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SCIENCE CHINA Technological Sciences, Volume 62 , Issue 8 : 1255-1276(2019) https://doi.org/10.1007/s11431-018-9503-8

Recent progress in stretchable organic field-effect transistors

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  • ReceivedNov 12, 2018
  • AcceptedMar 22, 2019
  • PublishedJul 16, 2019

Abstract

Stretchable organic field-effect transistors (STOFETs) employing organic semiconductors as active layers are highly attractive ongoing from health monitoring to biological research owing to some favorable advantages over their inorganic counterpart, including light weight, low cost, solution processing, high flexibility and simple adjustment of functionalities through molecular design. Although the development of STOFETs with original electrical performances under large mechanical deformation remain rudimentary, major efforts have recently been devoted to the investigation on STOFETs, and remarkable advances in stretchable components and novel fabrication methods have been achieved. A detailed overview of the advantages, challenges and current achievements in STOFETs was given including stretchable electrodes, semiconductors, dielectrics and substrates. Furthermore, conclusions and prospects for the future development of STOFETs with both high stretchability and superb electrical performances fabricated using intrinsically stretchable components are proposed.


Funded by

the National Natural Science Foundation of China(Grant,Nos.,51873216,&,21633012)

the National Key R&D Program of “Strategic Advanced Electronic Materials”(Grant,No.,2016YFB0401100)

the Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences(Grant,No.,XDB30000000)

the CAS Key Research Program of Frontier Sciences(Grant,No.,QYZDYSSW-SLH029)

and Beijing Nova program(Grant,No.,Z181100006218034)


Acknowledgment

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 51873216 & 21633012), the National Key R&D Program of “Strategic Advanced Electronic Materials” (Grant No. 2016YFB0401100), the Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (Grant No. XDB30000000), the CAS Key Research Program of Frontier Sciences (Grant No. QYZDYSSW-SLH029), and the Beijing Nova Program (Grant No. Z181100006218034).


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  • Figure 1

    (Color online) Four commonly used configurations of STOFETs. Bottom-gate/top-contact (BGTC), bottom-gate/bottom-contact (BGTC), top-gate/bottom-contact (TGBC) and top-gate/top-contact(TGTC).

  • Figure 2

    (Color online) (a) Synthesis process of ultra-long Ag NWs by SMG method; (b) sketch map of vacuum filtration and transfer of ultra-long Ag NW percolation network for the fabrication of highly stretchable and foldable metal conductor; (c) macroscopic and microscopic surface morphology of the extremely long Ag NWs stretched from 0 to 460%. Reprinted with permission from ref. [68].

  • Figure 3

    (Color online) (a) Schematic illustration of moisture treatment for capillary-force-induced cold welding of Ag nanowires (left). Schematic diagram showing the capillary interaction mechanism between two particles connected with a liquid bridge (right). (b) The brightness of the LED light connected to the AgNW-90 FTE is remarkably improved after a few minutes of moisture treatment. (c) A illustration of Ag NW electrode-based breathe-recoverable wearable electronics. The LED light turns off after stretching and releasing, but re-opens after breathing water vapor on the damaged electrode. The magnification of the LED light is shown in the insets. Reprinted with permission from ref. [69].

  • Figure 4

    (a) Schematics (left) and corresponding AFM phase images (right) of nanotube films as deposited, under strain, stretched and released along one axis and stretched and released along double axes. Scale bars, 600 nm. Reprinted with permission from ref. [75]. (b) Schematic diagram of the fabrication process of buckled CNT ribbons; (c) fabrication of the stretchable conductor with buckled CNT ribbon embedded in PDMS substrate (top), and corresponding resistance of a CNT/PDMS film as a function of tensile strains (bottom); (d) photographs of the LED integrated circuit on a piece of paper, and under twisting and folding and under tensile strain of 0 and 100%, respectively. Reprinted with permission from ref. [76].

  • Figure 5

    (Color online) (a) Schematic diagram of the fabrication process for the forest/PU composite sheet (left). The opposite sides of the composite sheet determined by optical photograph (right, picture top) and the sheet cross section characterized by SEM analysis (right, picture bottom). Reprinted with permission from ref. [78]. (b) Schematic representation of SWCNT film deposited on the as-prepared tough hydrogel surface by one-step deposition process (top). High transparency of tough hydrogel (bottom, picture left) and SWCNT/hydrogel structure (bottom, picture right) during stretching process. Reprinted with permission from ref. [79].

  • Figure 6

    (Color online) (a) Schematic illustration of the fabrication process for wrinkled graphene sheets; (b) normalized surface-specific capacitance of the supercapacitors based on wrinkled graphene sheet as a function of tensile strains. Reprinted with permission from ref. [85]. (c) Fabrication sequence of a corrugated graphene electrode on a PDMS substrate; (d) sheet resistance of corrugated graphene on PDMS under different tensile strains and directions. Reprinted with permission from ref. [88]. (e) Omnidirectionally stretchable and transparent graphene electrodes supported on an elastomer under various deformations such as stretching, bending, buckling and bending. Reprinted with permission from ref. [89]. (f) Scheme of stretchable and transparent graphene-based transistors, where SWCNTs representing single-walled carbon nanotubes. Reprinted with permission from ref. [90].

  • Figure 7

    (Color online) (a) Schematic diagram and SEM image of hierarchical multiscale AgNW/CNT hybrid conductors; (b) resistance of hierarchical multiscale AgNW/CNT hybrid conductors versus various twisting angles and corresponding axial strains. Reprinted with permission from ref. [102]. (c) Schematic diagram of plasmon-welded AgNW/SWCNT hybrid electrode; (d) comparison of sheet resistance against bending cycle for only NW electrode, NW/SWCNT electrode, plasmon-welded Ag NW electrode, and plasmon-welded Ag NW/SWCNT hybrid electrode. Reprinted with permission from ref. [92].

  • Figure 8

    (Color online) (a) Diagram of graphene-Ag NW hybrid film on a PET substrate (scale bar, 2 cm). The insert indicates a SEM image of the hybrid (scale bar, 5 μm); (b) graph of the sheet resistance as a function of radius of curvature for the nanostructure hybrids. Reprinted with permission from ref. [104]. (c) Fabrication process of the graphene-metal nanotrough hybrid electrode; (d) the Rs uniformities (including standard deviations and logarithmic scale) to he nanotrough and the hybrid prepared at different spin-coating time. The uniformity as a function of Rs is shown in an inset. Reprinted with permission from ref. [84]. (e) Resistance as a function of strain for graphene electrode, ITO electrode and graphene/ITO hybrid electrode. The sharp distinction of resistance for the three types of electrodes in the strain range of 0–6% is indicated in the insert. Reprinted with permission from ref. [105].

  • Figure 9

    (Color online) (a) Diagram illustrating measurement of the flexible single-crystal device on a curved cylinder; (b) the field-effect mobility against various bending radius and strains. It is noted that the points at before and after bending should be drawn as infinity (planar geometry). The insert depicts the whole bending tests on substrate bent across the channel length. Reprinted with permission from ref. [113]. (c) Structure of rubrene single-crystal transistor (left). The as-prepared transistor is wrinkled by applying uniaxial compression along the high-mobility axis of rubrene crystals (middle). Coordinate system (right) showing the transistor parallel to x-y plane and perpendicular to z axis. (d) Effect of net channel strain on the device mobility. The negative net values represent the channel compression, and the positive net values represent the channel tension. Different color marks corresponds to different devices measured in this study. Reprinted with permission from ref. [112]. (e) Pictures of the flexible single-crystal device at flat, tensile and compressive states respectively; (f) comparison of the response of the flexible OFET gas sensors to 5 ppm H2S, 10 ppm NO2 and 25 ppm NO at flat, tensile and compressive states respectively. Reprinted with permission from ref. [115].

  • Figure 10

    (Color online) (a) Photograph showing energy change of polymer dielectric surface of the pentacene and DHFTTF devices when stretched. The effects of applied strain on device property take place on the non-covalent interface between semiconductor and dielectric. In the case of pentacene (left), the varying surface energy is directly coupled into the HOMO orbitals of the semiconductor. In the case of DHFTTF (right), the alkyl substituent groups are applied to prevent the surface energy from being directly coupled into the semiconductor core. It is replaced by forming a parallel plate capacitor structure, leading to the mirror charge to be induced into the HOMO orbitals of the semiconductors. Reprinted with permission from ref. [121]. (b) Schematic diagram depicting the widely recognized molecular packing model for the crystalline region of P3HT (left) and pBTTT (right). For the two films, the molecular packing can lead to an anisotropic elastic modulus in the crystalline region with E1>E2>E3. Reprinted with permission from ref. [125]. (c) Field-effect mobility as a function of angle for films at 100% strain. The mobility shows a foregone anisotropic behavior in the range of 0–180°. (d) Pictures showing morphology of the strain P3HT film. The dull-red field represents the semicrystalline nature for the randomly oriented crystalline polymers, the light-red field represents the amorphous matrix, and the black lines describes the polymer backbone. For unstrained film, the polymer stacking direction displays an edge-on morphology. In contrast, for strain film, the polymer crystals are reorientated along the polymer skeleton in strain direction, which represents plane-on morphology, whereas the amorphous field still remains highly disordered, which represents the edge-on morphology. Reprinted with permission from ref. [126].

  • Figure 11

    (Color online) (a) The lamination method employed to evaluate polymeric semiconductors for stretchable electronics; (b) field-effect mobility as a function of strain for PTDPPTFT4 and PII2T FETs. Reprinted with permission from ref. [130]. (c) Schematic diagram of the chemical structures of the three types of as-fabricated semiconductor polymers (top), and the stretching and transferring process to evaluate these polymers (bottom). Reprinted with permission from ref. [131]. (d) Diagram depicting polymer microstructure highly interconnected by localized aggregates. Yellow lines denote probable motion pathways of charge carrier. Reprinted with permission from ref. [134]. (e) Stress as a function of strain for the P3AT homopolymers and their thiophene-containing random copolymers. Reprinted with permission from ref. [33].

  • Figure 12

    (Color online) (a) Stress as a function of stretching strain for P3HT-PE diblock copolymers with different weight ratios. Reprinted with permission from ref. [50]. (b) Stress as a function of stretching strain for P3HT-PMA-P3HT triblock copolymers; (c) diagram indicating the change of field-effect mobility as a function of stretching strain for P3HT-PMA-P3HT triblock copolymers. Reprinted with permission from ref. [138].

  • Figure 13

    (Color online) (a) Illustration of STOFET fabrication between the stiff islands induced on the PDMS elastomers (top), and amplificatory schematic diagram of stiff islands and electrodes prepared on flat (bottom, left), 1D-wavy (bottom, middle), and 2D-wavy (bottom, right) PDMS elastomer structures. Reprinted with permission from ref. [56]. (b) Two types of transistor configurations based on a strain relief mechanism (one type refers to source/drain electrodes parallel to the grooves (top), and the other type refers to source/drain electrodes perpendicular to the grooves (bottom)). Reprinted with permission from ref. [57]. (c) Schematic diagram showing the fabrication of ultrathin STOFETs with out-of-plane wrinkles by peeling the devices off the support stack and laminated on the prestrained elastomer, and subsequently releasing the prestrain in the elastomer. Reprinted with permission from ref. [144].

  • Figure 14

    (Color online) (a) Diagram illustrating the phase separation process of P3HT networks on the SEBS matrix surface; (b) the field-effect mobility and threshold voltages as a function of number of stretching cycle for P3HT/SEBS film at 50% strain. Reprinted with permission from ref. [145]. (c) Relationship between strain and neat P3HT FETs and 10 wt% P3HT composite FET device performances. The inset demonstrates device characteristics with different stretching cycles at 100% strain. (d) The fracture mechanism of P3HT nanowires in the neat P3HT (upper) and in the P3HT/PDMS composites (bottom) at high stretching strains. Reprinted with permission from ref. [52]. (e) Photographs of the CONPHINE film with 70 wt% SEBS at 0% strain and 100% strain; (f) field-effect mobilities as a function of stretching cycle index for the neat DPPT-TT and the CONPHINE film at 100% strain. Reprinted with permission from ref. [42].

  • Figure 15

    (Color online) (a) Dielectric constant as a function of frequency for neat PDMS and PDMS/CPNWs nanocomposites with 1 vol%, 3 vol%, and 5 vol% respectively. Reprinted with permission from ref. [161]. (b) The fabrication process of cross-linked PDMS with metal-ligand coordination (top), and the diagrams explaining the kinetical interaction between metal cations Zn2+, ligand, and counteranions when subjected from mechanical deformation (bottom); (c) capacitance values as a function of frequency for cross-linked PDMS by different types of metal salts; (d) transfer curves of STOFETs (device width: 4000 μm, device length: 50 μm) with FeCl2-PDMS as dielectric layer at various tensile strains when stretched towards parallel direction (left) and perpendicular direction (right). Reprinted with permission from ref. [58]. (e) Capacitance values as a function of film thickness for various elastomer dielectric materials; (f) saturation mobilities of OFETs as a function of film thickness of different elastomer dielectric materials calculated by the amendatory capacitance value. Reprinted with permission from ref. [164].

  • Figure 16

    (Color online) intrinsically stretchable FETs consisting of different types of device components. (a) Reprinted with permission from ref. [42]; (b) reprinted with permission from ref. [159]; (c) reprinted with permission from ref. [20].

  • Table 1   The device structures, components, stretchability, and field-effect mobility for STOFETs reported

    Device configuration

    Device components (from bottom to top)

    Stretchability (%)

    Mobility (cm2 V–1 s–1)

    Ref.

    Top gate/Bottom contact

    PDMS/stiff-island structures/Au-Ti/F8T2/P(VDF-TrFE)-PMMA blend/Al

    9.7

    5×10–4–7×10–4

    [56]

    Bottom gate/Top contact

    PDMS/Cr-Au/Parylene/Pentacene/Au

    12

    0.1

    [57]

    Bottom gate/Top contact

    PEN/Al/AlOx/SAM/DNTT/Au

    230

    1.6

    [5]

    Top gate/Bottom contact

    PU/CNT/P3HT/PU/EGaIn

    160

    3.4×10–2

    [20]

    Top gate/Top contact

    SBS/Au sheet/P3HT fiber/ionic gel/Au sheet

    70

    18

    [55]

    Bottom gate/Top contact

    SEBS/CNT/SEBS/DPP-polymer/PEDOT:PSS-CNT

    100

    0.1

    [43]

    Bottom gate/Bottom contact

    SEBS/CNT/SEBS/CNT/DPPT-TT blend

    100

    0.55

    [42]

    SEBS/CNT/SEBS/CNT/P-29-DPPDTSE blend

    100

    1.01

    SEBS/CNT/SEBS/CNT/ PffBT4T-2DT blend

    100

    1.08

    SEBS/CNT/SEBS/CNT/P(DPP2TTVT) blend

    100

    1.11

    SEBS/CNT/SEBS/CNT/PTDPPTFT4 blend

    100

    0.21

    Top gate/Bottom contact

    SEBS/CNT/(TTA-DPP)-based polymers/FeCl2-PDMS/EGaIn

    100

    [58]

    Bottom gate/Bottom contact

    SEBS/CNT/CONPHINE/crosslinking SEBS/CNT

    100

    0.99

    [53]

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