Optically switchable transistors comprising a hybrid photochromic molecule/n-type organic active layer
Organic semiconductors can be easily combined with other molecular building blocks in order to fabricate multifunctional devices, in which each component conveys a specific (opto)electronic function. We have fabricated photoswitchable hybrid thin-film transistors based on an active bi-component material, consisting of an n-type fullerene derivative and a photochromic diarylethene that possesses light-tunable energy levels. The devices can be gated in two independent ways by either using an electrical stimulus via the application of a voltage to the gate electrode or an optical stimulus causing interconversion of the diarylethene molecules between their two isomers. Fine control over the device output current is achieved by engineering the diarylethenes' LUMO that can act as an intra-gap state controlled by a distinct wavelength in the UV or in the visible range. Importantly, the devices based on a mixed diarylethene/fullerene active layer preserve the high mobility of the pristine semiconductor.