High-field transport and thermal reliability of sorted carbon nanotube network devices

Ashkan Behnam*, Vinod K. Sangwan, Xuanyu Zhong, Feifei Lian, David Estrada, Deep Jariwala, Alicia J. Hoag, Lincoln J. Lauhon, Tobin J. Marks, Mark C. Hersam, Eric Pop

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


We examine the high-field operation, power dissipation, and thermal reliability of sorted carbon nanotube network (CNN) devices, with <1% to >99% semiconducting nanotubes. We combine systematic electrical measurements with infrared (IR) thermal imaging and detailed Monte Carlo simulations to study high-field transport up to CNN failure by unzipping-like breakdown. We find that metallic CNNs carry peak current densities up to an order of magnitude greater than semiconducting CNNs at comparable nanotube densities. Metallic CNNs also appear to have a factor of 2 lower intrinsic thermal resistance, suggesting a lower thermal resistance at metallic nanotube junctions. The performance limits and reliability of CNNs depend on their makeup, and could be improved by carefully engineered heat dissipation through the substrate, contacts, and nanotube junctions. These results are essential for optimization of CNN devices on transparent or flexible substrates which typically have very low thermal conductivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)482-490
Number of pages9
JournalACS nano
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 22 2013


  • carbon nanotube
  • electrical breakdown
  • infrared microscopy
  • nanotube junctions
  • network
  • percolation
  • power dissipation
  • thermal conductivity
  • ultracentrifugation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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