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Electron. Mater., Volume 2, Issue 4 (December 2021) – 10 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Glass is a commonly used building material in architectural buildings and within the automotive sector. The material is transparent, provides hermetic encapsulation and may even be flexible; these are important properties that also make glass a promising substrate material for electronic components and systems, paving the way for smart multifunctional windows. Here, this is demonstrated by a hybrid printed electronic sensor system manufactured by screen printing directly onto the glass surface. Electrochromic displays, NFC antennas, conductors, chip landing pads and sensors were successfully screen printed on glass. Silicon-based components, used for energy harvesting, sensor monitoring and display updates, were mounted onto the glass via a pick and place process. The NFC interface of a mobile phone allows for a batteryless sensor platform that instead is powered via energy harvesting. View this paper.
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Article
Self-Absorption Analysis of Perovskite-Based Luminescent Solar Concentrators
Electron. Mater. 2021, 2(4), 545-552; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronicmat2040039 - 10 Dec 2021
Viewed by 1799
Abstract
Luminescent solar concentrators (LSCs) are considered promising in their application as building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPVs). However, they suffer from low performance, especially in large-area devices. One of the key issues is the self-absorption of the luminophores. In this report, we focus on the study [...] Read more.
Luminescent solar concentrators (LSCs) are considered promising in their application as building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPVs). However, they suffer from low performance, especially in large-area devices. One of the key issues is the self-absorption of the luminophores. In this report, we focus on the study of self-absorption in perovskite-based LSCs. Perovskite nanocrystals (NCs) are emerging luminophores for LSCs. Studying the self-absorption of perovskite NCs is beneficial to understanding fundamental photon transport properties in perovskite-based LSCs. We analyzed and quantified self-absorption properties of perovskite NCs in an LSC with the dimensions of 6 in × 6 in × 1/4 in (152.4 mm × 152.4 mm × 6.35 mm) using three approaches (i.e., limited illumination, laser excitation, and regional measurements). The results showed that a significant number of self-absorption events occurred within a distance of 2 in (50.8 mm), and the photo surface escape due to the repeated self-absorption was the dominant energy loss mechanism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers of Electronic Materials)
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Article
Effect of Surfactant Addition on Organic Transparent Conductive Films Fabricated by Inkjet Printing Method
Electron. Mater. 2021, 2(4), 536-544; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronicmat2040038 - 01 Dec 2021
Viewed by 1425
Abstract
Recently, active research has been conducted on the development of flexible electronic devices. Hence, the transparent conductive film (TCF), an essential component of the device, must also be flexible. However, the commonly used indium tin oxide (ITO) TCF lacks flexibility and contains rare [...] Read more.
Recently, active research has been conducted on the development of flexible electronic devices. Hence, the transparent conductive film (TCF), an essential component of the device, must also be flexible. However, the commonly used indium tin oxide (ITO) TCF lacks flexibility and contains rare metal, making resource depletion an issue. Therefore, we focused on poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene)/poly(styrenesulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS), which has high flexibility and conductivity. Flexible TCFs have been fabricated by coating PEDOT:PSS on polyethylene naphthalate substrates using an inkjet printer. However, the current issue in such fabrication is the effect of the interface state on the transparency and conductivity of the thin film. In this study, we investigated the effect of surfactant in addition to polar solvents on the properties of thin films fabricated with PEDOT:PSS ink. Although the electrical conductivity was reduced, the transmittance remained above 90%. Thus, these results are comparable to those of ITO TCFs for practical use in terms of optical properties. Full article
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Article
Batteryless Electronic System Printed on Glass Substrate
Electron. Mater. 2021, 2(4), 527-535; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronicmat2040037 - 03 Nov 2021
Viewed by 2449
Abstract
Batteryless hybrid printed electronic systems manufactured on glass substrates are reported. The electronic system contains a sensor capable of detecting water, an electrochromic display, conductors, a silicon chip providing the power supply through energy harvesting of electromagnetic radiation, and a silicon-based microcontroller responsible [...] Read more.
Batteryless hybrid printed electronic systems manufactured on glass substrates are reported. The electronic system contains a sensor capable of detecting water, an electrochromic display, conductors, a silicon chip providing the power supply through energy harvesting of electromagnetic radiation, and a silicon-based microcontroller responsible for monitoring the sensor status and the subsequent update of the corresponding display segment. The silicon-based components were assembled on the glass substrate by using a pick and place equipment, while the remainder of the system was manufactured by screen printing. Many printed electronic components, often relying on organic materials, are sensitive to variations in environmental conditions, and the reported system paves the way for the creation of electronic sensor platforms on glass substrates for utilization in see-through applications in harsh conditions. Additionally, this generic hybrid printed electronic sensor system also demonstrates the ability to enable autonomous operation through energy harvesting in future smart window applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers of Electronic Materials)
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Article
A Novel Method to Significantly Improve the Mechanical Properties of n-Type Bi(1−x)Sbx Thermoelectrics Due to Plastic Deformation
Electron. Mater. 2021, 2(4), 511-526; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronicmat2040036 - 02 Nov 2021
Viewed by 1562
Abstract
A unique method was developed to significantly improve the strength of Bi(1−x)Sbx single crystals, the most effective thermoelectric (TE) materials in the temperature range from 100 to 200 K due to their plastic deformation by extrusion. After plastic [...] Read more.
A unique method was developed to significantly improve the strength of Bi(1−x)Sbx single crystals, the most effective thermoelectric (TE) materials in the temperature range from 100 to 200 K due to their plastic deformation by extrusion. After plastic deformation at room temperature under all-round hydrostatic compression in a liquid medium, n-type Bi–Sb polycrystalline solid solutions show a significant increase in mechanical strength compared to Bi–Sb single crystals in the temperature range from 300 to 80 K. The significantly higher strength of extruded alloys in comparison with Bi–Sb single crystals is associated with the development of numerous grains with a high boundary surface as well as structural defects, such as dislocations, that accumulate at grain boundaries. Significant stability of the structure of extruded samples is achieved due to the uniformity of crystal plastic deformation under all-round hydrostatic compression and the formation of the polycrystalline structure consisting of grains with the orientation of the main crystallographic directions close to the original single crystal. The strengthening of Bi–Sb single crystals after plastic deformation allows for the first time to create workable TE devices that cannot be created on the basis of single crystals that have excellent TE properties, but low strength. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers of Electronic Materials)
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Article
Structural, Electronic, and Optical Properties of p-Type Semiconductors Cu2O and ZnRh2O4: A Self-Consistent Hybrid Functional Investigation
Electron. Mater. 2021, 2(4), 504-510; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronicmat2040035 - 01 Nov 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1935
Abstract
The p-type semiconductors Cu2O and ZnRh2O4 have been under investigation for potential applications as transparent conducting oxides. Here, we re-evaluate their structural, electronic, and optical properties by means of first-principles calculations employing density functional theory and a [...] Read more.
The p-type semiconductors Cu2O and ZnRh2O4 have been under investigation for potential applications as transparent conducting oxides. Here, we re-evaluate their structural, electronic, and optical properties by means of first-principles calculations employing density functional theory and a recently introduced self-consistent hybrid functional approach. Therein, the predefined fraction α of Hartree–Fock exact exchange is determined self-consistently via the inverse of the dielectric constant ε. The structural, electronic, and optical properties will be discussed alongside experimental results, with a focus on possible technological applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers of Electronic Materials)
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Article
Theoretical Prediction of Heterogeneous Integration of Dissimilar Semiconductor with Various Ultra-Thin Oxides and 2D Materials
Electron. Mater. 2021, 2(4), 495-503; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronicmat2040034 - 11 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1847
Abstract
In this paper, we build a numerical p-n Si/GaAs heterojunction model using quantum-mechanical tunneling theory with various quantum tunneling interfacial materials including two-dimensional (2D) materials such as hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) and graphene, and ALD-enabled oxide materials such as HfO2, Al [...] Read more.
In this paper, we build a numerical p-n Si/GaAs heterojunction model using quantum-mechanical tunneling theory with various quantum tunneling interfacial materials including two-dimensional (2D) materials such as hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) and graphene, and ALD-enabled oxide materials such as HfO2, Al2O3, and SiO2. Their tunneling efficiencies and tunneling currents with different thicknesses were systematically calculated and compared. Multiphysics modeling was used with the aforementioned tunneling interfacial materials to analyze changes in the strain under different temperature conditions. Considering the transport properties and thermal-induced strain analysis, Al2O3, among three oxide materials, and graphene in 2D materials are favorable material choices that offer the highest heterojunction quality. Overall, our results offer a viable route in guiding the selection of quantum tunneling materials for a myriad of possible combinations of new heterostructures that can be obtained with an ultra-thin tunneling intermediate layer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers of Electronic Materials)
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Article
One-Step Cost-Effective Growth of High-Quality Epitaxial Ge Films on Si (100) Using a Simplified PECVD Reactor
Electron. Mater. 2021, 2(4), 482-494; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronicmat2040033 - 10 Oct 2021
Viewed by 1892
Abstract
Heteroepitaxial growth of Ge films on Si is necessary for the progress of integrated Si photonics technology. In this work, an in-house assembled plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition reactor was used to grow high quality epitaxial Ge films on Si (100) substrates. Low [...] Read more.
Heteroepitaxial growth of Ge films on Si is necessary for the progress of integrated Si photonics technology. In this work, an in-house assembled plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition reactor was used to grow high quality epitaxial Ge films on Si (100) substrates. Low economic and thermal budget were accomplished by the avoidance of ultra-high vacuum conditions or high temperature substrate pre-deposition bake for the process. Films were deposited with and without plasma assistance using germane (GeH4) precursor in a single step at process temperatures of 350–385 °C and chamber pressures of 1–10 Torr at various precursor flow rates. Film growth was realized at high ambient chamber pressures (>10−6 Torr) by utilizing a rigorous ex situ substrate cleaning process, closely controlling substrate loading times, chamber pumping and the dead-time prior to the initiation of film growth. Plasma allowed for higher film deposition rates at lower processing temperatures. An epitaxial growth was confirmed by X-Ray diffraction studies, while crystalline quality of the films was verified by X-ray rocking curve, Raman spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy and infra-red spectroscopy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers of Electronic Materials)
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Article
Carbon Nanotubes Blended Nematic Liquid Crystal for Display and Electro-Optical Applications
Electron. Mater. 2021, 2(4), 466-481; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronicmat2040032 - 08 Oct 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2334
Abstract
In this paper, we investigate a commercial nematic liquid crystal (LC) mixture namely E7 dispersed with small concentrations of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs). The dielectric and electro-optical characterizations have been carried out in the homogeneously and vertically aligned LC cells. The electro-optical response [...] Read more.
In this paper, we investigate a commercial nematic liquid crystal (LC) mixture namely E7 dispersed with small concentrations of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs). The dielectric and electro-optical characterizations have been carried out in the homogeneously and vertically aligned LC cells. The electro-optical response of LC molecules has been enhanced by 60% after the addition of MWCNTs, which is attributed to the reduced rotational viscosity in the composites. MWCNTs act like barricades for ionic impurities by reducing them up to ∼34.3% within the dispersion limit of 0.05 wt%. The nematic–isotropic phase transition temperature (TNI) of the E7 LC has also been shifted towards the higher temperature, resulting in a more ordered nematic phase. The enhanced birefringence and orientational order parameter in the LC-MWCNTs are attributed to π-π electron stacking between the LC molecules and the MWCNTs. The outlined merits of the LC-MWCNTs composites evince their suitability for ultrafast nematic-based electro-optical devices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers of Electronic Materials)
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Article
Development of Porous Polyacrylonitrile Composite Fibers: New Precursor Fibers with High Thermal Stability
Electron. Mater. 2021, 2(4), 454-465; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronicmat2040031 - 08 Oct 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1851
Abstract
Polyacrylonitrile (PAN) fibers with unique properties are becoming increasingly important as precursors for the fabrication of carbon fibers. Here, we suggest the preparation of porous PAN composite fibers to increase the homogeneity and thermal stability of the fibers. Based on the thermodynamics of [...] Read more.
Polyacrylonitrile (PAN) fibers with unique properties are becoming increasingly important as precursors for the fabrication of carbon fibers. Here, we suggest the preparation of porous PAN composite fibers to increase the homogeneity and thermal stability of the fibers. Based on the thermodynamics of polymer solutions, the ternary phase diagram of the PAN/H2O/Dimethylformamide (DMF) system has been modeled to introduce porosity in the fibers. Adding a conscious amount of water (4.1 wt.%) as a non-solvent to the PAN solution containing 1 wt.% of graphene oxide (GO), followed by wet spinning, has led to the preparation of porous composite fibers with high thermal stability and unique physicochemical properties. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) results elucidate that PAN/GO/H2O porous composite fibers have a higher thermal decomposition temperature, increased residual weight, reduced heat release rate, and higher crystallinity in comparison with the pristine PAN fibers, being a promising precursor for the development of high-performance carbon fibers. The results show a promising application window of the synthesized PAN fibers in electronic and electrochemical devices. Full article
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Article
High Rectification Ratio in Polymer Diode Rectifier through Interface Engineering with Self-Assembled Monolayer
Electron. Mater. 2021, 2(4), 445-453; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronicmat2040030 - 01 Oct 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2220
Abstract
In this work, we demonstrate P3HT (poly 3-hexylthiophene) organic rectifier diode both in rigid and flexible substrate with a rectification ratio up to 106. This performance has been achieved through tuning the work function of gold with a self-assembled monolayer of [...] Read more.
In this work, we demonstrate P3HT (poly 3-hexylthiophene) organic rectifier diode both in rigid and flexible substrate with a rectification ratio up to 106. This performance has been achieved through tuning the work function of gold with a self-assembled monolayer of 2,3,4,5,6-pentafluorobenzenethiol (PFBT). The diode fabricated on flexible paper substrate shows a very good electrical stability under bending tests and the frequency response is estimated at more than 20 MHz which is sufficient for radio frequency identification (RFID) applications. It is also shown that the low operating voltage of this diode can be a real advantage for use in a rectenna for energy harvesting systems. Simulations of the diode structure show that it can be used at GSM and Wi-Fi frequencies if the diode capacitance is reduced to a few pF and its series resistance to a few hundred ohms. Under these conditions, the DC voltages generated by the rectenna can reach a value up to 1 V. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers of Electronic Materials)
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