Ultra-thin transistors spread like butter on toast

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Posted on April 18, 2013
The March journal cover illustrates CHESS scientists' solution shearing and coating techniques. Credit: Wiley online library

The March journal cover illustrates CHESS scientists’ solution shearing and coating techniques. Credit: Wiley online library

Like spreading a thin layer of butter on toast, Cornell scientists have helped develop a novel process of spreading extremely thin organic transistors, and used synchrotron X-rays to watch how the films crystallize.

The experimental breakthrough for studying the structural evolution of organic transistor layers was reported by a joint team of scientists from Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source (CHESS), including first author and CHESS staff scientist Detlef Smilgies. Other collaborators were from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and Stanford University.

Their paper, “Look fast – Crystallization of conjugated molecules during solution shearing probed in-situ and in real time by X-ray scattering,” was featured on the March cover of the journal Physica Status Solidi – Rapid Research Letters (Vol. 7, Issue 3).

The coating procedure, called solution shearing, is like the buttering of a slice of toast, Smilgies said: The knife and toast need to be well controlled, as well as the speed that the butter is spread. Their actual materials were a solution of a semiconducting molecule called TIPS pentacene, a silicon wafer kept at a specific temperature for the substrate, and the highly polished edge of a second silicon wafer acting as the knife.

Read more at: Phys.org