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Strategies for scalable large-area electronics with improved operation frequency

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Polymer semiconductors with steadily improved electronic properties are being synthesized, achieving charge mobility in excess of 1 and 10 cm2/Vs for electrons and holes, respectively. Such performances are sufficient for a large range of applications of printed, light-weight and mechanically robust circuits, in diverse fields such as wearable electronics, smart packaging, and bio-electronics. A key to enable these technologies is the possibility of using high-throughput, large-area printing processes to pattern polymer semiconductors with uniform and optimized morphologies. By controlling the self-assembling properties of model donor-acceptor copolymers, in combination with simple, roll-to-roll compatible coatings, it is possible to achieve well-ordered and efficient charge-transport nanostructures over large-areas. In particular, such control can be extended from films tens of nanometers thick, down to mono- or sub-monolayers, still retaining high-charge mobility. The mapping of charge-induced features within the channel of working devices is critical to unveil the nexus between film microstructure and electronic properties in such deposited films.

The level of control of the deposition process can boost the operational frequencies of printed polymer electronics well into the MHz regime without recurring to extreme downscaling, thus maintaining compatibility with cost-effective manufacturing of large-area circuits. By combining printing and laser-based direct-writing techniques, additional strategies to boost the transition frequency of polymer based devices will be described. In particular, we demonstrate the possibility to achieve MHz operation in all-organic transistors on plastic foils, where short channels are ablated by a fs-laser. Moreover, we show that fs-laser sintering is another very promising approach for fast direct-written devices, with the possibility of achieving > 10 MHz regime already with an transistor mobility in the range of ~1 cm2/Vs thanks to the drastically reduced capacitive parasitism.

This talk is part of the Optoelectronics Group series.

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