Hysteresis-free thin-film transistors achieved by novel solution-processing of nanotubes/polymer composites
2012 (English)In: Materials Research Society Spring Meeting 2012, San Francisco, April 9-13, 2012., 2012Conference paper, Presentation (Refereed)
Thin-film transistors (TFTs) based on single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) have gained enormous attention in the community of flexible/stretchable electronics. At present, such TFTs often suffer from severe problems including giant hysteresis in their transfer characteristics. With SiO2 as the gate dielectric, extensive investigations have led to generally accepted understanding of the hysteresis as being caused by charge transfer between the SWCNTs and their surroundings including both water molecules bound on the SiO2 surface (Si≡OH) and the water/oxygen molecules in the ambient atmosphere. In order to combat the hysteresis issue, significant efforts have been made by annealing the TFTs in vacuum and separating SWCNTs from SiO2 by deposition of a self-assembled monolayer (SAM) on the SiO2 or passivating the SWCNTs with an organic or inorganic dielectric film. These methods, however, require either processing in inert environment or developing elaborated processes. In the present work, we demonstrate hysteresis-free TFTs based on SWCNT/polymer composite without any complex treatment. The composite consists of SWCNTs and poly-9,9_dioctyl-fluorene-co-bithiophene (F8T2). With the aid of polymer F8T2, SWCNTs can be efficiently dissolved in commonly used solvents thereby forming a uniform composite solution. By soaking a chip with predefined TFT structures on an oxidized Si substrate in the composite solution, direct assembly of the composite on the SiO2 occurs, leading to the formation of a composite thin film in the channel region of the TFTs. Although fabricated using a very simple process, our TFTs exhibit hysteresis-free operation under ambient conditions. It is plausible to suggest that SWCNTs are embedded in the F8T2 matrix with the latter providing an effective shield for the former against the trap sites on the SiO2 and the H2O/O2 molecules in the atmosphere. In comparison to the other reported means aiming at hysteresis reduction, the present method is simple, robust, solution processable, effective, and operable under ambient conditions. In addition, we have found F8T2 to preferentially disperse semiconducting SWCNTs rendering a selective removal of the metallic species in the solution. This selectivity is of paramount importance as it results in high-performance TFTs with both high on-state current (0.1 µA/µm @ channel length = 50 µm) and large on/off current ratio (103-105). The TFTs have also shown significantly improved uniformity and dimensional scalability with a mobility value of 10-20 cm2V-1s-1, which have allowed us to investigate the TFTs using the resultant logic circuits.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering
Research subject Engineering Science with specialization in Electronics
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-181987OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-181987DiVA: diva2:558210
Materials Research Society Spring Meeting 2012, San Francisco, April 9-13, 2012.