National Research Council of Canada. Security and Disruptive Technologies
Semiconducting single-walled carbon nanotubes (sc-SWCNTs) enriched by a conjugated polymer extraction process have been actively studied for various applications in both electronics and optoelectronics. Although the resulting tube samples usually have high sc-purity and concentration, SWCNT networks from such dispersions typically contain residual conjugated polymer that may degrade device performance and its removal remains a challenge while maintaining uniform, dense SWCNT thin film networks. In this study, a novel polymer–SWCNT combination based on an alternating bisfuran-s-tetrazine and benzo[1,2-b:4,5-b′]dithiophene copolymer abbreviated as PBDTFTz is proposed. This polymer decomposes at >250 °C or under UV irradiation. In situ transistor characterization under laser irradiation confirms the polymer decomposition. The study of the tube network in the transistor channel at various channel lengths reveals significantly reduced contact resistance attributed to removal of the wrapping PBDTFTz polymer. In ammonia sensing experiments, sc-SWCNT networks demonstrate rapid and reversible responses, while the unwrapped nanotube networks prove superior in terms of signal to noise ratio and a detection limit of 2.5 ppb is calculated, almost four times better than polymer wrapped nanotubes.