Researchers Developed New Method to Build Ultrathin Film

Researchers developed a new method to build ultrathin electronic film, according to a study conducted on April 26, 2018.

This study was conducted by the researchers at University of Tokyo. This method can be used to build large areas of semiconductive material that is just two molecules thick and a total of 4.4 nanometers tall. This film is the first of its kind that is created with liquid solution processing, which is a standard manufacturing process that minimizes costs.

Assistant Professor Shunto Arai said, “We want to give electronic devices the features of real cell membranes: flexible, strong, sensitive, and super thin. We found a novel way to design semiconductive single molecular bilayers that allows us to manufacture large surface areas, up to 100 square centimeters (39 square inches). They can function as high performance thin film transistors and could have many applications in the future.”

A concept called as geometric frustration is responsible for their success. This concept uses a molecular shape that makes it difficult for molecules to settle in multiple layers on top of each other. The film is transparent, however, the forces of attraction and repulsion between the molecules create an organized, repeated herringbone pattern when the film is viewed from above through a microscope. The overall molecular structure of the bilayer is highly stable. The conventional methods of creating semiconductive molecular bilayers is not capable of controlling the thickness without causing cracks or an irregular surface.

This film might find applications in flexible electronics or chemical detection due to its semiconductive properties. Furthermore, the single molecular bilayer created by researchers is much faster than amorphous silicon thin film transistors. Researchers will continue to investigate the properties of geometrically frustrated single molecular bilayers and potential applications for chemical detection.

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