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Pure Appl. Chem., 2006, Vol. 78, No. 9, pp. 1723-1739

Printed nanoparticulate composites for silicon thick-film electronics

D. T. Britton and M. Härting

Department of Physics, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch 7701, South Africa

Abstract: The production of active semiconductor thick-film components typically involves the deposition of precursor materials and subsequent thermal processing to produce a massive semiconductor layer. In this paper, we present electronic materials, based on nanoparticulate silicon, to produce the active semiconducting layer, which can simply be printed onto low-temperature substrates such as paper. Particular emphasis will be given to the structure, morphology, and composition of the nanoparticles, which are produced by either gas-phase decomposition of silane or mechanical attrition of bulk silicon. Of further importance are the electrical characteristics of the composite materials, in which the active semiconductor is formed from an interconnecting backbone of silicon particles. These will be discussed for example structures, including junction field effect transistors (FETs), insulated-gate FETs, and photodiodes.