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Concept: Thin-film transistor


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


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


Tungsten-indium-zinc-oxide thin-film transistors (WIZO-TFTs) were fabricated using a radio frequency (RF) co-sputtering system with two types of source/drain (S/D)-electrode material of conducting WIZO (homojunction structure) and the indium-tin oxide (ITO) (heterojunction structure) on the same WIZO active-channel layer. The electrical properties of the WIZO layers used in the S/D electrode and the active-channel layer were adjusted through oxygen partial pressure during the deposition process. To explain enhancements of the device performance and stability of the homojunction-structured WIZO-TFT, a systematic investigation of correlation between device performance and physical properties at the interface between the active layer and the S/D electrodes such as the contact resistance, surface/interfacial roughness, interfacial-trap density, and interfacial energy-level alignments was conducted. The homojunction-structured WIZO-TFT exhibited a lower contact resistance, smaller interfacial-trap density, and flatter interfacial roughness than the WIZO-TFT with the heterojunction structure. The 0.09 eV electron barrier of the homojunction-structured WIZO-TFT is lower than the 0.21 eV value that was obtained for the heterojunction-structured WIZO-TFT. This reduced electron barrier may be attributed to enhancements of device performance and stability, that are related to the carrier transport.

Concepts: Vacuum tube, Oxygen, Nitrogen, Semiconductor, Diode, Thin film, Partial pressure, Thin-film transistor


The electrical characteristics of carbon nanotube (CNT) thin-film transistors (TFTs) strongly depend on the properties of the gate dielectric that is in direct contact with the semiconducting CNT channel materials. Here, we systematically investigated the dielectric effects on the electrical characteristics of fully printed semiconducting CNT-TFTs by introducing the organic dielectrics of poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) and Octadecyltrichlorosilane (OTS) to modify SiO2 dielectric. The results showed that the organic-modified SiO2 dielectric formed a favorable interface for the efficient charge transport in s-SWCNT-TFTs. Compared to single-layer SiO2 dielectric, the use of organic-inorganic hybrid bilayer dielectrics dramatically improved the performances of SWCNT-TFTs such as mobility, threshold voltage, hysteresis and On/Off ratio due to the suppress of charge scattering, gate leakage current and charge trapping. The transport mechanism is related that the dielectric with few charge trapping provided efficient percolation pathways for charge carriers, while reduced the charge scattering. High density of charge traps which could directly act as physical transport barriers and significantly restrict the charge carrier transport and, thus, result in decreased mobile carriers and low device performance. Moreover, the gate leakage phenomenon is caused by conduction through charge traps. So, as a component of TFTs, the gate dielectric is of crucial importance to the manufacture of high quality TFTs from the aspects of affecting the gate leakage current and device operation voltage, as well as the charge carrier transport. Interestingly, the OTS-modified SiO2 allows to directly print horizontally aligned CNT film, and the corresponding devices exhibited a higher mobility than that of the devices with the hybrid PMMA/SiO2 dielectric although the thickness of OTS layer is only ~2.5 nm. Our present result may provide key guidance for the further development of printed nanomaterial electronics.

Concepts: Electricity, Fundamental physics concepts, Particle physics, Semiconductor, Carbon nanotube, Materials science, Capacitor, Thin-film transistor


Electrical double layer (EDL) thin film transistors (TFTs) are an interesting class of transistors that use an electrolyte as the gating medium. Recently it has been demonstrated that pure organic solvents can also be used as gating media for TFTs without the addition of exogenous electrolytes. Here we present a systematic study of the performances of TFTs based on two different semiconductors (P3HT and ZnO) gated through nine different solvents either pure or loaded with NaCl. The nature of the solvent impacts the transfer characteristics of the TFT through a change in the gating capacitance while the threshold voltage remains unaffected. Depending on the polarity of solvents, addition of NaCl gives rise to different responses. TFTs gated through highly polar solvents are unaffected by the salt concentration while for low polarity solvents the output current increases with salt up to a plateau. Furthermore, when the semiconductor surface is covered with a high capacitance thin dielectric layer, the TFT output current becomes dependent on the NaCl concentration also for high polarity solvents. This phenomenology was rationalized considering the different contributions of Helmholtz and Guy-Chapman EDLs to the capacitance and the dielectric saturation that decreases the solvent dielectric constant within the Helmholtz EDL.

Concepts: Electricity, Electrochemistry, Water pollution, Solubility, Semiconductor, Solvent, Solution, Thin-film transistor


In this work the effects of fluorine incorporation in high mobility zinc oxynitride (ZnON) semiconductor are studied by both theoretical calculations and experimental evaluation of thin film transistors (TFTs). From density functional theory (DFT) calculations, fluorine acts as a carrier suppressor in the ZnON matrix when it substitutes a nitrogen vacant site (VN). Thin films of ZnON and ZnON:F were grown by reactively co-sputtering Zn metal and ZnF2 targets, and their electrical, physical and chemical characteristics were studied. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) analyses of the nitrogen 1s peaks in ZnON and ZnON:F suggest that as the fluorine incorporation increases, the relative fraction of Zn-N bonds from stoichiometric Zn3N2 increases. On the other hand, the Zn-N bond characteristics arising from non-stoichiometric ZnxNy and N-N bonds decrease, implying that indeed fluorine anions have an effect of passivating the N-related defects. The corresponding TFTs exhibit optimum transfer characteristics and switching ability when approximately 3.5 atomic percent of fluorine is present in the 40 nm-thick ZnON:F active layer.

Concepts: X-ray, Zinc, Density functional theory, Semiconductor, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, Thin film, Thin-film transistor, Thin films


Indium titanium zinc oxide (InTiZnO) as the channel layer in thin film transistor (TFT) grown by RF sputtering system is proposed in this work. Optical and electrical properties were investigated. By changing the oxygen flow ratio, we can suppress excess and undesirable oxygen-related defects to some extent, making it possible to fabricate the optimized device. XPS patterns for O 1s of InTiZnO thin films indicated that the amount of oxygen vacancy was apparently declined with the increasing oxygen flow ratio. The fabricated TFTs showed a threshold voltage of -0.9 V, mobility of 0.884 cm²/Vs, on-off ratio of 5.5 × 10⁵, and subthreshold swing of 0.41 V/dec.

Concepts: Oxygen, Metal, Titanium dioxide, Thin film, Partial pressure, Thin-film transistor, Corrosion, Gallium


Noncovalent conformational locks are broadly employed to construct highly planar π-conjugated semiconductors exhibiting substantial charge transport characteristics. However, current chalcogen-based conformational lock strategies for organic semiconductors are limited to S···X (X = O, N, halide) weak interactions. An easily accessible (minimal synthetic steps) and structurally planar selenophene-based building block, 1,2-diethoxy-1,2-bisselenylvinylene (DESVS), with novel Se···O noncovalent conformational locks is designed and synthesized. DESVS unique properties are supported by density functional theory computed electronic structures, single crystal structures, and experimental lattice cohesion metrics. Based on this building block, a new class of stable, structurally planar, and solution-processable conjugated polymers are synthesized and implemented in organic thin-film transistors (TFT) and organic photovoltaic (OPV) cells. DESVS-based polymers exhibit carrier mobilities in air as high as 1.49 cm(2) V(-1) s(-1) (p-type) and 0.65 cm(2) V(-1) s(-1) (n-type) in TFTs, and power conversion efficiency >5% in OPV cells.

Concepts: Density functional theory, Semiconductor, Silicon, Solid, Solar cell, Construction, Thin-film transistor, Organic electronics