Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Printable Silicon For Ultrahigh Performance Flexible Electronic Systems

Date:
June 18, 2004
Source:
University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign
Summary:
By carving specks of single crystal silicon from a bulk wafer and casting them onto sheets of plastic, scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have demonstrated a route to ultrahigh performance, mechanically flexible thin-film transistors.

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- By carving specks of single crystal silicon from a bulk wafer and casting them onto sheets of plastic, scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have demonstrated a route to ultrahigh performance, mechanically flexible thin-film transistors. The process could enable new applications in consumer electronics -- such as inexpensive wall-to-wall displays and intelligent but disposable radio frequency identification tags -- and could even be used in applications that require significant computing power.

Related Articles


"Conventional silicon devices are limited by the size of the silicon wafer, which is typically less than 12 inches in diameter," said John Rogers, a professor of materials science and engineering and co-author of a paper to appear in the June 28 issue of the journal Applied Physics Letters.

"Instead of making the wafer bigger and costlier, we want to slice up the wafer and disperse it in such a way that we need them on large, low-cost substrates such as flexible plastics."

This approach has important advantages compared with paths for similar devices that use organic molecules for the semiconductor. Single-crystal silicon has extremely good electrical properties (roughly 1,000 times better than known organics) and its reliability and materials propertiesare well known from decades of research in silicon microelectronics.

To demonstrate the technique, Rogers and his colleagues fabricated single-crystal, microstructured silicon objects from wafers using conventional lithographic patterning and etching processes. The processing sequence generated objects of various shapes as small as 50 nanometers on a side. The researchers then used two approaches for transferring the objects to substrates to create high performance, thin-film transistors.

"In one approach, we used procedures that exploit high-resolution rubber stamps for transfer printing," said co-author Ralph Nuzzo, a professor of chemistry and director of the Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory on the U. of I. campus. "In the other approach, the objects were dispersed in a solvent and then cast using solution-based printing techniques."

Both approaches can be implemented in a manufacturing environment, and would scale nicely to large-area formats, Nuzzo said. Separating the processing of the silicon from the fabrication of other transistor components enables the devices to be integrated with a wide range of material types, including low-cost plastics.

Fabricating circuits by continuous, high-speed printing techniques could offer different capabilities than can be achieved with existing silicon technologies, Rogers said. "We can think in terms of unconventional electronics -- putting devices in places where standard silicon chips can't go due to expense or geometry."

Not only could huge, wall-sized displays be built at far less cost, components could be printed on the insides of windshields and other non-flat surfaces. While current fabrication techniques favor flat chips, printing-based methods remove that constraint.

"Another aspect of low-cost electronic printing is embedding information technology into places where it didn't exist before," Nuzzo said. "By inserting electronic intelligence into everyday items, we could exchange information and communicate in exciting new ways."

An example, he said, would be low-cost radio frequency identification tags that could take the place of ordinary product bar codes. Such tags could ease congestion in supermarket checkout lines and help busy homemakers maintain shopping lists.

"You can let your imagination run wild," Nuzzo said. "The functionality of an electronic circuit doesn't have to be wired to a chip -- it can be integrated into the architecture itself."

In addition to Nuzzo and Rogers, co-authors of the paper were visiting scholar Etienne Menard, postdoctoral researcher Dahl-Young Khang and graduate student Keon-Jae Lee. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy funded the work.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. "Printable Silicon For Ultrahigh Performance Flexible Electronic Systems." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 June 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/06/040618064110.htm>.
University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. (2004, June 18). Printable Silicon For Ultrahigh Performance Flexible Electronic Systems. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/06/040618064110.htm
University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. "Printable Silicon For Ultrahigh Performance Flexible Electronic Systems." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/06/040618064110.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Building Google Into Cars

Building Google Into Cars

Reuters - Business Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) Google's next Android version could become the standard that'll power your vehicle's entertainment and navigation features, Reuters has learned. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
AP Review: Nikon D750 and GoPro Hero 4

AP Review: Nikon D750 and GoPro Hero 4

AP (Dec. 19, 2014) What to buy an experienced photographer or video shooter? There is some strong gear on the market from Nikon and GoPro. The AP's Ron Harris takes a closer look. (Dec. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins