High-Performance Carbon Nanotube Electronic Ratchets

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9 Scopus Citations


The rapid advancements in low-power portable/wearable electronic devices require concurrent development of technologies that can provide power without the need for bulky, heavy battery storage. Electronic ratchets, asymmetric transistor-based devices that can convert AC signals or electronic noise into DC power, have been proposed as one solution to this growing need. The recent demonstration of conjugated polymer-based electronic ratchets offers a route toward lightweight, flexible power sources for portable applications. Here we demonstrate the fabrication of the first electronic ratchets where the active channel component consists of semiconducting single-walled carbon nanotubes (s-SWCNTs), which can transform electronic noise or AC signals to a stable DC current with higher output power (up to ca. 14 mW for a chemically doped device) than their polymer-based analogs. We also show that patterning of the dopant profile in the s-SWCNT channel enables reasonable power conversion performance (ca. 3.5 mW) with improved stability relative to homogeneously doped devices. Our findings demonstrate the promise for s-SWCNT electronic ratchets as energy harvesting devices for portable, low-power applications.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)5457-5468
Number of pages12
JournalEnergy and Environmental Science
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5900-79540


  • carbon nanotubes
  • charge-carrier doping
  • electronic ratchet
  • portable energy harvesting


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