New Thin Film Process Opens Possibilities for Making Flexible Photonic Devices

A simple filtration process helped Rice University researchers create flexible, wafer-scale films of highly aligned and closely packed carbon nanotubes. They have made inch-wide films of densely packed, chirality-enriched single-walled carbon nanotubes. In the right solution of nanotubes and under the right conditions, the tubes assemble themselves by the millions into long rows that are aligned better than once thought possible. The thin films offer possibilities for making flexible electronic and photonic devices, with a bendable computer chip rather than a brittle silicon one.