Solution-processed soldering of carbon nanotubes for flexible electronics

K. D.M. Rao, B. Radha, K. C. Smith, T. S. Fisher, G. U. Kulkarni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We report a simple lithography-free, solution-based method of soldering of carbon nanotubes with Ohmic contacts, by taking specific examples of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs). This is achieved by self-assembling a monolayer of soldering precursor, Pd2+ anchored to 1,10 decanedithiol, onto which MWNTs could be aligned across the gap electrodes via solvent evaporation. The nanosoldering was realized by thermal/electrical activation or by both in sequence. Electrical activation and the following step of washing ensure selective retention of MWNTs spanning across the gap electrodes. The soldered joints were robust enough to sustain strain caused during the bending of flexible substrates as well as during ultrasonication. The estimated temperature generated at the MWNT-Au interface using an electro-thermal model is ∼150 °C, suggesting Joule heating as the primary mechanism of electrical activation. Further, the specific contact resistance is estimated from the transmission line model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number075301
Issue number7
StatePublished - Feb 22 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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