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Highly enhanced gas sensing in single-walled carbon nanotube-based thin-film transistor sensors by ultraviolet light irradiation

Tingting Chen1, Liangming Wei1*, Zhihua Zhou2, Diwen Shi1, Jian Wang1, Jiang Zhao1, Yuan Yu1, Ying Wang1 and Yafei Zhang1*

Author Affiliations

1 Key Laboratory for Thin Film and Microfabrication of the Ministry of Education, Institute of Micro/Nano Science and Technology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, 200240, People's Republic of China

2 State Key Laboratory of Electronic Thin Film and Integrated Devices, School of Microelectronics and Solid-State Electronics, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chengdu, 610054, China

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2012, 7:644  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-7-644

Published: 23 November 2012


Single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT) random networks are easily fabricated on a wafer scale, which provides an attractive path to large-scale SWCNT-based thin-film transistor (TFT) manufacturing. However, the mixture of semiconducting SWCNTs and metallic SWCNTs (m-SWCNTs) in the networks significantly limits the TFT performance due to the m-SWCNTs dominating the charge transport. In this paper, we have achieved a uniform and high-density SWCNT network throughout a complete 3-in. Si/SiO2 wafer using a solution-based assembly method. We further utilized UV radiation to etch m-SWCNTs from the networks, and a remarkable increase in the channel current on/off ratio (Ion/Ioff) from 11 to 5.6 × 103 was observed. Furthermore, we used the SWCNT-TFTs as gas sensors to detect methyl methylphosphonate, a stimulant of benchmark threats. It was found that the SWCNT-TFT sensors treated with UV radiation show a much higher sensitivity and faster response to the analytes than those without treatment with UV radiation.

Single-walled carbon nanotubes; Gas sensor; UV radiation; Thin-film transistor