Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Nanoscale Science and Engineering


Nanoscale Engineering

Content Description

1 online resource (xv, 185 pages) : color illustrations.

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Harry Efstathiadis

Committee Members

Carl Ventrice, Hassaram Bakhru, John Zeller, Steven Novak


Silicon, Thin film transistors, Thin films, Crystallization, Nanosilicon

Subject Categories

Nanoscience and Nanotechnology


Underpinning much of the technological innovation over the past few decades in the fields of sensors, lighting, displays, and energy conversion has been thin-film electronics. While many of the surfaces in our environment have curvature, silicon wafers do not. Flexible electronics attempt to overcome this fundamental limitation in form factor. Flexible thin-film transistors (TFTs) can be fabricated over large areas to provide switching and driving elements for displays and other devices. While printable organic semiconductors have made significant advances over the past few years, they cannot match the performance capability, electrical quality, temperature compatibility, or stability of silicon. For this reason, amorphous silicon (a-Si) remains the leading semiconductor used for TFTs in today’s ultra-thin electronics. However, despite inorganic semiconductors such as silicon being preferred, their amorphous phases are not. Poor electronic properties of amorphous materials pose a severe limitation on the ultimate functionality of next generation devices. Considerable research is currently underway to develop processes that convert high value semiconductors, like Si, from low performing amorphous materials into a high performing crystalline form. To date, no such process has demonstrated the ability to produce these materials in the high quality, large area, and low-cost format that is necessary to achieve scale.