Enhancing 2D growth of organic semiconductor thin films with macroporous structures via a small-molecule heterointerface

  • Nature Communications 5, Article number: 4752 (2014)
  • doi:10.1038/ncomms5752
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The physical structure of an organic solid is strongly affected by the surface of the underlying substrate. Controlling this interface is an important issue to improve device performance in the organic electronics community. Here we report an approach that utilizes an organic heterointerface to improve the crystallinity and control the morphology of an organic thin film. Pentacene is used as an active layer above, and m-bis(triphenylsilyl)benzene is used as the bottom layer. Sequential evaporations of these materials result in extraordinary morphology with far fewer grain boundaries and myriad nanometre-sized pores. These peculiar structures are formed by difference in molecular interactions between the organic layers and the substrate surface. The pentacene film exhibits high mobility up to 6.3 cm2 V−1 s−1, and the pore-rich structure improves the sensitivity of organic-transistor-based chemical sensors. Our approach opens a new way for the fabrication of nanostructured semiconducting layers towards high-performance organic electronics.

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This work was supported by the Center for Advanced Soft Electronics under the Global Frontier Research Program (2011-0031628 and 2013M3A6A5073175) of the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning and the Basic Science Research Program (NRF-2013R1A1A2012046) through the National Research Foundation of Korea funded by the Ministry of Education. We thank J. Shin, Dr C. Shim, Dr H. G. Kim and Dr N.-S. Lee for discussion, cyclic voltammetry, DFT calculations and HRTEM measurements.

Author information

Author notes

    • Boseok Kang
    • , Moonjeong Jang
    •  & Yoonyoung Chung

    These authors contributed equally to this work


  1. Department of Chemical Engineering, Pohang University of Science and Technology, Pohang 790-784, Korea

    • Boseok Kang
    • , Moonjeong Jang
    • , Haena Kim
    • , Joon Hak Oh
    •  & Kilwon Cho
  2. School of Energy and Chemical Engineering, Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology, Ulsan 689-798, Korea

    • Moonjeong Jang
    •  & Sang Kyu Kwak
  3. Polymer Research Institute, Pohang University of Science and Technology, Pohang 790-784, Korea

    • Yoonyoung Chung
    •  & Kilwon Cho


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Y.C., J.H.O. and K.C. conceived the idea and directed the research project. B.K. analysed the morphology and crystallinity of organic thin films. M.J. fabricated all the samples and measured electrical characteristics of organic transistors and chemical sensors. S.K.K. conducted molecular dynamics simulations. H.K. carried out scanning electron microscopy on the surface of organic thin films. All authors discussed the results and commented on the manuscript.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Joon Hak Oh or Kilwon Cho.

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