New hybrid material simplifies organic transistor design

Jul 25, 2012 by Lisa Zyga feature
An organic thin-film transistor with the new semiconducting layer. The hybrid material consists of two photochromic molecules that can be quickly switched between two states with a laser. Image credit: Orgiu, et al. ©2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited

(Phys.org) -- Organic transistors serve as a key component of new flexible, low-cost electronics. Since the organic materials that make up these transistors are what give the transistors their ability to switch and amplify signals, scientists spend a great deal of effort searching for organic materials with highly tunable electronic properties. In some cases, this research involves blending multiple materials together.

In one of the most recent studies in this area, researchers have blended two together to fabricate a hybrid material whose can be switched between two when illuminated by light of different wavelengths. When incorporated into an organic transistor, the hybrid material enables the transistor to be switched both electrically and optically.

The researchers, led by Norbert Koch and Stefan Hecht of the Humboldt University of Berlin in Germany, and Paolo Samori from the University of Strasbourg in France, have published their study in an advanced online issue of Nature Chemistry.

One part of the hybrid material is an electroactive organic semiconducting polymer, while the other component is a type of diarylethene molecule that the researchers designed and synthesized, which has optically tunable .

To test the resulting hybrid semiconducting material, the researchers incorporated it into an organic thin-film transistor. When alternately illuminating the transistor with a light of two different wavelengths for five seconds at a time, the researchers could reversibly photo-modulate the transistor’s state. They measured the transistor’s response time to a 3-nanosecond-pulse laser light at just a few microseconds, which is technologically relevant for applications.

The new material provides the new transistor an advantage over other in that it eliminates the need for fabricating and inserting an additional layer of photochromic molecules apart from the semiconducting layer.

The researchers predict that the new semiconducting thin film, with its molecules that have electrically and optically tunable states, could lead to a variety of semiconducting systems. In the future, they plan to work on tailoring the blend’s properties for different applications.

Explore further: The fluorescent fingerprint of plastics

More information: Emanuele Orgiu, et al. “Optically switchable transistor via energy-level phototuning in a bicomponent organic semiconductor.” Nature Chemistry. DOI: 10.1038/NCHEM.1384

Journal reference: Nature Chemistry search and more info website

4.8 /5 (6 votes)

Related Stories

Hong Kong researchers break new ground in nanotechnology

Aug 30, 2010

A pioneering study by researchers of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) has shown that sandwiching a simple layer of silver nanoparticles can significantly improve the performance of organic transistors ...

Molecular breakthrough for plastic electronics

Apr 12, 2005

The potential applications for flexible plastic electronics are enormous -- from electronic books to radio frequency identification (RFID) tags to electronics for cell phones, personal digital assistants (PDAs) and laptop ...

Recommended for you

The fluorescent fingerprint of plastics

16 hours ago

LMU researchers have developed a new process which will greatly simplify the process of sorting plastics in recycling plants. The method enables automated identification of polymers, facilitating rapid separation ...

Water and sunlight the formula for sustainable fuel

20 hours ago

An Australian National University (ANU) team has successfully replicated one of the crucial steps in photosynthesis, opening the way for biological systems powered by sunlight which could manufacture hydrogen ...

Researchers create engineered energy absorbing material

21 hours ago

(Phys.org) —Materials like solid gels and porous foams are used for padding and cushioning, but each has its own advantages and limitations. Gels are effective as padding but are relatively heavy; gel performance ...

Solar fuels as generated by nature

22 hours ago

(Phys.org) —Society's energy supply problems could be solved in the future using a model adopted from nature. During photosynthesis, plants, algae and some species of bacteria produce sugars and other energy-rich ...

User comments : 0