Impact of Morphology on Printed Contact Performance in Carbon Nanotube Thin-Film Transistors
© 2018 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim Silver nanoparticles (NPs) are the most widely used conductive material throughout the printed electronics space due to their high conductivity and low cost. However, when interfacing with other prominent printed materials, such as semiconducting carbon nanotubes (CNTs) in thin-film transistors (TFTs), silver is suboptimal when compared to more expensive or less conductive materials. Consequently, there would be significant value to improving the interface of printed silver to CNT films. In this work, the impact of nanostructure morphology on the electrical properties of printed silver and nanotube junctions in CNT-TFTs is investigated. Three distinct silver morphologies (NPs, nanoflakes – NFs, and nanowires – NWs) are explored with top- and bottom-contact configurations for each. The NF morphology in a top-contact configuration is found to yield the best electrical interface to CNTs, resulting in an average contact resistance of 1.2 MΩ ⋅ µm. Beyond electrical performance, several trade-offs in morphology selection are revealed, including print resolution and process temperature. While NF inks produce the best interfaces, NP inks produce the smallest features, and NW inks are compatible with low processing temperatures (<80 °C). These results outline the trade-offs between silver contact morphologies in CNT-TFTs and show that contact morphology selection can be tailored for specific applications.
Cardenas, JA; Upshaw, S; Williams, NX; Catenacci, MJ; Wiley, BJ; Franklin, AD
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