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Concept: Thin-film transistor


Organic thin-film transistors (OTFTs) can be fabricated at moderate temperatures and through cost-effective solution-based processes on a wide range of low-cost flexible and deformable substrates. Although the charge mobility of state-of-the-art OTFTs is superior to that of amorphous silicon and approaches that of amorphous oxide thin-film transistors (TFTs), their operational stability generally remains inferior and a point of concern for their commercial deployment. We report on an exhaustive characterization of OTFTs with an ultrathin bilayer gate dielectric comprising the amorphous fluoropolymer CYTOP and an Al2O3:HfO2 nanolaminate. Threshold voltage shifts measured at room temperature over time periods up to 5.9 × 105 s do not vary monotonically and remain below 0.2 V in microcrystalline OTFTs (μc-OTFTs) with field-effect carrier mobility values up to 1.6 cm2 V-1 s-1. Modeling of these shifts as a function of time with a double stretched-exponential (DSE) function suggests that two compensating aging mechanisms are at play and responsible for this high stability. The measured threshold voltage shifts at temperatures up to 75°C represent at least a one-order-of-magnitude improvement in the operational stability over previous reports, bringing OTFT technologies to a performance level comparable to that reported in the scientific literature for other commercial TFTs technologies.

Concepts: Report, Semiconductor, Silicon, Solid, Physical quantities, MOSFET, Thin-film transistor, Amorphous silicon


In this article, we report only 10 atomic layer thick, high mobility, transparent thin film transistors (TFTs) with ambipolar device characteristics fabricated on both a conventional silicon platform as well as on a flexible substrate. Monolayer graphene was used as metal electrodes, 3-4 atomic layers of h-BN were used as the gate dielectric, and finally bilayers of WSe2 were used as the semiconducting channel material for the TFTs. The field effect carrier mobility was extracted to be 45 cm(2)/(V s), which exceeds the mobility values of state of the art amorphous silicon based TFTs by ∼100 times. The active device stack of WSe2-hBN-graphene was found to be more than 88% transparent over the entire visible spectrum and the device characteristics were unaltered for in-plane mechanical strain of up to 2%. The device demonstrated remarkable temperature stability over 77-400 K. Low contact resistance value of 1.4 kΩ-μm, subthreshold slope of 90 mv/decade, current ON-OFF ratio of 10(7), and presence of both electron and hole conduction were observed in our all two-dimensional (2D) TFTs, which are extremely desirable but rarely reported characteristics of most of the organic and inorganic TFTs. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of all 2D transparent TFT fabricated on flexible substrate along with the highest mobility and current ON-OFF ratio.

Concepts: Semiconductor, Silicon, Transistor, Field-effect transistor, Thin film, Thin-film transistor, Amorphous silicon, Thin films


Trialkylgermyl functionalization allows development of high-performance soluble small-molecule organic semiconductors with mobilities greater than 5 cm(2) V(-1) s(-1) . Spray-deposited organic thin-film transistors show a record mobility of 2.2 cm(2) V(-1) s(-1) and demonstrate the potential for incorporation in large-area, low-cost electronic applications.

Concepts: Integrated circuit, Semiconductor, Transistor, Germanium, Diode, Thin-film transistor, Organic semiconductor, Organic semiconductors


Organic semiconductors with higher carrier mobility and better transparency have been actively pursued for numerous applications, such as flat-panel display backplane and sensor arrays. The carrier mobility is an important figure of merit and is sensitively influenced by the crystallinity and the molecular arrangement in a crystal lattice. Here we describe the growth of a highly aligned meta-stable structure of 2,7-dioctyl[1]benzothieno[3,2-b][1]benzothiophene (C8-BTBT) from a blended solution of C8-BTBT and polystyrene by using a novel off-centre spin-coating method. Combined with a vertical phase separation of the blend, the highly aligned, meta-stable C8-BTBT films provide a significantly increased thin film transistor hole mobility up to 43 cm(2) Vs(-1) (25 cm(2) Vs(-1) on average), which is the highest value reported to date for all organic molecules. The resulting transistors show high transparency of >90% over the visible spectrum, indicating their potential for transparent, high-performance organic electronics.

Concepts: Chemistry, Semiconductor, Silicon, Transistor, Field-effect transistor, Diode, Thin-film transistor, Semiconductors


A silver molecular ink platform formulated for screen, inkjet and aerosol printing is presented. A simple formulation comprising silver neodecanoate, ethyl cellulose and solvent provides improved performance vs established inks yet with improved economics. Thin, screen printed traces with exceptional electrical (< 10 mΩ/□/mil or 12 μΩ·cm)) and mechanical properties are achieved following thermal or photonic sintering, the latter having never been demonstrated for silver salt based inks. Low surface roughness, sub-micron thicknesses and linewidths as narrow as 41 μm outperform commercial ink benchmarks based on flakes or nanoparticles. These traces are mechanically robust to flexing and creasing (less than 10% change in resistance) and bind strongly to epoxy-based adhesives. Thin traces are remarkably conformal, enabling fully printed metal-insulator-metal (MIM) band-pass filters. The versatility of the molecular ink platform enables an aerosol jet compatible ink that yields conductive features on glass with 2X bulk resistivity and strong adhesion to various plastic substrates. An inkjet formulation is also used to print top source/drain contacts and demonstrate printed high mobility thin film transistors (TFT) based on semiconducting single walled carbon nanotubes. TFTs with mobility values of ~25 cm(2)V(-1)sec(-1) and current on/off ratios > 10(4) were obtained, performance similar to evaporated metal contacts in analogous devices.

Concepts: Semiconductor, Materials science, Printing, Inkjet printer, Ink, Printing press, Thin-film transistor, Inks


Physical properties of active materials built up from small molecules are dictated by their molecular packing in the solid state. Here we demonstrate for the first time the growth of n-channel single-crystal field-effect transistors and organic thin-film transistors by sublimation of 2,6-dichloro-naphthalene diimide in air. Under these conditions, a new polymorph with two-dimensional brick-wall packing mode (β-phase) is obtained that is distinguished from the previously reported herringbone packing motif obtained from solution (α-phase). We are able to fabricate single-crystal field-effect transistors with electron mobilities in air of up to 8.6 cm(2) V(-1) s(-1) (α-phase) and up to 3.5 cm(2) V(-1) s(-1) (β-phase) on n-octadecyltriethoxysilane-modified substrates. On silicon dioxide, thin-film devices based on β-phase can be manufactured in air giving rise to electron mobilities of 0.37 cm(2) V(-1) s(-1). The simple crystal and thin-film growth procedures by sublimation under ambient conditions avoid elaborate substrate modifications and costly vacuum equipment-based fabrication steps.

Concepts: Electron, Vacuum tube, Oxygen, Semiconductor, Silicon, Germanium, Substrate, Thin-film transistor


In order to combine advantages of ZnO thin film transistors (TFTs) with a high on-off ratio and graphene TFTs with extremely high carrier mobility, we present a facile methodology for fabricating ZnO thin film/graphene hybrid two-dimensional TFTs. Hybrid TFTs exhibited ambipolar behavior, an outstanding electron mobility of 329.7 ± 16.9 cm(2)/V·s, and a high on-off ratio of 10(5). The ambipolar behavior of the ZnO/graphene hybrid TFT with high electron mobility could be due to the superimposed density of states involving the donor states in the bandgap of ZnO thin films and the linear dispersion of monolayer graphene. We further established an applicable circuit model for understanding the improvement in carrier mobility of ZnO/graphene hybrid TFTs.

Concepts: Fundamental physics concepts, Condensed matter physics, Semiconductor, Graphene, Thin-film transistor, Semiconductors, Thin films, Drift velocity


Metal-halide perovskites have emerged as promising materials for optoelectronics applications, such as photovoltaics, light-emitting diodes, and photodetectors due to their excellent photoconversion efficiencies. However, their instability in aqueous solutions and most organic solvents has complicated their micropatterning procedures, which are needed for dense device integration, for example, in displays or cameras. In this work, a lift-off process based on poly(methyl methacrylate) and deep ultraviolet lithography on flexible plastic foils is presented. This technique comprises simultaneous patterning of the metal-halide perovskite with a top electrode, which results in microscale vertical device architectures with high spatial resolution and alignment properties. Hence, thin-film transistors (TFTs) with methyl-ammonium lead iodide (MAPbI3 ) gate dielectrics are demonstrated for the first time. The giant dielectric constant of MAPbI3 (>1000) leads to excellent low-voltage TFT switching capabilities with subthreshold swings ≈80 mV decade-1 over ≈5 orders of drain current magnitude. Furthermore, vertically stacked low-power Au-MAPbI3 -Au photodetectors with close-to-ideal linear response (R2 = 0.9997) are created. The mechanical stability down to a tensile radius of 6 mm is demonstrated for the TFTs and photodetectors, simultaneously realized on the same flexible plastic substrate. These results open the way for flexible low-power integrated (opto-)electronic systems based on metal-halide perovskites.

Concepts: Oxygen, Electricity, Optics, Solar cell, Diode, Thin-film transistor, Dielectric, Dielectrics


We present a self-aligned process for printing thin film transistors (TFTs) on plastic with singled walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT) networks as the channel material. The SCALE process (self-aligned capillarity assisted lithography for electronics) combines imprint lithography with inkjet printing. Specifically, inks are jetted into imprinted reservoirs, where they then flow into narrow device cavities due to capillarity. Here, we incorporate a composite high-k gate dielectric and an aligned conducting polymer gate electrode in the SCALE process to enable a smaller areal footprint than prior designs that yields low voltage SWCNT TFTs with average p-type carrier mobilities of 4 cm2/V·s and ON/OFF current ratios of 104. Our work demonstrates the promising potential of the SCALE process to fabricate SWCNT-based TFTs with favorable I-V characteristics on plastic substrates.

Concepts: Carbon, Semiconductor, Plastic, Carbon nanotube, Printing, Inkjet printer, Ink, Thin-film transistor


We suggest thermal treatment with static magnetic fields (SMFs) or rotating magnetic fields (RMFs) as a new technique for the activation of amorphous indium-gallium-zinc oxide thin film transistors (a-IGZO TFTs). Magnetic interactions between metal atoms in a-IGZO films and oxygen atoms in air by SMFs or RMFs can be expected to enhance metal-oxide (M-O) bonds, even at low temperature (150°C), through attraction of metal and oxygen atoms having their magnetic moments aligned in the same direction. Compared with a-IGZO TFTs with only thermal treatment at 300°C, a-IGZO TFTs under an RMF (1,150 rpm) at 150°C show superior or comparable characteristics: field effect mobility of 12.68 cm2V-1 s-1, subthreshold swing of 0.37 V dec-1 , and on/off ratio of 1.86 × 108 . Although a-IGZO TFTs under an SMF (0 rpm) can be activated at 150°C, the electrical performance is further improved in a-IGZO TFTs under an RMF (1,150 rpm). These improvements of a-IGZO TFTs under an RMF (1,150 rpm) are induced by increases in the number of M-O bonds, due to enhancement of the magnetic interaction per unit time as the rpm value increases. We suggest that this new process of activating a-IGZO TFTs at low temperature widens the choice of substrates in flexible or transparent devices.

Concepts: Oxygen, Magnetic moment, Metal, Solid, Field-effect transistor, Helium, Thin-film transistor, Cryogenics