Nanoscale Variable-Area Electronic Devices: Contact Mechanics and Hypersensitive Pressure Application

L. Merces, R.F. de Oliveira, C.C. Bof Bufon
Brazilian Center of Research in Energy and Materials (CNPEM),

Keywords: nanomembranes, pressure sensor, roll-up


Nanomembranes (NMs) are freestanding, nanometer-thick structures with lateral dimensions up to the microscale. In nanoelectronics, NMs have been used to promote reliable electrical contacts with distinct nanomaterials as well as to create a series of ultra-compact devices [1,2]. Here, we propose a tunable device architecture that is capable of deterministically changing both the contact geometry and the current injection in nanoscale electronic junctions. The device is based on a hybrid arrangement that joins metallic NMs and molecular ensembles, resulting in a versatile, mechanically compliant element. Such a feature allows the devices to accommodate a mechanical stimulus applied over their top electrode, enlarging the junctions’ active area without compromising the molecules [3]. A model derived from the Hertzian mechanics is employed to correlate the contact issues with the electronic transport in these novel devices denominated as variable-area transport junctions (VATJs). As a proof of concept, we propose a direct application of the VATJs as compression gauges envisioning the development of hypersensitive pressure pixels. Regarding sensitivity (∼480 kPa−1), the VATJ-based transducers constitute a breakthrough in nanoelectronics, with the prospect of carrying its sister-field of molecular electronics out of the laboratory via hybrid organic/inorganic nanoarchitectonics [3]. Acknowledgments: FAPESP (2014/25979-2), CNPq (153282/2018-5), CAPES (88882.143389/2017-01) References: [1] Merces, L.; Oliveira, R.F.; de Camargo, D. H. S.; Bufon, C. C. B. “Long-Range Coherent Tunneling in Physisorbed Molecular Ensembles.” J. Phys. Chem. C, 121 (31), pp 16673–16681 (2017). [2] Torikai, K.; de Oliveira, R. F.; de Camargo, D. H. S.; Bufon, C. C. B. “Low-Voltage, Flexible, and Self-Encapsulated Ultracompact Organic Thin-Film Transistors Based on Nanomembranes.” Nano Letters 18 (9) 5552-5561, 2018. [3] Merces, L.; de Oliveira, R.; Bufon, C. C. B. “Nanoscale Variable-Area Electronic Devices: Contact Mechanics and Hypersensitive Pressure Application.” ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 10 (45) 39168–39176 (2018)