Modulating the Faradic Operation of All-Printed Organic Electrochemical Transistors by Facile in Situ Modification of the Gate Electrode

Organic electrochemical transistors (OECTs) operated in the faradic regime were shown as outperforming transducers of bioelectric signals in vitro and in vivo. Fabrication by additive manufacturing techniques fosters OECTs as ideal candidates for point-of-care applications, as well as imposes limitations on the choice of materials and their processing conditions. Here, we address the question of how the response of fully printed OECTs depends on gate electrode material. Toward this end, we investigate the redox processes underlying the operation of OECTs under faradic regime, to show OECTs with carbon gate (C-gate) that exhibit no current modulation gate voltages <1.2 V. This is a hallmark that no interference with the faradic operation of the device enabled by redox processes occurs when operating C-gate OECTs in the low-voltage range as label-free biosensors for the detection of electroactive (bio)­molecules. To tune the faradic response of the device, we electrodeposited Au on the carbon gate (Au–C-gate), obtaining a device that operates at lower gate voltage values than C-gate OECT. The presence of gold on the gate allowed further modification of the electrical performances by functionalization of the Au–C-gate with different self-assembled monolayers by fast potential-pulse-assisted method. Moreover, we show that the presence in the electrolyte solution of an external redox probe can be used to drive the faradic response of both C- and Au–C-gate OECTs, impacting on the gate potential window that yields effective drain current modulation. The results presented here suggest possible new strategies for controlling the faradic operation regime of OECTs sensors by chemical modification of the gate surface.