In recent years, the electronics research landscape has witnessed the emergence of a new highly-attractive paradigm known as large-area electronics (LAE). This involves electronics that is fabricated with unconventional ink-based semiconductors, using facile methods (e.g., printing or coating), and onto low-cost flexible/stretchable substrates. Therefore, large-area electronics is widely compatible with high-throughput roll-to-roll manufacturing, and can be realized in unique form factors. This would potentially allow large-area electronics to be disseminated in the objects and environments of our daily lives, thereby providing a formidable platform for wearable devices for health and wellness monitoring, smart buildings, smart packaging, and the Internet of Things (IoT).
At the Pecunia Research Group, we aim to develop novel approaches for large-area electronics to make an impact in the real world. Based on our understanding that optimum solutions may be found by bringing together diverse materials that synergistically complement one another, we pursue large-area electronics that is based on a wide range of solution-processible materials, including organic semiconductors, amorphous metal-oxide semiconductors, semiconducting carbon nanotubes, and lead-free perovskites. For instance, this has allowed us to develop a high-performance solution-based complementary technology on foil comprising a p-channel polymer semiconductor, an n-channel metal-oxide semiconductor, and a shared polymer gate dielectric.
For large-area electronics to be applicable to real-world applications, we believe that an important challenge to be overcome is to develop printable TFT technologies a) that are easy to fabricate, and b) that can operate with the limited supply voltage and power available from printed batteries or compact energy harvesters (e.g., thin-film solar cells, RF harvesters, compact thermoelectric modules). For instance, our effort in this direction has been prized with the first-ever demonstration of two-stage differential amplifiers based on solution-processible semiconductors and operating at battery-compatible voltages. Additionally, we have recently developed a new paradigm in ambipolar TFT electronics that enables easy-to-fabricate complementary-like circuits capable of ultralow-power (<1 nW/gate) and ultralow-voltage (<0.5 V) operation. With a view of using this as platform for place-and-forget devices for sensing applications, we have additionally demonstrated the capability of this technology to deliver self-powered electronics in combination with mm-scale easy-to-fabricate thin-film solar cells.
Solution-based complementary technology on foil comprising a p-channel polymer semiconductor, an n-channel metal-oxide semiconductor, and a shared polymer gate dielectric. This technology has enabled us to demonstrate two-stage differential amplifiers based on solution-processible semiconductors with cutting-edge performance and operating at battery-compatible voltages (10.1002/adma.201606938).
L. Portilla*, J. Zhao†, Y. Wang, L. Sun, F. Li, M. Robin, M. Wei, Z. Cui, L. G. Occhipinti†, T. D. Anthopoulos†, V. Pecunia†*, Ambipolar Deep-Subthreshold Printed-Carbon-Nanotube Transistors for Ultralow-Voltage and Ultralow-Power Electronics, ACS Nano, 14, 10, 14036–14046, 2020. DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.0c06619
V. Pecunia†*, M. Fattori, S. Abdinia, E. Cantatore, H. Sirringhaus, Organic and Amorphous-Metal-Oxide Flexible Analogue Electronics, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 2018. ISBN: 9781108458191, DOI: 10.1017/9781108559034
V. Pecunia†*, Organic Narrowband Photodetectors: Materials, Devices and Applications, Institute of Physics (IOP) Publishing, Bristol, UK, 2019. ISBN: 9780750326629, DOI: 10.1088/978-0-7503-2663-6.
V. Pecunia†*, M. Nikolka*, A. Sou, I. Nasrallah, A. Y. Amin, I. McCulloch, H. Sirringhaus†, Trap Healing for High-Performance Low-Voltage Polymer Transistors and Solution-Based Analog Amplifiers on Foil, Advanced Materials, 29, 1606938, 2017. DOI: 10.1002/adma.201606938
V. Pecunia, K. Banger, A. Sou, H. Sirringhaus†, Solution-Based Self-Aligned Hybrid Organic/Metal-Oxide Complementary Logic with Megahertz Operation, Organic Electronics, 21, 177–183, 2015. DOI: 10.1016/j.orgel.2015.03.004
V. Pecunia, K. Banger, H. Sirringhaus†, High-Performance Solution-Processed Amorphous-Oxide-Semiconductor TFTs with Organic Polymeric Gate Dielectrics, Advanced Electronic Materials, 1, 1400024, 2015. DOI: 10.1002/aelm.201400024