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Title: Large area vacuum fabrication of organic thin-film transistors
Author: Ding, Ziqian
ISNI:       0000 0004 5367 4455
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2014
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A process has been developed to make the dielectric layer for organic thin-film transistors (OTFTs) in a roll-to-roll vacuum web coater environment. This dielectric layer combined with an organic semiconductor layer and metal layer deposited in vacuum allows a solvent-free process to make organic/inorganic multilayer structures for thin-film electronic devices on a flexible substrate at, potentially, high speed. The polymeric gate dielectric layers were fabricated by flash evaporation of acrylic monomers onto a polymer film with pre-patterned metal gates followed by radiation curing by electron beam, ultra-violent light (UV) or plasma. With a non-polar dielectric surface, charge carrier mobility (μ) of 1 cm2-V-1s-1; on/off curren ratio of 108, sub-threshold swing (SS) of 0.3 V/decade and saturated output curve were routinely achieved in dinaphtho-[2,3-b:2'3'-f]thieno[3,2-b]thiophene (DNTT) transistors with dielectric layer of tripropylene glycol diacrylate (TPGDA) of ~400 nm. Apart from the TPGDA, monomer formulas including 1,6-Hexanediol diacrylate (HDDA) as well as several commercial acrylic resins have been used to make the dielectric layer. The highest areal capacitance of 41nF-cm-2 was achieved with a pin-hole free film of less than 100 nm made of an acrylate mixture resin. A non-polar dielectric surface treatment layer has been developed based on flash evaporation of lauryl acrylate and HDDA mixture. The transistors with the buffer layer showed constant performance and a mobility fivefold greater than those of untreated samples. The effect of humidity, oxygen, and light during switching cycles of both pentacene and DNTT transistors were studied. Water and oxygen/illumination had a distinct effect on both pentacene and DNTT transistors. Oxygen leads to acceptor-like charge traps under illumination, which shifted the turn-on voltage (Vto) to more positive values. In contrast, water in transistors gave rise to donor-like charge traps, which shifted the Vto and the threshold voltage (VT) more negatively. The DNTT devices showed good stability in dry air without encapsulation, while pentacene transistors degraded with either repeating measurement or long term storage. A DNTT transistor with a PS-coated TPGDA dielectric layer showed stable drain current (Id) of ~105A under bias stress of the gate voltage (em>Vg) of -20V and the drain voltage (em>Vd) of -20V for at least 144 hours. The Vto shift after the stress was less than 5 V and was recoverable when the device was kept in dry air for a few days. Possible reasons for the Vto shift have been discussed.
Supervisor: Assender, Hazel; Gamal, Abbas Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Materials processing ; Processing of advanced materials ; Semiconductor devices ; Surfaces ; Electronics ; Materials engineering ; vacuum processing ; flexible electronics ; organic semiconductor