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  1. Abstract

    We report on the enhancement of electrical properties of unsubstituted polythiophene (PT) through oxidative chemical vapor deposition (oCVD) and mild plasma treatment. The work function of p-type oCVD PT increases after the treatment, indicating the Fermi level shift toward the valence band edge and an increase in carrier density. In addition, regardless of initial values, nearly the same work function is obtained for all the plasma-treated oCVD PT films as high as ∼5.25 eV, suggesting the pseudo-equilibrium state is reached in the oCVD PT from the plasma treatment. This increase in carrier density after plasma treatment is attributed to the activation of initially not-activated dopant species (i.e. neutrally charged Br), which is analogous to the release of trapped charge carriers to the valence band of the oCVD PT. The enhancement of electrical properties of oCVD PT is directly related to the improvement of the thin film transistor performance such as drain current on/off ratio, ∼103and field effect mobility, 2.25 × 10−2cm2Vs−1, compared to untreated counterparts of 102and 0.09 × 10−2cm Vs−1, respectively.

     
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  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 1, 2024
  3. Memristors, a two-terminal device, have a resistance that can be changed and retained in two or more different states when subjected to electrical stresses. This unique function makes memristors now an attractive area of research for next-generation electronic devices such as memory and advanced computation. However, credible characterization methods for memristors are not fully established yet to understand fundamental working mechanisms and objectively evaluate figures of merit performance. This review encompasses various characterization methods from materials to electrical characteristics to identify the fundamentals of memristor operations. Meanwhile, large performance variation is the main bottleneck hindering the adoption of this class of devices in practical applications. Thus, the second part of this article focuses on the types of variation and other reliability issues of memristors. Possible strategies to enhance reliability are suggested as well. Topics covered in this review on memristors’ characterization techniques and reliability are of significant relevance to many studies that seek to advance the state of the art in electronic devices and systems towards neuromorphic computing. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 24, 2024
  4. The driving mileage of electric vehicles (EVs) has been substantially improved in recent years with the adoption of Ni-based layered oxide materials as the battery cathode. The average charging period of EVs is still time-consuming, compared with the short refueling time of an internal combustion engine vehicle. With the guidance from the United States Department of Energy, the charging time of refilling 60% of the battery capacity should be less than 6 min for EVs, indicating that the corresponding charging rate for the cathode materials is to be greater than 6C. However, the sluggish kinetic conditions and insufficient thermal stability of the Ni-based layered oxide materials hinder further application in fast-charging operations. Most of the recent review articles regarding Ni-based layered oxide materials as cathodes for lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) only touch degradation mechanisms under slow charging conditions. Of note, the fading mechanisms of the cathode materials for fast-charging, of which the importance abruptly increases due to the development of electric vehicles, may be significantly different from those of slow charging conditions. There are a few review articles regarding fast-charging; however, their perspectives are limited mostly to battery thermal management simulations, lacking experimental validations such as microscale structure degradations of Ni-based layered oxide cathode materials. In this review, a general and fundamental definition of fast-charging is discussed at first, and then we summarize the rate capability required in EVs and the electrochemical and kinetic properties of Ni-based layered oxide cathode materials. Next, the degradation mechanisms of LIBs leveraging Ni-based cathodes under fast-charging operation are systematically discussed from the electrode scale to the particle scale and finally the atom scale (lattice oxygen-level investigation). Then, various strategies to achieve higher rate capability, such as optimizing the synthesis process of cathode particles, fabricating single-crystalline particles, employing electrolyte additives, doping foreign ions, coating protective layers, and engineering the cathode architecture, are detailed. All these strategies need to be considered to enhance the electrochemical performance of Ni-based oxide cathode materials under fast-charging conditions. 
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  5. Ever-increasing demands for energy, particularly being environmentally friendly have promoted the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy.1Lithium-ion batteries (LIBs), arguably the most well-studied energy storage system, have dominated the energy market since their advent in the 1990s.2However, challenging issues regarding safety, supply of lithium, and high price of lithium resources limit the further advancement of LIBs for large-scale energy storage applications.3Therefore, attention is being concentrated on an alternative electrochemical energy storage device that features high safety, low cost, and long cycle life. Rechargeable aqueous zinc-ion batteries (ZIBs) is considered one of the most promising alternative energy storage systems due to the high theoretical energy and power densities where the multiple electrons (Zn2+) . In addition, aqueous ZIBs are safer due to non-flammable electrolyte (e.g., typically aqueous solution) and can be manufactured since they can be assembled in ambient air conditions.4As an essential component in aqueous Zn-based batteries, the Zn metal anode generally suffers from the growth of dendrites, which would affect battery performance in several ways. Second, the led by the loose structure of Zn dendrite may reduce the coulombic efficiency and shorten the battery lifespan.5

    Several approaches were suggested to improve the electrochemical stability of ZIBs, such as implementing an interfacial buffer layer that separates the active Zn from the bulk electrolyte.6However, the and thick thickness of the conventional Zn metal foils remain a critical challenge in this field, which may diminish the energy density of the battery drastically. According to a theretical calculation, the thickness of a Zn metal anode with an areal capacity of 1 mAh cm-2is about 1.7 μm. However, existing extrusion-based fabrication technologies are not capable of downscaling the thickness Zn metal foils below 20 μm.

    Herein, we demonstrate a thickness controllable coating approach to fabricate an ultrathin Zn metal anode as well as a thin dielectric oxide separator. First, a 1.7 μm Zn layer was uniformly thermally evaporated onto a Cu foil. Then, Al2O3, the separator was deposited through sputtering on the Zn layer to a thickness of 10 nm. The inert and high hardness Al2O3layer is expected to lower the polarization and restrain the growth of Zn dendrites. Atomic force microscopy was employed to evaluate the roughness of the surface of the deposited Zn and Al2O3/Zn anode structures. Long-term cycling stability was gauged under the symmetrical cells at 0.5 mA cm-2for 1 mAh cm-2. Then the fabricated Zn anode was paired with MnO2as a full cell for further electrochemical performance testing. To investigate the evolution of the interface between the Zn anode and the electrolyte, a home-developed in-situ optical observation battery cage was employed to record and compare the process of Zn deposition on the anodes of the Al2O3/Zn (demonstrated in this study) and the procured thick Zn anode. The surface morphology of the two Zn anodes after circulation was characterized and compared through scanning electron microscopy. The tunable ultrathin Zn metal anode with enhanced anode stability provides a pathway for future high-energy-density Zn-ion batteries.

    Obama, B., The irreversible momentum of clean energy.Science2017,355(6321), 126-129.

    Goodenough, J. B.; Park, K. S., The Li-ion rechargeable battery: a perspective.J Am Chem Soc2013,135(4), 1167-76.

    Li, C.; Xie, X.; Liang, S.; Zhou, J., Issues and Future Perspective on Zinc Metal Anode for Rechargeable Aqueous Zinc‐ion Batteries.Energy & Environmental Materials2020,3(2), 146-159.

    Jia, H.; Wang, Z.; Tawiah, B.; Wang, Y.; Chan, C.-Y.; Fei, B.; Pan, F., Recent advances in zinc anodes for high-performance aqueous Zn-ion batteries.Nano Energy2020,70.

    Yang, J.; Yin, B.; Sun, Y.; Pan, H.; Sun, W.; Jia, B.; Zhang, S.; Ma, T., Zinc Anode for Mild Aqueous Zinc-Ion Batteries: Challenges, Strategies, and Perspectives.Nanomicro Lett2022,14(1), 42.

    Yang, Q.; Li, Q.; Liu, Z.; Wang, D.; Guo, Y.; Li, X.; Tang, Y.; Li, H.; Dong, B.; Zhi, C., Dendrites in Zn-Based Batteries.Adv Mater2020,32(48), e2001854.

    Acknowledgment

    This work was partially supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) Award No. ECCS-1931088. S.L. and H.W.S. acknowledge the support from the Improvement of Measurement Standards and Technology for Mechanical Metrology (Grant No. 22011044) by KRISS.

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  6. By mimicking biomimetic synaptic processes, the success of artificial intelligence (AI) has been astounding with various applications such as driving automation, big data analysis, and natural-language processing.[1-4] Due to a large quantity of data transmission between the separated memory unit and the logic unit, the classical computing system with von Neumann architecture consumes excessive energy and has a significant processing delay.[5] Furthermore, the speed difference between the two units also causes extra delay, which is referred to as the memory wall.[6, 7] To keep pace with the rapid growth of AI applications, enhanced hardware systems that particularly feature an energy-efficient and high-speed hardware system need to be secured. The novel neuromorphic computing system, an in-memory architecture with low power consumption, has been suggested as an alternative to the conventional system. Memristors with analog-type resistive switching behavior are a promising candidate for implementing the neuromorphic computing system since the devices can modulate the conductance with cycles that act as synaptic weights to process input signals and store information.[8, 9]

    The memristor has sparked tremendous interest due to its simple two-terminal structure, including top electrode (TE), bottom electrode (BE), and an intermediate resistive switching (RS) layer. Many oxide materials, including HfO2, Ta2O5, and IGZO, have extensively been studied as an RS layer of memristors. Silicon dioxide (SiO2) features 3D structural conformity with the conventional CMOS technology and high wafer-scale homogeneity, which has benefited modern microelectronic devices as dielectric and/or passivation layers. Therefore, the use of SiO2as a memristor RS layer for neuromorphic computing is expected to be compatible with current Si technology with minimal processing and material-related complexities.

    In this work, we proposed SiO2-based memristor and investigated switching behaviors metallized with different reduction potentials by applying pure Cu and Ag, and their alloys with varied ratios. Heavily doped p-type silicon was chosen as BE in order to exclude any effects of the BE ions on the memristor performance. We previously reported that the selection of TE is crucial for achieving a high memory window and stable switching performance. According to the study which compares the roles of Cu (switching stabilizer) and Ag (large switching window performer) TEs for oxide memristors, we have selected the TE materials and their alloys to engineer the SiO2-based memristor characteristics. The Ag TE leads to a larger memory window of the SiO2memristor, but the device shows relatively large variation and less reliability. On the other hand, the Cu TE device presents uniform gradual switching behavior which is in line with our previous report that Cu can be served as a stabilizer, but with small on/off ratio.[9] These distinct performances with Cu and Ag metallization leads us to utilize a Cu/Ag alloy as the TE. Various compositions of Cu/Ag were examined for the optimization of the memristor TEs. With a Cu/Ag alloying TE with optimized ratio, our SiO2based memristor demonstrates uniform switching behavior and memory window for analog switching applications. Also, it shows ideal potentiation and depression synaptic behavior under the positive/negative spikes (pulse train).

    In conclusion, the SiO2memristors with different metallization were established. To tune the property of RS layer, the sputtering conditions of RS were varied. To investigate the influence of TE selections on switching performance of memristor, we integrated Cu, Ag and Cu/Ag alloy as TEs and compared the switch characteristics. Our encouraging results clearly demonstrate that SiO2with Cu/Ag is a promising memristor device with synaptic switching behavior in neuromorphic computing applications.

    Acknowledgement

    This work was supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) Award No. ECCS-1931088. S.L. and H.W.S. acknowledge the support from the Improvement of Measurement Standards and Technology for Mechanical Metrology (Grant No. 22011044) by KRISS.

    References

    [1] Younget al.,IEEE Computational Intelligence Magazine,vol. 13, no. 3, pp. 55-75, 2018.

    [2] Hadsellet al.,Journal of Field Robotics,vol. 26, no. 2, pp. 120-144, 2009.

    [3] Najafabadiet al.,Journal of Big Data,vol. 2, no. 1, p. 1, 2015.

    [4] Zhaoet al.,Applied Physics Reviews,vol. 7, no. 1, 2020.

    [5] Zidanet al.,Nature Electronics,vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 22-29, 2018.

    [6] Wulfet al.,SIGARCH Comput. Archit. News,vol. 23, no. 1, pp. 20–24, 1995.

    [7] Wilkes,SIGARCH Comput. Archit. News,vol. 23, no. 4, pp. 4–6, 1995.

    [8] Ielminiet al.,Nature Electronics,vol. 1, no. 6, pp. 333-343, 2018.

    [9] Changet al.,Nano Letters,vol. 10, no. 4, pp. 1297-1301, 2010.

    [10] Qinet al., Physica Status Solidi (RRL) - Rapid Research Letters, pssr.202200075R1, In press, 2022.

     
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  7. It has been challenging to synthesize p-type SnOx(1≤x<2) and engineer the electrical properties such as carrier density and mobility due to the narrow processing window and the localized oxygen 2p orbitals near the valence band.

    We recently reported on the processing of p-type SnOx and an oxide-based p-n heterostructures, demonstrating high on/off rectification ratio (>103), small turn-on voltage (<0.5 V), and low saturation current (~1×10-10A)1. In order to further understand the p-type oxide and engineer the properties for various electronic device applications, it is important to identify (or establish) the dominating doping and transport mechanisms. The low dopability in p-type SnOx, of which the causation is also closely related to the narrow processing window, needs to be mitigated so that the electrical properties of the material are to be adequately engineered2, 3.

    Herein, we report on the multifunctional encapsulation of p-SnOxto limit the surface adsorption of oxygen and selectively permeate hydrogen into the p-SnOxchannel for thin film transistor (TFT) applications. Time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry measurements identified that ultra-thin SiO2as a multifunctional encapsulation layer effectively suppressed the oxygen adsorption on the back channel surface of p-SnOxand augmented hydrogen density across the entire thickness of the channel. Encapsulated p-SnOx-based TFTs demonstrated much-enhanced channel conductance modulation in response to the gate bias applied, featuring higher on-state current and lower off-state current. The relevance between the TFT performance and the effects of oxygen suppression and hydrogen permeation is discussed in regard to the intrinsic and extrinsic doping mechanisms. These results are supported by density-functional-theory calculations.

    Acknowledgement

    This work was supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) Award No. ECCS-1931088. S.L. and H.W.S. acknowledge the support from the Improvement of Measurement Standards and Technology for Mechanical Metrology (Grant No. 20011028) by KRISS. K.N. was supported by Basic Science Research Program (NRF-2021R11A1A01051246) through the NRF Korea funded by the Ministry of Education.

    References

    Lee, D. H.; Park, H.; Clevenger, M.; Kim, H.; Kim, C. S.; Liu, M.; Kim, G.; Song, H. W.; No, K.; Kim, S. Y.; Ko, D.-K.; Lucietto, A.; Park, H.; Lee, S., High-Performance Oxide-Based p–n Heterojunctions Integrating p-SnOx and n-InGaZnO.ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces2021,13(46), 55676-55686.

    Hautier, G.; Miglio, A.; Ceder, G.; Rignanese, G.-M.; Gonze, X., Identification and design principles of low hole effective mass p-type transparent conducting oxides.Nat Commun2013,4.

    Yim, K.; Youn, Y.; Lee, M.; Yoo, D.; Lee, J.; Cho, S. H.; Han, S., Computational discovery of p-type transparent oxide semiconductors using hydrogen descriptor.npj Computational Materials2018,4(1), 17.

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  8. All-solid-state batteries (ASSBs) have garnered increasing attention due to the enhanced safety, featuring nonflammable solid electrolytes as well as the potential to achieve high energy density. 1 The advancement of the ASSBs is expected to provide, arguably, the most straightforward path towards practical, high-energy, and rechargeable batteries based on metallic anodes. 1 However, the sluggish ion transmission at the cathode-electrolyte (solid/solid) interface would result in the high resistant at the contact and limit the practical implementation of these all solid-state materials in real world batteries. 2 Several methods were suggested to enhance the kinetic condition of the ion migration between the cathode and the solid electrolyte (SE). 3 A composite strategy that mixes active materials and SEs for the cathode is a general way to decrease the ion transmission barrier at the cathode-electrolyte interface. 3 The active material concentration in the cathode is reduced as much as the SE portion increases by which the energy density of the ASSB is restricted. In addition, the mixing approach generally accompanies lattice mismatches between the cathode active materials and the SE, thus providing only limited improvements, which is imputed by random contacts between the cathode active materials and the SE during the mixing process. Implementing high-pressure for the electrode and electrolyte of ASSB in the assembling process has been verified is a but effective way to boost the ion transmission ability between the cathode active materials and the SE by decreasing the grain boundary impedance. Whereas the short-circuit of the battery would be induced by the mechanical deformation of the electrolyte under high pressure. 4 Herein, we demonstrate a novel way to address the ion transmission problem at the cathode-electrolyte interface in ASSBs. Starting from the cathode configuration, the finite element method (FEM) was employed to evaluate the current concentration and the distribution of the space charge layer at the cathode-electrolyte interface. Hierarchical three-dimensional (HTD) structures are found to have a higher Li + transfer number (t Li+ ), fewer free anions, and the weaker space-charge layer at the cathode-electrolyte interface in the resulting FEM simulation. To take advantage of the HTD structure, stereolithography is adopted as a manufacturing technique and single-crystalline Ni-rich (SCN) materials are selected as the active materials. Next, the manufactured HTD cathode is sintered at 600 °C in an N 2 atmosphere for the carbonization of the resin, which induces sufficient electronic conductivity for the cathode. Then, the gel-like Li 1.4 Al 0.4 Ti 1.6 (PO 4 ) 3 (LATP) precursor is synthesized and filled into the voids of the HTD structure cathode sufficiently. And the filled HTD structure cathodes are sintered at 900 °C to achieve the crystallization of the LATP gel. Scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) is used to unveil the morphology of the cathode-electrolyte interface between the sintered HTD cathode and the in-situ generated electrolyte (LATP). A transient phase has been found generated at the interface and matched with both lattices of the SCN and the SE, accelerating the transmission of the Li-ions, which is further verified by density functional theory calculations. In addition, Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy demonstrates the preserved interface between HTD cathode and SEs. Atomic force microscopy is employed to measure the potential image of the cross-sectional interface by the peak force tapping mode. The average potential of modified samples is lower than the sample that mix SCN and SEs simply in the 2D planar structure, which confirms a weakened space charge layer by the enhanced contact capability as well as the ion transmission ability. To see if the demonstrated method is universally applicable, LiNi 0.8 Co 0.1 Mn 0.1 O 2 (NCM811) is selected as the cathode active material and manufactured in the same way as the SCN. The HTD cathode based on NCM811 exhibits higher electrochemical performance compared with the reference sample based on the 2D planar mixing-type cathode. We believe such a demonstrated universal strategy provides a new guideline to engineer the cathode/electrolyte interface by revolutionizing electrode structures that can be applicable to all-solid-state batteries. Figure 1. Schematic of comparing of traditional 2D planar cathode and HTD cathode in ASSB Tikekar, M. D. , et al. , Nature Energy (2016) 1 (9), 16114 Banerjee, A. , et al. , Chem Rev (2020) 120 (14), 6878 Chen, R. , et al. , Chem Rev (2020) 120 (14), 6820 Cheng, X. , et al. , Advanced Energy Materials (2018) 8 (7) Figure 1 
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  9. Conventional lithium-ion batteries are unable to meet the increasing demands for high-energy storage systems, because of their limited theoretical capacity. 1 In recent years, intensive attention has been paid to enhancing battery energy storage capability to satisfy the increasing energy demand in modern society and reduce the average energy capacity cost. Among the candidates for next generation high energy storage systems, the lithium sulfur battery is especially attractive because of its high theoretical specific energy (around 2600 W h kg-1) and potential cost reduction. In addition, sulfur is a cost effective and environmentally friendly material due to its abundance and low-toxicity. 2 Despite all of these advantages, the practical application of lithium sulfur batteries to date has been hindered by a series of obstacles, including low active material loading, poor cycle life, and sluggish sulfur conversion kinetics. 3 Achieving high mass loading cathode in the traditional 2D planar thick electrode has been challenged. The high distorsion of the traditional planar thick electrodes for ion/electron transfer leads to the limited utilization of active materials and high resistance, which eventually results in restricted energy density and accelerated electrode failure. 4 Furthermore, of the electrolyte to pores in the cathode and utilization ratio of active materials. Catalysts such as MnO 2 and Co dopants were employed to accelerate the sulfur conversion reaction during the charge and discharge process. 5 However, catalysts based on transition metals suffer from poor electronic conductivity. Other catalysts such as transition metal dopants are also limited due to the increased process complexities. . In addition, the severe shuttle effects in Li-S batteries may lead to fast failures of the battery. Constructing a protection layer on the separator for limiting the transmission of soluble polysulfides is considered an effective way to eliminate the shuttle phenomenon. However, the soluble sulfides still can largely dissolve around the cathode side causing the sluggish reaction condition for sulfur conversion. 5 To mitigate the issues above, herein we demonstrate a novel sulfur electrode design strategy enabled by additive manufacturing and oxidative vapor deposition (oCVD). Specifically, the electrode is strategically designed into a hierarchal hollow structure via stereolithography technique to increase sulfur usage. The active material concentration loaded to the battery cathode is controlled precisely during 3D printing by adjusting the number of printed layers. Owing to its freedom in geometry and structure, the suggested design is expected to improve the Li ions and electron transport rate considerably, and hence, the battery power density. The printed cathode is sintered at 700 °C at N 2 atmosphere to achieve carbonization of the cathode during which intrinsic carbon defects (e.g., pentagon carbon) as catalytic defect sites are in-situ generated on the cathode. The intrinsic carbon defects equipped with adequate electronic conductivity. The sintered 3D cathode is then transferred to the oCVD chamber for depositing a thin PEDOT layer as a protection layer to restrict dissolutions of sulfur compounds in the cathode. Density functional theory calculation reveals the electronic state variance between the structures with and without defects, the structure with defects demonstrates the higher kinetic condition for sulfur conversion. To further identify the favorable reaction dynamic process, the in-situ XRD is used to characterize the transformation between soluble and insoluble polysulfides, which is the main barrier in the charge and discharge process of Li-S batteries. The results show the oCVD coated 3D printed sulfur cathode exhibits a much higher kinetic process for sulfur conversion, which benefits from the highly tailored hierarchal hollow structure and the defects engineering on the cathode. Further, the oCVD coated 3D printed sulfur cathode also demonstrates higher stability during long cycling enabled by the oCVD PEDOT protection layer, which is verified by an absorption energy calculation of polysulfides at PEDOT. Such modeling and analysis help to elucidate the fundamental mechanisms that govern cathode performance and degradation in Li-S batteries. The current study also provides design strategies for the sulfur cathode as well as selection approaches to novel battery systems. References: Bhargav, A., (2020). Lithium-Sulfur Batteries: Attaining the Critical Metrics. Joule 4 , 285-291. Chung, S.-H., (2018). Progress on the Critical Parameters for Lithium–Sulfur Batteries to be Practically Viable. Advanced Functional Materials 28 , 1801188. Peng, H.-J.,(2017). Review on High-Loading and High-Energy Lithium–Sulfur Batteries. Advanced Energy Materials 7 , 1700260. Chu, T., (2021). 3D printing‐enabled advanced electrode architecture design. Carbon Energy 3 , 424-439. Shi, Z., (2021). Defect Engineering for Expediting Li–S Chemistry: Strategies, Mechanisms, and Perspectives. Advanced Energy Materials 11 . Figure 1 
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