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Inkjet-Printing-Based Soft-Etching Technique for High-Speed Polymer Ambipolar Integrated Circuits

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journal contribution
posted on 11.12.2013, 00:00 by Dongyoon Khim, Kang-Jun Baeg, Minji Kang, Seung-Hoon Lee, Nam-Koo Kim, Jihong Kim, Geon-Woong Lee, Chuan Liu, Dong-Yu Kim, Yong-Young Noh
Here, we report the so-called soft-etching process based on an inkjet-printing technique for realizing high-performance printed and flexible organic electronic circuits with conjugated polymer semiconductors. The soft-etching process consists of selective etching of the gate made of a dielectric polymer and deposition of another gate dielectric layer. The method enables the use of a more desirable polymer dielectric layer for the p-channel and n-channel organic field-effect transistors (OFETs) in complementary integrated circuits. We fabricated high-performance ambipolar complementary inverters and ring oscillators (ROs) using poly­([N,N′-bis­(2-octyldodecyl)-naphthalene-1,4,5,8-bis­(dicarboximide)-2,6-diyl]-alt-5,5′-(2,2′-bithiophene)) (P­(NDI2OD-T2)) as the active layer as well as poly­(vinylidenefluoride-trifluoroethylene) (P­(VDF-TrFE)) and polystyrene ((PS)/P­(VDF-TrFE)) as dielectric materials for the p-channel (pull-up transistor) and n-channel (pull-down transistor) OFETs, respectively. The PS dielectric polymer was selectively etched by inkjetting of n-butyl acetate as an orthogonal solvent for P­(NDI2OD-T2). Employing this methodology, the five-stage ambipolar ROs with P­(NDI2OD-T2) exhibited an oscillation frequency of ∼16.7 kHz, which was much higher than that of non-soft-etched ROs with a single dielectric layer (P­(VDF-TrFE); ∼3 kHz).