Carbon-based nanostructures and materials have become a popular subject of research due to their unique thermal, mechanical, electrical, and optical properties. For example, the strong C-C bonds of graphene-based systems allow for excellent thermal conduction at room temperature and the conjugation of the sp(2) lattice enables extremely high electron mobility. However, the use of carbon nanostructures as a component in polymer composites, sensors, mirco-electro-mechanical systems, and both rigid and flexible electronics has been limited by several factors, including the incompatibility with standard photolithography techniques, the high temperatures required for the nanostructure growth, and the presence of-or complication-of removing noncarbon species. Here, the authors report on a novel method for the transfer of carbon nanosheets to a low or zero thermal budget substrate while maintaining their original morphology and electrical properties. Four-point probe measurements' post-transfer shows the retention of in-plane conductivity and scanning electron microscopy reveals the preservation of the original vertical morphology. Raman spectroscopy measurements confirm the retention of the graphitic structure of the post-transfer nanosheet film. This new transfer technique builds on the ability to conformally coat nanosheets while maintaining the original ultrahigh surface area morphology and the ability to fully incorporate nanosheets into several polymers while maintaining the original nanostructure separation. For a demonstration of the usefulness of polymer filling, carbon nanosheets were used as an ultrahigh surface area electrode for the photoactive polymer poly[2-methoxy-5-(2'-ethyl-hexyloxy)-1,4-phenylene vinylene] in proof of principle experiments of a nanosheet-based organic photovoltaic device.
2011. Vol. 29, no 3, 030602- p.