Solid-state densification of spun-cast self-assembled monolayers for use in ultra-thin hybrid dielectrics

Daniel O Hutchins, Orb Acton, Tobias Weidner, Nathan Cernetic, Joe E. Baio, David G. Castner, Hong Ma, Alex K-Y Jen

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Ultra-thin self-assembled monolayer (SAM)-oxide hybrid dielectrics have gained significant interest for their application in low-voltage organic thin film transistors (OTFTs). A [8-(11-phenoxy-undecyloxy)-octyl]phosphonic acid (PhO-19-PA) SAM on ultrathin AlOx (2.5 nm) has been developed to significantly enhance the dielectric performance of inorganic oxides through reduction of leakage current while maintaining similar capacitance to the underlying oxide structure. Rapid processing of this SAM in ambient conditions is achieved by spin coating, however, as-cast monolayer density is not sufficient for dielectric applications. Thermal annealing of a bulk spun-cast PhO-19-PA molecular film is explored as a mechanism for SAM densification. SAM density, or surface coverage, and order are examined as a function of annealing temperature. These SAM characteristics are probed through atomic force microscopy (AFM), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and near edge X-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopy (NEXAFS). It is found that at temperatures sufficient to melt the as-cast bulk molecular film, SAM densification is achieved; leading to a rapid processing technique for high performance SAM-oxide hybrid dielectric systems utilizing a single wet processing step. To demonstrate low-voltage devices based on this hybrid dielectric (with leakage current density of 7.7×10(-8) A cm(-2) and capacitance density of 0.62 µF cm(-2) at 3 V), pentacene thin-film transistors (OTFTs) are fabricated and yield sub 2 V operation and charge carrier mobilites of up to 1.1 cm(2) V(-1) s(-1).

Original languageEnglish
JournalApplied Surface Science
Pages (from-to)908-915
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Journal Article


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