Brief: Researchers Explore Nanotubes For Flexible Electronics

Arrowhead Research, a nanotechnology research company, has cut a deal to sponsor carbon nanotube transistor research by a University of Florida professor.
LONDON — Arrowhead Research Corp., a nanotechnology research company, has announced a deal to sponsor carbon nanotube transistor research by a professor at the physics department at the University of Florida.

Arrowhead (Pasadena, Calif.) has agreed to provide $647,000 over a two year period to develop optimized thin-film transistors (TFTs) and prototype TFT arrays as part of a collaboration with Andrew Rinzler to further develop flexible electronic devices made at the University of Florida. In return Arrowhead has been granted the first option to exclusively license and commercialize the technology.

"Dr. Rinzler has made new thin film transistors using carbon nanotubes that could break open this field," said Bruce Stewart, chairman and chief executive officer of Arrowhead, in a statement.

TFTs can be used to make products such as radio frequency identification tags, flexible displays, and electronic paper. In addition, flexible electronics are likely to be produced with low cost ink-jet printing technologies rather than in fabs costing billions of dollars, Arrowhead said.

In addition to his novel nanotube-based transistor architecture, Rinzler has developed homogeneous carbon nanotube films as transparent conductors.

Arrowhead has made separate plans to research and develop carbon nanotube-based interconnects as a possible replacement for copper in computer chips, announcing a tie-up with Duke University in November 2005.

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