Stability of organic thin-film transistors based on ultrathin films of dinaphtho[2,3-b:2′,3′-f]thieno[3,2-b]thiophene (DNTT)†
Organic thin-film transistors (TFTs) based on ultrathin semiconductor films are potentially useful as highly sensitive physical, chemical or biological sensors and may also help in the development of a better understanding of the relations between structural and charge-transport characteristics of thin films of organic semiconductors. A particularly promising small-molecule organic semiconductor is dinaphtho[2,3-b:2′,3′-f]thieno[3,2-b]thiophene (DNTT). However, it was recently reported that ultrathin DNTT films spontaneously undergo dramatic morphological changes within minutes after deposition that lead to the disaggregation of the initially closed (or at least connected) single-monolayer films into disconnected multilayer islands. Here, we investigate how this spontaneous structural reconfiguration affects the characteristics of TFTs based on ultrathin DNTT films and explore the extent to which it can be prevented by cryogenic cooling or in situ encapsulation. We fabricated inverted coplanar TFTs with a hybrid aluminum oxide/alkylphosphonic acid self-assembled monolayer gate dielectric and vacuum-deposited DNTT films with nominal thicknesses of 2.5 or 25 nm. Using atomic force microscopy (AFM) we monitored the spontaneous changes in the DNTT morphology in a quasi-continuous manner over a period of 12 hours after deposition. The charge-carrier mobility of the ultrathin DNTT TFTs was found to decrease rapidly, while the mobility of the TFTs with the thicker DNTT films is far more stable. We also found that the initial closed-monolayer morphology of the ultrathin DNTT films is preserved when the substrates are cooled to cryogenic temperatures immediately after the DNTT deposition, but that the morphological changes resume upon returning the substrates to room temperature. Furthermore, we fabricated TFTs in which the ultrathin DNTT films were encapsulated in situ with a vacuum-deposited film of polytetrafluoroethylene, C60 or titanyl phthalocyanine immediately following the DNTT deposition and found that the encapsulation decelerates the structural reorganization of the ultrathin DNTT films and the concurrent degradation of the carrier mobility.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Recent Open Access Articles