Assembled semiconductor nanowire thin films for high performance flexible macroelectronics
A new concept of macroelectronics using assembled semiconductor nanowire thin films holds the promise of significant performance improvement. In this new concept, a thin film of oriented semiconductor nanowires is used to produce thin-film transistors (TFTs) with conducting channels formed by multiple parallel single-crystal nanowire paths. There fore, charges travel from source to drain within single crystals, ensuring high carrier mobility. Recent studies have shown that high-performance silicon nanowire TFTs and high-frequency circuits can be readily produced on a variety of substrates including glass and plastics using a solution assembly process. The device performance of these nanowire TFTs not only greatly surpasses that of solution-processed organic TFTs, but is also significantly better than that of conventional amorphous or polycrystalline silicon TFTs, approaching single-crystal silicon-based devices. Furthermore, with a similar frame-work, Group III-V or II-VI nanowire or nanoribbon materials of high intrinsic carrier mobility or optical functionality can be assembled into thin films on flexible substrates to enable new multifunctional electronics/optoelectronics that are not possible with traditional macroelectronics. This can have an impact on a broad range of existing applications, from flat-panel displays to image sensor arrays, and enable a new generation of flexible, wearable, or disposable electronics for computing, storage, and wireless communication.