Highly sensitive response of semiconducting single-walled carbon naotubes (SWNTs) to molecular adsorption provides a simple and effective direction in exploiting their unique electrical properties. For example, simultaneous doping and nearly ideal gate efficiencies are achieved with polymer electrolytes as gating medium for nanotube transistors. However, highly sensitive responses can also lead to difficulties in interpretation of many observations such as the controversy surrounding whether oxygen adsorption causes doping or changes in the nature of SWNT-metal contacts. Effects of molecular adsorption from oxygen in the ambient air as well as under aqueous solutions to polymers with varying chemical groups on the electrical properties of SWNTs will be discussed. Extension of these studies to suspended SWNT transistors which are potentially useful in developing NEMs technology will also be discussed.
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