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Aerosol Jet Printed p- and n‑type Electrolyte-Gated Transistors with a Variety of Electrode Materials: Exploring Practical Routes to Printed Electronics

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journal contribution
posted on 12.11.2014, 00:00 by Kihyon Hong, Se Hyun Kim, Ankit Mahajan, C. Daniel Frisbie
Printing electrically functional liquid inks is a promising approach for achieving low-cost, large-area, additive manufacturing of flexible electronic circuits. To print thin-film transistors, a basic building block of thin-film electronics, it is important to have several options for printable electrode materials that exhibit high conductivity, high stability, and low-cost. Here we report completely aerosol jet printed (AJP) p- and n-type electrolyte-gated transistors (EGTs) using a variety of different electrode materials including highly conductive metal nanoparticles (Ag), conducting polymers (polystyrenesulfonate doped poly­(3,4-ethylendedioxythiophene, PEDOT:PSS), transparent conducting oxides (indium tin oxide), and carbon-based materials (reduced graphene oxide). Using these source-drain electrode materials and a PEDOT:PSS/ion gel gate stack, we demonstrated all-printed p- and n-type EGTs in combination with poly­(3-hexythiophene) and ZnO semiconductors. All transistor components (including electrodes, semiconductors, and gate insulators) were printed by AJP. Both kinds of devices showed typical p- and n-type transistor characteristics, and exhibited both low-threshold voltages (<2 V) and high hole and electron mobilities. Our assessment suggests Ag electrodes may be the best option in terms of overall performance for both types of EGTs.