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Transferred wrinkled Al2O3 for highly stretchable and transparent graphene–carbon nanotube transistors

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Despite recent progress in producing transparent and bendable thin-film transistors using graphene and carbon nanotubes1,2, the development of stretchable devices remains limited either by fragile inorganic oxides or polymer dielectrics with high leakage current3,4. Here we report the fabrication of highly stretchable and transparent field-effect transistors combining graphene/single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT) electrodes and a SWCNT-network channel with a geometrically wrinkled inorganic dielectric layer. The wrinkled Al2O3 layer contained effective built-in air gaps with a small gate leakage current of 10−13 A. The resulting devices exhibited an excellent on/off ratio of ~105, a high mobility of ~40 cm2 V−1 s−1 and a low operating voltage of less than 1 V. Importantly, because of the wrinkled dielectric layer, the transistors retained performance under strains as high as 20% without appreciable leakage current increases or physical degradation. No significant performance loss was observed after stretching and releasing the devices for over 1,000 times. The sustainability and performance advances demonstrated here are promising for the adoption of stretchable electronics in a wide variety of future applications.

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Figure 1: The fabrication scheme of the device array.
Figure 2: Device structure and characteristics of graphene/SWCNT TFT using wrinkled Al2O3 for gate dielectrics.
Figure 3: The device performance changes with tensile strain, and fatigue testing when stretching and releasing 1,000 times.
Figure 4: Stress–strain simulation of wrinkled Al2O3 based on elasticity.
Figure 5: Photographs of stretchable graphene/SWCNT TFT arrays transferred onto various substrates and the related transfer characteristics.

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Change history

  • 08 March 2013

    In the version of this Letter originally published online, in the left panel in Fig. 3a, the schematic of the device was missing. This error has been corrected in all versions of the Letter.


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This work was supported by the Research Centre Program of IBS (Institute for Basic Science) in Korea, the International Research & Development Program (2011-00242) of the NRF of Korea funded by MEST, and the Human Resources Development programme (No. 20124010203270) of the KETEP funded by the Korea government Ministry of Knowledge Economy.

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Authors and Affiliations



S.H.C. contributed to the experimental planning, experimental measurements, data analysis and manuscript preparation. W.J.Y. and X.D. performed the experimental planning. D.L.D. performed the AFM measurement, J.J.B. and Q.A.V. performed the finite-element method simulation, and H.Y.J. took the photographic images. D.P. and M.J.Y. contributed to the theoretical calculations. Q.H.T. and T.H.L. prepared the graphene samples for the experiments. Y.H.L. contributed to the experimental planning, data analysis and manuscript preparation.

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Correspondence to Young Hee Lee.

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Chae, S., Yu, W., Bae, J. et al. Transferred wrinkled Al2O3 for highly stretchable and transparent graphene–carbon nanotube transistors. Nature Mater 12, 403–409 (2013).

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