Small Molecule Organic Field Effect Transistors: Vacuum Evaporation and Solution Processable Monolayer Devices

by Adam Valentine Sheridan Parry

Institution: University of Manchester
Year: 2013
Keywords: organic semiconductor; SAMFET; OFET; organic electronics; film growth; monolayer transistors
Record ID: 1398684
Full text PDF: http://www.manchester.ac.uk/escholar/uk-ac-man-scw:215804


The creation of organic electronics is not only an attractive replacement for amorphous silicon devices, but offers the ability to produce novel technologies such as flexible displays and chemical or biological sensors. Control of the semiconducting film for such devices is of great importance. The fabrication of monolayer devices of a high performance offer a desirable way of creating high sensitivity sensors. Achieving a high level of performance for ultra-thin and monolayer devices, where the charge transport layer is effectively the thickness of the film, requires the careful control of deposition conditions. Thin films of the molecule 5,5'-bis(4-n-hexylphenyl)-2,2'-bithiophene (PTTP) were investigated with respect to their crystal structure, growth dynamics and device performance. Optimised conditions led to the highest reported performance for PTTP, to the best of our knowledge, with mobilities greater than 0.1 cm2V-1s-1. These results allowed the creation of monolayer and multilayer devices, resulting in a saturation thickness of approximately 2.1 monolayers, where the bulk performance was reached. This confirmed the presence of the conduction channel within the first few monolayers and could potentially lead to an optimised device for chemical or biological sensing. The development of a solution processed method for creating monlayers of PTTP was also investigated. Creating a compound with the ability to self assemble on a surface, allowing a controlled monolayer to form, involved the use of a trichlorosilane anchoring group attached to a PTTP core by an alkyl spacer. Solution processed self assembled monolayer field effect transistors (SAMFETs) were formed in less than 10 hours, reaching mobilities as high as 1.7 X 10-2 cm2V-1s-1 . This simple method for creating transistors could further the use of monolayer devices in sensing applications and integrated circuits. Furthermore, the development of solution processed PTTP was undertaken. By blending the small molecule with the insulating polymer PMMA, phase separation of the components led to the creation of thin, crystalline films of PTTP. Working devices were fabricated that required as little as 0.05 \% w/v of the small molecule. This attractive method, of reducing the required material and combination of both insulating and semiconducting components, is a versatile approach to greatly simplify the device processing steps required.