Development of “fullerene composite paper” for aiming to fabricate electronic paper devices


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We propose a new functional paper containing fullerenes, i.e., a “fullerene-composite paper.” Generally, a fullerene, C60, has the form of a hollow sphere by carbon. It is known that the fullerenes have high physical and chemical stabilities, high conductivity, and an n-type semiconducting property. Due to these excellent properties, the fullerene has been expected to be applied to various things. Therefore, many studies have been conducted until now by lots of researchers. However, because the fullerene is a nano-sized material, so that it is difficult to handle, generally. In this study, We developed a “fullerene-composite paper” by using a papermaking method based on the Japanese washi papermaking technique. In our papermaking process, pulp (a raw material of the paper) aqueous dispersion and fullerene aqueous dispersion are prepared, firstly. Then, both dispersions are mixed, contained water is drained or evaporated, and remained objects are dried to finalize the fabrication. The fabricated composite paper can be used and handled easily. In addition, it shows properties of the fullerene despite a paper. Among the various characteristics of fullerenes, we focus on the n-type semiconducting characteristic. As described above, our fullerene-composite papers show properties based on the fullerene. Therefore, our composite paper is also expected to show an n-type semiconducting property, i.e., we can obtain n-type semiconducting “paper devices.” In our other studies, we have already succeeded in developing p-type semiconducting papers by using carbon nanotubes (CNTs), i.e., “CNT-composite papers.” In addition, we have also succeeded in developing “p-type paper transistors” based on our CNT-composite papers. By combining the n-type and p-type paper transistors based on the proposed fullerene-composite and the CNT-composite papers, “paper logic circuits” are expected to be developed in near future. Here, as a first step of this study, we fabricate our fullerene-composite papers by the papermaking method as described above and test it. For the fabrication, fullerenes and sodium dodecyl sulfate as a dispersant are dispersed in pure water by ultrasonication to prepare a fullerene dispersion. On the other hand, the pulp is also dispersed in another pure water to prepare a pulp dispersion. After that, both dispersions are mixed and contained water is drained or evaporated. Then, remained objects are dried and shaped into the paper by a hot press machine. As the tests, we measured Raman spectra of sample to confirm whether fullerenes were surely contained in the composite paper or not, firstly. As a result, our composite paper showed the desired Raman peaks resulted from the fullerene. Therefore, it can be said that our fullerene-composite paper was successfully produced. Moreover, we observed the Hall effect and confirmed that the composite paper showed an n-type semiconducting property. As a next step, we are now trying to improve its performance and to construct the n-type paper transistor. We believe that we will be able to construct actual paper logic circuits based on our fullerene-composite and CNT-composite papers as described above in near future.

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Journal: TechConnect Briefs
Volume: 4, Informatics, Electronics and Microsystems: TechConnect Briefs 2018
Published: May 13, 2018
Pages: 51 - 54
Industry sector: Sensors, MEMS, Electronics
Topics: Advanced Manufacturing, Nanoelectronics
ISBN: 978-0-9988782-1-8