Aerosol Jet Printed p- and n-type Semiconductor Materials: Practical Routes to Printed Electronics

Theme: Aerosol Technology

Start date: Cohort 2: 2020

Supervisors: Dr Andrew Johnson (Bath) 

The low cost fabrication of high efficiency semiconducting thin films is of paramount importance across a range of industries including electronics and energy generation. With the continual growth of thin film technologies, aerosol jet printing (AJP) has recently attracted interest in the industry as a nonsurface-limited way of depositing functional materials. AJP involves the aerosolisation of ink, followed by beam collimation and aerodynamic focusing, before impaction on a substrate. Metal oxides and metal chalcogenides are important classes of semiconducting materials that can be used to add functionality to inks; they can be used in conjunction with AJP as a means to accessing semiconducting functionality on a wide range of substrates, providing a practical route to printable electronics. This work aims to synthesise and deposit p-type oxide materials, with high hole mobility, using AJP. Air-sensitive synthesis techniques will be employed in order to access the desired materials, initially focusing on Sn6 oxo clusters as a route to p-type tin(II) oxide films. A range of analytical techniques will be used to confirm the identity of the synthesised material before preliminary deposition via aerosol-assisted chemical vapour deposition (AACVD). Following this, the metal-oxo cluster will be incorporated in inks and printed using a Dimatix dmp-2800 inkjet printer where the materials can be assessed for a wide range of uses, whilst gaining an understanding of the optimal process parameters required for successful AJP. Reported herein are the proposed methodologies to be utilised, potential impact on scientific innovation and challenges associated with this work.