Carbon 60, fullerene, thin film electronics closer to electronic billboards

Using room-temperature processing, researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have fabricated high-performance field effect transistors with thin films of Carbon 60, also known as fullerene. The ability to produce devices with such performance with an organic semiconductor represents another milestone toward practical applications for large area, low-cost electronic circuits on flexible organic substrates.

Previous reports have shown that C60 can yield mobility values as high as six square centimeters per volt-second (6 cm2/V/s). However, that record was achieved using a hot-wall epitaxy process requiring processing temperatures of 250 degrees Celsius – too hot for most flexible plastic substrates.

Though the transistors produced by Kippelen’s research team display slightly lower electron mobility – 2.7 to 5 cm2/V/s – they can be produced at room temperature.

The new technology is not trying to compete with CMOS at this time, they are looking to make electronic components for use with low-cost organic displays, active billboards and similar applications.

Kovio’s inkjet printable electronics has electron mobility of ~80 cm2/(V·s).

Many companies and R&D labs have been aiming at getting the electron mobility—expressed in units of cm2/(V·s)—of organics semiconductors up to the 0.5-1.0 range of amorphous-silicon TFTs.

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