Carbon Nanotube Composite for Enhanced Sensors (Case 2070)

Principal Investigator:


Jingming Xu, PhD, Professor

School of Engineering

Brown University

Providence, RI


Brief Description:


A temperature coefficient of resistance (TCR) measurement is a basic figure of merit for bolometric and thermal sensing.  In recent years, the increased need for infrared imaging has triggered the development of high TCR materials for application in devices for scientific, military and commercial use.

In thin film bolometers, responsiveness is directly proportional to TCR, but thermal mass, conductivity, mechanical strength, and infrared absorption efficiency are also critical parameters.


Thin films of carbon nanotubes (CNT) have significant material advantages. When coupled with a phase-transition mechanism, CNTs yield an extraordinarily high TCR, such that enhanced uncooled IR bolometric detection can be readily observed in its as-is, thin-film form before applying any packaging or thermal engineering strategies.  In contrast to photocarrier generation across a bandgap, bolometers can operate with much greater sensitivity without requiring cryogenic cooling.


The invention is a device, method and nanocomposite comprised of a carbon nanotube and phase change polymer, which improves bolometric sensitivity and TCR, for enhanced responsivity to temperature and humidity. 


This technology can be applied wherever highly sensitive measurements of temperature and humidity are required, as in a temperature and/or humidity sensor and/or in uncooled, IR detection, and infrared imaging.



US patent 9,267,853 is issued (02/23/2016)

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Margaret Shabashevich,
Manager of Operations
Office of Industry Engagement & Commercial Venturing
Brown University
Jingming Xu
Gustavo Fernandes
Jin ho Kim
Ashok Sood
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