2. Transparent and flexible carbon nanotube-based electron devices

Transparent and flexible carbon nanotube-based electron devices

  • Institute of Materials and Systems for Sustainability
  • Center for Integrated Research of Future Electronics
  • (Device Innovation Section)

Yutaka Ohno [Professor]


Outline of Seeds

Carbon nanotube thin-films are highly flexible and transparent. They can work as semiconductors or metals to produce both active (transistors and sensors) and passive devices (interconnections and transparent electrodes) in electronic devices on plastic films. Our group studies novel electron devices utilizing the properties of carbon nanotubes such as three-dimensional devices like spherical displays wearable healthcare devices, and so on.

Novelty and originality of this research

We are studying a broad range of topics, from thin-film formation, fabrication process and characterization techniques for devices, and novel functional devices based on carbon nanotube thin films. To translate the outstanding properties of carbon nanotubes into device performance, we started with establishing new film formation process. So far, we have developed various unique technologies; for example, a simple technique to simultaneously deposit and pattern a carbon nanotube film at atmospheric pressure and ambient temperature, a technique to realize high-mobility thin-film transistors that exceed 1,000 cm2/Vs and the integrated circuits on plastic, and so on. We also successfully realized transparent and formable all-carbon integrated circuits that are made entirely of carbon nanotube transistors and interconnections for the first time.

Application and research area for Industry collaboration

The simple transfer/patterning technique that we have developed makes it possible to manufacture touch sensors and other transparent devices at low cost. Our all-carbon devices also offer an extremely high formability and transparency, making it possible to apply them to completely new devices such as spherical displays or wearable healthcare devices that can directly adhere to the human body. By combining simple formation techniques for carbon nanotube thin films and printing process technology, we will be able to manufacturing various cutting-edge devices with reducing the amount of resources and energy we use in the manufacturing.

Key Takeaway

Modern civilization demands that we give everyone the opportunity to live with good health and happiness. The advent of electronics made from nano-materials will lead to the creation of groundbreaking devices with useful applications in medicine and healthcare. In this way, we hope to make an important social contribution through our research.


Carbon nanotubes, flexible electronics, healthcare devices


  • Simple formation and patterning technology for carbon nanotube thin films
  • Fabrication technologies for carbon nanotube thin-film devices and integrated circuits
  • Fabrication technologies for highly-sensitive biosensors


  • Equipment for carbon nanotube thin film formation, semiconductor process, and device characterization

Monographs, Papers and Articles

  • "Flexible high-performance carbon nanotube integrated circuits", Nature Nanotechnol. 6, 156 (2011).
  • "Mouldable all-carbon integrated circuits", Nature Commun. 4, 2302 (2013).
  • "One-Step Sub-10 um Patterning of Carbon-Nanotube Thin Films for Transparent Conductor Applications", ACS Nano 8, 3285 (2014).