Fabrication of Printed High-Performance Thin-Film Transistors Operable at One Volt

—Development of LCSS-enabled Multilayer Circuit Printing—

National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS)
C-INK Co., Ltd.
Priways Co., Ltd.

NIMS has developed low-temperature-catalyzed, solution-processed SiO2 (LCSS), which subsequently enabled printing of high-performance thin-film transistors (TFTs) and three-dimensional circuits connecting various elements.

(”Layer-By-Layer Printing Strategy for High-Performance Flexible Electronic Devices with Low-Temperature Catalyzed Solution-Processed SiO2” Qingqing Sun, Tianqi Gao, Xiaomeng Li, Wanli Li, Xiaoqian Li, Kenji Sakamoto, Yong Wang, Lingying Li, Masayuki Kanehara, Chuan Liu, Xinchang Pang, Xuying Liu, Jianwen Zhao, and Takeo Minari; Journal: Small Methods [May 21, 2021]; DOI : 10.1002/smtd.202100263)

Abstract

  1.  NIMS has developed low-temperature-catalyzed, solution-processed SiO2 (LCSS), which subsequently enabled printing of high-performance thin-film transistors (TFTs) and three-dimensional circuits connecting various elements. These TFTs with an LCSS insulating layer, produced through printing alone, exhibited the highest field-effect mobilities among fully-printed TFTs ever recorded (70 cm2 V-1 s-1) at an operating voltage of 1 V or less. These results may facilitate the development of various printed devices, such as printed displays and highly sensitive sensors.
  2. Printed electronics—electronic circuits printed using metallic and semiconducting inks—have been developed for a wide range of applications. Constructing practical electronic circuits through printing alone will require techniques for printing high-performance TFTs and three-dimensional circuits that connect all necessary electronic elements. However, fabricating TFTs and 3D circuits entirely by printing proved difficult, and previous printed circuit elements operated at low speed and required high operating voltages.
  3. This research team recently developed LCSS, an interlayer insulating material for printed electronics, which can be formed through a low-temperature sintering process at 90°C and processed into films. The use of this material enabled the fabrication of entirely printed high-performance TFTs and multilayer circuits. Printed multilayer circuits can be designed to increase electrical conductivity between layers through vias. The TFTs constructed in this research exhibited one of the highest field-effect mobilities ever reported (70 cm2 V-1 s-1) at an operating voltage of 1 V or less.
  4. Because LCSS layers can be formed on flexible, heat-susceptible materials, their application to the development of wearable devices is particularly promising. This research team will promote widespread use of this printing technique and insulating material for the production of printed electronics.
  5. This project was carried out by a research team led by Takeo Minari (Leader of the Printed Electronics Group, Research Center for Functional Materials (RCFM), NIMS), Qingqing Sun (Postdoctoral Researcher, Printed Electronics Group, RCFM, NIMS; currently Associate Professor, Zhengzhou University), Kenji Sakamoto (Chief Researcher, Molecular Design and Function Group, RCFM, NIMS), Xuying Liu (Professor, Zhengzhou University), Jianwen Zhao (Professor, Chinese Academy of Sciences), Masayuki Kanehara (CEO, C-INK Co., Ltd.) and Hayato Kawashima (CEO, Priways Co., Ltd.). This work was conducted in conjunction with other projects: three-dimensional flexible circuit R&D at the NIMS Center for Functional Sensors & Actuators and a project entitled “Submicron-scale selective metallization process for 3D integration technology” funded by the JSPS Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (B). This research was published in the online version of Small Methods, a German scientific journal, on May 21, 2021.

"Figure. (a) TFT equipped with an LCSS gate insulating layer fabricated solely by printing. (b) Electrical properties of the TFT." Image

Figure. (a) TFT equipped with an LCSS gate insulating layer fabricated solely by printing. (b) Electrical properties of the TFT.




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(Regarding this research)

Takeo Minari
Group Leader
Printed Electronics Group
Research Center for Functional Materials
National Institute for Materials Science
Tel: +81-29-860-4918
E-Mail: MINARI.Takeo=nims.go.jp
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Masayuki Kanehara
CEO, C-INK Co., Ltd.
E-Mail: info=cink.co.jp
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Hayato Kawashima
CEO, Priways Co., Ltd.
E-Mail: info=priways.co.jp
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