Researchers pave way for high frequency carbon nanotube based electronics

1 min read

Researchers claim to have made a breakthrough in low loss high frequency carbon nanotube (cnt) electronics, paving the way for new types of high frequency large area electronic devices.

Teams from the University of Surrey's Advanced Technology Institute and the Faculty of Mechatronics at Warsaw University of Technology, claim reports that low electrical loss at frequencies of up to 220GHz are possible in screen printed carbon nanotube polymer composites. A cnt is a rolled up sheet of graphene that has a diameter of just a few nanometres, but has high strength and an ability to carry a very high electrical current. The new study, published in Applied Physics Letters, shows that cnt composites have electrical losses of less than 0.3dB/mm over a wide frequency range. Embedding cnts in PMMA – a polymer – allows accurate control of the nanotube content and control over the conductive phase of the composite which was screen printed into coplanar waveguides to produce structures tens of mm in length. Using a screen printing technology allows for ease of scalability for production and relaxes many of the constraints found in high end manufacturing techniques. Possible applications include new types of phase shifters, antennas and microwave mixers. Dr David Carey from the Advanced Technology Institute of the University of Surrey, pictured, said: "The success of the research is to be found by employing the unique high frequency electrical characterisation facilities at Surrey to explore electrical conduction in large area carbon nanotube based composites. Understanding what controls the conduction at the nanometre scale in these new materials can lead to the development of new high frequency carbon nanotube based electronics."