Low-temperature, solution-processed ZrO2:B Thin film: A bifunctional inorganic/organic interfacial glue for flexible thin-film transistors

Jee Ho Park, Jin Young Oh, Sun Woong Han, Tae Il Lee, Hong Koo Baik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


A solution-processed boron-doped peroxo-zirconium oxide (ZrO2:B) thin film has been found to have multifunctional characteristics, providing both hydrophobic surface modification and a chemical glue layer. Specifically, a ZrO2:B thin film deposited on a hydrophobic layer becomes superhydrophilic following ultraviolet-ozone (UVO) treatment, whereas the same treatment has no effect on the hydrophobicity of the hydrophobic layer alone. Investigation of the ZrO2:B/hydrophobic interface layer using angle-resolved X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (AR XPS) confirmed it to be chemically bonded like glue. Using the multifunctional nature of the ZrO2:B thin film, flexible amorphous indium oxide (In2O3) thin-film transistors (TFTs) were subsequently fabricated on a polyimide substrate along with a ZrO2:B/poly-4-vinylphenol (PVP) dielectric. An aqueous In2O3 solution was successfully coated onto the ZrO2:B/PVP dielectric, and the surface and chemical properties of the PVP and ZrO2:B thin films were analyzed by contact angle measurement, atomic force microscopy (AFM), Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The surface-engineered PVP dielectric was found to have a lower leakage current density (Jleak) of 4.38 × 10-8 A/cm2 at 1 MV/cm, with no breakdown behavior observed up to a bending radius of 5 mm. In contrast, the electrical characteristics of the flexible amorphous In2O3 TFT such as on/off current ratio (Ion/off) and electron mobility remained similar up to 10 mm of bending without degradation, with the device being nonactivated at a bending radius of 5 mm. These results suggest that ZrO2:B thin films could be used for low-temperature, solution-processed surface-modified flexible devices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4494-4503
Number of pages10
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Mar 4

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 American Chemical Society.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)


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