Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

DNA-directed nanofabrication of high-performance carbon nanotube field-effect transistors



Ming Zheng, Jeffrey A. Fagan, Jason K. Streit, Mengyu Zhao, Yahong Chen, Kexin Wang, Zhi Zhu, Wei Sun


Scaling the channel pitch of field-effect transistors (FETs) is one prerequisite towards future ultra-scaled technology nodes. While lithography has been the foundational tool during the scaling of bulk materials, bio- fabrication is promising for patterning one-dimensional semiconducting nano-materials at a resolution beyond the existing lithographic limit. However, impacted by surface charges and sub-micron dimensions of typical bio-templates, current bio-templated electronics exhibit both poor transport performance and array uniformity smaller than 1 micron. To overcome these technical obstacles, we here report building highperformance multi-channel FETs from bio-templated parallel carbon nanotube (CNT) arrays. CNTs assembled on DNA templates exhibit uniformly parallel orientation at evenly prescribed inter-CNT pitches down to 16 nm. By engineering the interfacial compositions, metal ions and surface charges that are destructive to FET performance have been excluded from the channel area without degrading CNT alignment. Under a source-to-drain voltage of -0.5 V, we demonstrate both transconductance around 0.37 mS/m and subthreshold swing of 100 mV/dec simultaneously. DNA-directed nano-fabrication balances both high transconductance and fast on/off switching, which is still difficult from other approaches. Transconductance reaches up to 0.6 mS/m when channel length scales down to 100 nm. And the key FET performance is improved by more than one order of magnitude than previous biotemplated FETs, and is superior to current records of multi-channel CNT FETs at similar conditions. Furthermore, using spatially confined placement within PMMA cavities, we demonstrate centimeter-scale alignment of fixed- width CNT arrays with prescribed orientations, periodicity, and inter-CNT pitch. The minimal orientation distribution could reach 3:4 standard deviation depending on the DNA lengths. Beyond DNA, the present strategy could also be applied into other bio- foundries based o


Zheng, M. , Fagan, J. , Streit, J. , , M. , , Y. , , K. , , Z. and Sun, W. (2020), DNA-directed nanofabrication of high-performance carbon nanotube field-effect transistors, Science (Accessed May 23, 2022)
Created May 21, 2020, Updated July 13, 2020