Rethinking Coal: Thin Films of Solution Processed Natural Carbon Nanoparticles for Electronic Devices
Author(s)Keller, Brent D.; Ferralis, Nicola; Grossman, Jeffrey C.
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Disordered carbon materials, both amorphous and with long-range order, have been used in a variety of applications, from conductive additives and contact materials to transistors and photovoltaics. Here we show a flexible solution-based method of preparing thin films with tunable electrical properties from suspensions of ball-milled coals following centrifugation. The as-prepared films retain the rich carbon chemistry of the starting coals with conductivities ranging over orders of magnitude, and thermal treatment of the resulting films further tunes the electrical conductivity in excess of 7 orders of magnitude. Optical absorption measurements demonstrate tunable optical gaps from 0 to 1.8 eV. Through low-temperature conductivity measurements and Raman spectroscopy, we demonstrate that variable range hopping controls the electrical properties in as-prepared and thermally treated films and that annealing increases the sp 2 content, localization length, and disorder. The measured hopping energies demonstrate electronic properties similar to amorphous carbon materials and reduced graphene oxide. Finally, Joule heating devices were fabricated from coal-based films, and temperatures as high as 285 °C with excellent stability were achieved.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Materials Science and Engineering; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Research Laboratory of Electronics
American Chemical Society (ACS)
Keller, Brent D. et al. “Rethinking Coal: Thin Films of Solution Processed Natural Carbon Nanoparticles for Electronic Devices.” Nano Letters 16, 5 (May 2016): 2951–2957 © 2016 American Chemical Society.
Author's final manuscript