High performance thin film electronics based on inorganic nanostructures and composites
C. Wang, R. Cheng, L. Liao and X. Duan
Nano Today 8, 514-530 (2013)
Thin film transistors (TFTs) represent the central device building block for large area electronics. The integration of TFTs on flexible substrates is of considerable interest for diverse applications including electronic displays and radio frequency identification, and can enable a new generation of flexible, wearable and disposable electronics. The current approach to TFTs is largely based on amorphous Si or polysilicon on glass technology, which is limited by a number of intrinsic factors, including relatively poor electronic performance or indispensable high temperature deposition processes preventing the use of flexible plastic substrate. The organic semiconductors can be processed in solution and applied onto plastic substrate at room temperature, but are typically limited by rather poor electronic performance. To this end, inorganic nanostructures have emerged as an interesting alternative material system for thin film electronics that could promise the high electronic performance of crystalline inorganic materials, and at the same time offer a low temperature processibility of organic materials. These unique attributes have opened up completely new possibilities for future thin film electronics. Here we focus on the recent advancements in the fabrication of high-performance TFTs based inorganic nanostructures, specifically involving thin films of (1) carbon nanotubes, (2) semiconductor nanowires, (3) two-dimensional layered materials, (4) quantum dots, and (5) metal oxide/nanostructure composites. We will discuss the state-of-the-art, key merits and limitations of each of these material systems.