SCIENTIA SINICA Informationis, Volume 48, Issue 6: 670-687(2018) https://doi.org/10.1360/N112018-00084

Transfer techniques for single-crystal silicon/germanium nanomembranes and their application in flexible electronics

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  • ReceivedApr 10, 2018
  • AcceptedApr 20, 2018
  • PublishedJun 12, 2018


Single-crystal silicon and germanium are the basis of the modern semiconductor industry. They exhibit unique mechanical, optical, electrical, and thermal properties when their thicknesses decrease to the nanoscale. Ultra-small thickness provides silicon and germanium flexibility. Compared with organic semiconductors, silicon and germanium have much higher carrier mobility. This makes them ideal components for high-performance devices and gives them great potential in the application of the internet of things, wearable/implantable electronics, and bio-electronics. In this review, we discuss the strategies of “Device-Last Approach" and “Device-First Approach" for silicon and germanium nanomembrane devices and their applications in flexible electronics. The latest development of transferred nanomembranes and their applications in flexible electronics, as well as the scientific and technique issues to be solved, are specifically discussed.

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  • Figure 1

    (Color online) Unique properties and applications of nanomembranes. (a) Quantumconfinement effect in silicon nanomembrane leads to splitting of theconduction band valleys [9]@Copyright 2010 American Chemical Society. (b)$I_{\rm~DS}$-$V_{\rm~DS}$ properties of the rough Si nanomembrane in the dark andunder light illumination. The inset displays the atomic force microscope image of a rough silicon nanomembrane [10]@Copyright 2009 American Chemical Society. (c)Vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser device with stacked siliconnanomembranes and InGaAsP quantum well active layer [11]@Copyright 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited. (d) Optical and sanning electron microscopy images ofthe Si nanomembrane thermal detectors [12]@Copyright 2018 AIP Publishing LLC

  • Figure 2

    (Color online) Transfer first, device-last process and typical applications.(a) Release and transfer nanomembrane in solution (wet process). (b) Transfernanomembrane by elastomeric stamp (dry process). (c) A metal grid with asilicon nanomembrane by wet process [48]@2016 Macmillan Publishers Ltd. (d) Asilicon nanomembrane covered on an optical fiber for leakage detection [49]@Copyright 2017 American Chemical Society. (e) Silicon nanomembrane field-effecttransistor fabricated with dry process [50]@Copyright 2017 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.(f) Structure scheme and optical image of germanium nanomembrane wrinklephotodetectors [51]@Copyright 2016 IEEE

  • Figure 3

    (Color online) Nanomembrane device system. (a) Optical image of siliconnanomembrane electrocorticography system (left) and recorded brain wave of amouse (right) [65]@Copyright 2016 Macmillan Publishers Limited. (b) Schematic illustrationof silicon nanomembrane hemispherical electronic eye systems (left) and highresolution image acquired by this system matching the concave hemisphericalsurface of focal plane array [66]@Copyright 2017 The Authors

  • Figure 4

    (Color online) Device-first, transfer-last process and typical applications.(a) Thinning down process of flexible nanomembrane devices on wafer.(b) Optical image of flexible silicon nanomembrane field-effect transistorfabricated with device-first process. (c) Optical image of flexible siliconnanomembrane sensing system with 396 nodes for electrophysiological mapping [93]@Copyright 2017 Macmillan Publishers Limited, part of Springer Nature

  • Figure 5

    (Color online) 3D integrated nanomembranes and circuit system. (a) Si/Genanoribbons van der Waals heterojunctions and its electronic property.Inset, transmission electron microscope image [96]@Copyright 2015 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim. (b) 3D stacked silicon nanomembrane logic circuitsystem on thin sheet of poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) [97]@Copyright 2015 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim

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