting CNTs are presented. The use of semiconducting CNTs in microelectronic and photonic products of next generation makes these products more competitive at the fast changing field of electronic devices. Integrating of semiconducting CNTs in electronic chips or sensors as active elements or metallic CNTs as conducting elements can lead to a drastic increase of the efficiency of the devices and can reduce power consumption by orders of magnitude. Moreover, further miniaturization of devices and increase of the number of transistors per square unit beyond the physical limitations of current silicon-based technology will be possible. The use of our products, CNTs with defined electronic properties, will lead to principally new solutions.