American Chemical Society
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Ultraviolet Light-Activated Charge Modulation Heterojunction for Versatile Organic Thin Film Transistors

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journal contribution
posted on 2021-09-14, 20:30 authored by Fu-Chiao Wu, Pei-Rong Li, Bo-Ren Lin, Ren-Jie Wu, Horng-Long Cheng, Wei-Yang Chou
Organic thin film transistors (OTFTs) are a promising technology for the application of photosensors in smart wearable devices. Light-induced electrical behavior of OTFTs is explored to achieve diverse functional requirements. In most studies, OTFTs show an increased drain current (ID) under light irradiation. Here, we use an ultraviolet (UV) light absorption top layer, tris­(8-hydroxyquinoline) aluminum (Alq3), to improve the UV light response of poly­(3-hexylthiophene-2,5-diyl) (P3HT)-based OTFTs. Unexpectedly, the Alq3-covered device operated at the accumulation mode demonstrates a decreased ID during the UV light irradiation. N,N′-Ditridecyl-3,4,9,10-perylene tetracarboxylic diimide (PTCDI, electron acceptor), pentacene (electron donor), and lithium fluoride (LiF, insulator) as an interlayer were inserted between the P3HT and the Alq3 layers. The PTCDI/Alq3-covered device also shows an unusual decrease in ID under the UV light but an increase in ID under the green light. The pentacene/Alq3-covered device shows an increased ID during the UV light irradiation and, unexpectedly, a memory effect in ID after removing the UV light. The LiF/Alq3-covered device exhibits an electrical behavior similar to the bare P3HT-based device under the UV light. Results of spectroscopic analyses and theoretical calculations have shown that the occurrence of charge transfer at heterojunctions during the UV light irradiation causes charge modulation in the multilayered P3HT-based OTFTs and then results in an unusual decrease or memory effect in ID. In addition, the unexpected ID reduction can be observed in the Alq3-covered poly­[2,5-bis­(3-tetradecylthiophen-2-yl)­thieno­[3,2-b]­thiophene]-based OTFTs under UV light. The features, including opposite electrical responses to different wavelengths of light and optical memory effect, provide the multilayered P3HT-based OTFTs with potential for various optical applications, such as image recognition devices, optical logic gates, light dosimeters, and optical synapses.