Solution Combustion Synthesis: Low-Temperature Processing for p-Type Cu:NiO Thin Films for Transparent Electronics

Ao Liu, Huihui Zhu, Zidong Guo, You Meng, Guoxia Liu, Elvira Fortunato, Rodrigo Martins, Fukai Shan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

119 Citations (Scopus)


Low-temperature solution processing opens a new window for the fabrication of oxide semiconductors due to its simple, low cost, and large-area uniformity. Herein, by using solution combustion synthesis (SCS), p-type Cu-doped NiO (Cu:NiO) thin films are fabricated at a temperature lower than 150 °C. The light doping of Cu substitutes the Ni site and disperses the valence band of the NiO matrix, leading to an enhanced p-type conductivity. Their integration into thin-film transistors (TFTs) demonstrates typical p-type semiconducting behavior. The optimized Cu5%NiO TFT exhibits outstanding electrical performance with a hole mobility of 1.5 cm2 V−1 s−1, a large on/off current ratio of ≈104, and clear switching characteristics under dynamic measurements. The employment of a high-k ZrO2 gate dielectric enables a low operating voltage (≤2 V) of the TFTs, which is critical for portable and battery-driven devices. The construction of a light-emitting-diode driving circuit demonstrates the high current control capability of the resultant TFTs. The achievement of the low-temperature-processed Cu:NiO thin films via SCS not only provides a feasible approach for low-cost flexible p-type oxide electronics but also represents a significant step toward the development of complementary metal–oxide semiconductor circuits.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1701599
JournalAdvanced Materials
Issue number34
Publication statusPublished - 13 Sep 2017


  • low-temperature processing
  • low-voltage operation
  • p-type oxide semiconductor
  • solution combustion synthesis
  • thin-film transistor


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