Research ArticleELECTRICAL ENGINEERING

Moisture-triggered physically transient electronics

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Science Advances  01 Sep 2017:
Vol. 3, no. 9, e1701222
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1701222
  • Fig. 1 Moisture-triggered physically transient electronics: A demonstration platform.

    (A) Schematic illustration of the moisture-triggered transience of the demonstration platform. (B) Explored illustration of an integrated electronics that includes a transistor, a diode, a memory, a capacitor, an antenna, and a resistor, with interconnects and dielectrics on a moisture-sensitive degradable polymer substrate. The inset in the lower right of the figure shows the top view. (C) Optical image of the circuit fabricated on the substrate. (D) Optical images showing the time-sequential dissolution of the device under 75% relative humidity.

  • Fig. 2 Moisture-triggered degradation of the polyanhydride films.

    (A) Ultraviolet (UV) light–initiated synthesis of the polyanhydride thin films with the moisture-sensitive anhydride group, which can hydrolyze into organic acids with moisture. (B) FTIR spectra of the polymer before and after the hydrolysis process. (C) The time-sequential change of pH values of the polyanhydride polymer with 10% PEG during the hydrolysis process occurring in water. (D) Optical images showing the time-sequential hydrolysis of the polymer with 10% PEG.

  • Fig. 3 Dissolution kinetics of core materials used in the moisture-triggered transient devices.

    (A) Chemical reactions responsible for triggered transience of metals and oxides. (B) Optical images showing the time-sequential dissolution of the Cu membrane. (C) Optical images showing the time-sequential dissolution of the IGZO membrane. (D) Optical images showing the time-sequential dissolution of the MgO membrane.

  • Fig. 4 Controlled transience process by controlling the environmental humidity levels and the polymer compositions.

    (A and B) Optical images showing the time-sequential dissolution of the Cu membranes under relative humidity (RH) of 0 and 45%, respectively. (C and D) Optical images showing the time-sequential dissolution of the Cu membranes on the polymer substrates with 20 and 30% PEG, respectively, under a relative humidity of 75%.

  • Fig. 5 Moisture-triggered transience of passive devices.

    (A) Optical images showing the time-sequential dissolution of a resistor. (B) Measured transience of a resistor. (C) Optical images showing the time-sequential dissolution of an antenna. (D) Measured transience of the antenna. (E) Optical images showing the time-sequential dissolution of the capacitor, with the top row showing the dissolution of a 4 × 4 array of capacitors. The bottom frames are the magnified images. (F) Measured transience of the capacitance and dielectric loss of the transient capacitor.

  • Fig. 6 Dissolution behaviors of the active devices of the moisture-triggered transient devices.

    (A) Optical images showing the time-sequential dissolution of the TFTs. The bottom frames are the magnified images. (B) Measured current-voltage (I-V) characteristics of a TFT before transience starts. (C) Measured transience of the transfer curves of the TFT. (D) Optical images showing the time-sequential dissolution of the logic gates. The bottom frames are the magnified images. (E) Measured voltage transfer curve and gain of the inverter before transience starts. (F) Measured transience of the output voltage of the inverter at Vin = 0 V. (G) Optical images showing the time-sequential dissolution of the diodes. The bottom frames are the magnified images. (H) Measured I-V curves of a diode before and after transience starts. (I) Measured transience of the current of a diode at V = 20 V. (J) Optical images showing the time-sequential dissolution of the photodetectors. The bottom frames are the magnified images. (K) Measured I-V curve of photodetector under UV and in the dark before transience starts. (L) Measured transience of the current of the photodetector at V = 10 V under UV and in the dark. (M) Optical images showing the time-sequential dissolution of the resistive memories. The bottom frames are the magnified images. (N) I-V characteristics of a resistive memory before transience starts. (O) The measured transience of the current of the resistive memory at V = 1 V at low-resistance state (LRS) and high-resistance state (HRS).

Supplementary Materials

  • Supplementary material for this article is available at http://advances.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/3/9/e1701222/DC1

    Synthesis scheme of the humidity-controlled degradable polymer

    Preparation scheme of shadow masks

    Preparation scheme of the metal and oxide membranes onto the polymer

    Fabrication of the Cu resistor and antenna onto the polymer

    Fabrication of the capacitor onto the polymer

    Fabrication of the field-effect transistor and inverter onto the polymer

    Fabrication of the Schottky diode onto the polymer

    Fabrication of the UV detector onto the polymer

    Fabrication of the resistive memory onto the polymer

    Tuning of components in the polymer preparation

    Characterization of the resistor

    Characterization of the antenna

    Characterization of the capacitor

    Characterization of the TFT

    Characterization of the inverter

    Characterization of the Schottky diode

    Characterization of the photodetector

    Characterization of the resistive memory device

    table S1. Precursors for polyanhydride films with different compositions (the calculation depends on the PEG molar ratio in the mixture).

    fig. S1. An optical image of the cross section of the polyanhydride substrate.

    fig. S2. The transmittance spectrum of a moisture-sensitive polyanhydride thin film in visible range.

    fig. S3. The time-sequential measurements of the FTIR spectra of the polymer thin films during the hydrolysis process under different relative humidity levels.

    fig. S4. Optical images showing the time-sequential hydrolysis of the polymer with different compositions of PEG from 0 to 50% at a relative humidity of 90%.

    fig. S5. Optical images showing the time-sequential hydrolysis of the polymer with different compositions of PEG from 0 to 50% at a relative humidity of 45%.

    fig. S6. Optical images showing the time-sequential hydrolysis of the polymer with different compositions of PEG from 0 to 50% at a relative humidity of 0%.

    fig. S7. Optical images showing the time-sequential hydrolysis of the polymer substrates with different film thicknesses under different relative humidity levels.

    fig. S8. Cu antenna.

    fig. S9. MgO-based capacitor.

    fig. S10. IGZO-based TFT.

    fig. S11. Logic gate inverter.

    fig. S12. IGZO-based diode.

    fig. S13. IGZO-based photodetector.

    fig. S14. IGZO-based resistive memory.

  • Supplementary Materials

    This PDF file includes:

    • Synthesis scheme of the humidity-controlled degradable polymer
    • Preparation scheme of shadow masks
    • Preparation scheme of the metal and oxide membranes onto the polymer
    • Fabrication of the Cu resistor and antenna onto the polymer
    • Fabrication of the capacitor onto the polymer
    • Fabrication of the field-effect transistor and inverter onto the polymer
    • Fabrication of the Schottky diode onto the polymer
    • Fabrication of the UV detector onto the polymer
    • Fabrication of the resistive memory onto the polymer
    • Tuning of components in the polymer preparation
    • Characterization of the resistor
    • Characterization of the antenna
    • Characterization of the capacitor
    • Characterization of the TFT
    • Characterization of the inverter
    • Characterization of the Schottky diode
    • Characterization of the photodetector
    • Characterization of the resistive memory device
    • table S1. Precursors for polyanhydride films with different compositions (the calculation depends on the PEG molar ratio in the mixture).
    • fig. S1. An optical image of the cross section of the polyanhydride substrate.
    • fig. S2. The transmittance spectrum of a moisture-sensitive polyanhydride thin film in visible range.
    • fig. S3. The time-sequential measurements of the FTIR spectra of the polymer thin films during the hydrolysis process under different relative humidity levels.
    • fig. S4. Optical images showing the time-sequential hydrolysis of the polymer with different compositions of PEG from 0 to 50% at a relative humidity of 90%.
    • fig. S5. Optical images showing the time-sequential hydrolysis of the polymer with different compositions of PEG from 0 to 50% at a relative humidity of 45%.
    • fig. S6. Optical images showing the time-sequential hydrolysis of the polymer with different compositions of PEG from 0 to 50% at a relative humidity of 0%.
    • fig. S7. Optical images showing the time-sequential hydrolysis of the polymer substrates with different film thicknesses under different relative humidity levels.
    • fig. S8. Cu antenna.
    • fig. S9. MgO-based capacitor.
    • fig. S10. IGZO-based TFT.
    • fig. S11. Logic gate inverter.
    • fig. S12. IGZO-based diode.
    • fig. S13. IGZO-based photodetector.
    • fig. S14. IGZO-based resistive memory.

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