Date of Award

2017

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Graduate Group

Electrical & Systems Engineering

First Advisor

Cherie R. Kagan

Abstract

As semiconductor manufacturing pushes towards smaller and faster transistors, a parallel goal exists to create transistors which are not nearly as small. These transistors are not intended to match the performance of traditional crystalline semiconductors; they are designed to be significantly lower in cost and manufactured using methods that can make them physically flexible for applications where form is more important than speed. One of the developing technologies for this application is semiconductor nanocrystals.

We first explore methods to develop CdSe nanocrystal semiconducting “inks” into large-scale, high-speed integrated circuits. We demonstrate photopatterned transistors with mobilities of 10 cm2/Vs on Kapton substrates. We develop new methods for vertical interconnect access holes to demonstrate multi-device integrated circuits including inverting amplifiers with ~7 kHz bandwidths, ring oscillators with <10 µs stage delays, and NAND and NOR logic gates.

In order to produce higher performance and more consistent transistors, we develop a new hybrid procedure for processing the CdSe nanocrystals. This procedure produces transistors with repeatable performance exceeding 40 cm2/Vs when fabricated on silicon wafers and 16 cm2/vs when fabricated as part of photopatterned integrated circuits on Kapton substrates.

In order to demonstrate the full potential of these transistors, methods to create high-frequency oscillators were developed. These methods allow for transistors to operate at higher voltages as well as provide a means for wirebonding to the Kapton substrate, both of which are required for operating and probing high-frequency oscillators. Simulations of this system show the potential for operation at MHz frequencies. Demonstration of these transistors in this frequency range would open the door for development of CdSe integrated circuits for high-performance sensor, display, and audio applications.

To develop further applications of electronics on flexible substrates, procedures are developed for the integration of polychromatic displays on polyethylene terephthalate (PET) substrates and a commercial near field communication (NFC) link. The device draws its power from the NFC transmitter common on smartphones and eliminates the need for a fixed battery. This allows for the mass deployment of flexible, interactive displays on product packaging.

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