Shape-Controlled, Self-Wrapped Carbon Nanotube 3D Electronics

Huiliang Wang, Yanming Wang, Benjamin C.K. Tee, Kwanpyo Kim, Jeffrey Lopez, Wei Cai, Zhenan Bao*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


The mechanical flexibility and structural softness of ultrathin devices based on organic thin films and low-dimensional nanomaterials have enabled a wide range of applications including flexible display, artificial skin, and health monitoring devices. However, both living systems and inanimate systems that are encountered in daily lives are all 3D. It is therefore desirable to either create freestanding electronics in a 3D form or to incorporate electronics onto 3D objects. Here, a technique is reported to utilize shape-memory polymers together with carbon nanotube flexible electronics to achieve this goal. Temperature-assisted shape control of these freestanding electronics in a programmable manner is demonstrated, with theoretical analysis for understanding the shape evolution. The shape control process can be executed with prepatterned heaters, desirable for 3D shape formation in an enclosed environment. The incorporation of carbon nanotube transistors, gas sensors, temperature sensors, and memory devices that are capable of self-wrapping onto any irregular shaped-objects without degradations in device performance is demonstrated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1500103
JournalAdvanced Science
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2015


  • 3D electronics
  • carbon nanotubes
  • self-wrapped
  • shape memory polymer
  • shape-controlled

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)
  • General Materials Science
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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