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Title: Novel solution processable dielectrics for organic and graphene transistors
Author: Colleaux, Florian
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2013
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In this thesis we report the development of a range of high-performance thin-film transistors utilising different solution processable organic dielectrics grown at temperatures compatible with inexpensive substrate materials such as plastic. Firstly, we study the dielectric properties and application of a novel low-k fluoropolymer dielectric, named Hyflon AD (Solvay). The orthogonal nature of the Hyflon formulation, to most conventional organic semiconductors, allows fabrication of top-gate transistors with optimised semiconductor/dielectric interface. When used as the gate dielectric in organic transistors, this transparent and highly water-repellent polymer yields high-performance devices with excellent operating stability. In the case of top-gate organic transistors, hole and electron mobility values close to or higher than 1 cm2/Vs, are obtained. These results suggest that Hyflon AD is a promising candidate for use as dielectric in organic and potentially hybrid electronics. By taking advantage of the non-reactive nature of the Hyflon AD dielectric, the p-doping process of an organic blend semiconductor using a molybdenum based organometallic complex as the molecular dopant, has also been investigated for the first time. Although the much promising properties of Hyflon AD were demonstrated, the resulting transistors need, however, to be operated at high voltages typically in the range of 50-100 V. The latter results to a high power consumption by the discrete transistors as well as the resulting integrated circuits. Therefore, reduction in the operating voltage of these devices is crucial for the implementation of the technology in portable battery-operated devices. Our approach towards the development of low-voltage organic transistors and circuits explored in this work focused on the use of self-assembled monolayer (SAM) organics as ultra-thin gate dielectrics. Only few nanometres thick (2-5 nm), these SAM dielectrics are highly insulating and yield high geometrical capacitances in the range 0.5 - 1 μF/cm2. The latter has enabled the design and development of organic transistors with operating voltages down to a few volts. Using these SAM nanodielectrics high performance transistors with ambipolar transport characteristics have also been realised and combined to form low-voltage integrated circuits for the first time. In the final part of this thesis the potential of Hyflon AD and SAM dielectrics for application in the emerging area of graphene electronics, has been explored. To this end we have employed chemical vapour deposited (CVD) graphene layers that can be processed from solution onto the surface of the organic dielectric (Hyflon AD, SAM). By careful engineering of the graphene/dielectric interface we were able to demonstrate transistors with improved operating characteristics that include; high charge carrier mobility (~1400 cm2/Vs), hysteresis free operation, negligible unintentional doping and improved reliability as compared to bare SiO2 based devices. Importantly, the use of SAM nanodielectrics has enabled the demonstration of low voltage (<|1.5| V) graphene transistors that have been processed from solution at low temperature onto flexible plastic substrates. Graphene transistors with tuneable doping characteristics were also demonstrated by taking advantage of the SAM’s flexible chemistry and more specifically the type of the chemical SAM end-group employed. Overall, the work described in this thesis represents a significant step towards flexible carbon-based electronics where large-volume and low-temperature processing are required.
Supervisor: Anthopoulos, Thomas ; Bradley, Donal Sponsor: Solvay Discovery Program
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available