Letter

Nature 445, 745-748 (15 February 2007) | doi:10.1038/nature05533; Received 21 June 2006; Accepted 14 December 2006

Ultralow-power organic complementary circuits

Hagen Klauk1, Ute Zschieschang1, Jens Pflaum2 & Marcus Halik3

  1. Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research, Heisenbergstrasse 1, 70569 Stuttgart, Germany
  2. University Stuttgart, Third Institute of Physics, Pfaffenwaldring 57, 70550 Stuttgart, Germany
  3. Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg, Institute of Polymer Materials, Martensstrasse 7, 91058 Erlangen, Germany

Correspondence to: Hagen Klauk1 Correspondence and requests for materials should be addressed to H.K. (Email: h.klauk@fkf.mpg.de).

The prospect of using low-temperature processable organic semiconductors to implement transistors, circuits, displays and sensors on arbitrary substrates, such as glass or plastics, offers enormous potential for a wide range of electronic products1. Of particular interest are portable devices that can be powered by small batteries or by near-field radio-frequency coupling. The main problem with existing approaches is the large power consumption of conventional organic circuits, which makes battery-powered applications problematic, if not impossible. Here we demonstrate an organic circuit with very low power consumption that uses a self-assembled monolayer gate dielectric and two different air-stable molecular semiconductors (pentacene and hexadecafluorocopperphthalocyanine, F16CuPc). The monolayer dielectric is grown on patterned metal gates at room temperature and is optimized to provide a large gate capacitance and low gate leakage currents. By combining low-voltage p-channel and n-channel organic thin-film transistors in a complementary circuit design, the static currents are reduced to below 100 pA per logic gate. We have fabricated complementary inverters, NAND gates, and ring oscillators that operate with supply voltages between 1.5 and 3 V and have a static power consumption of less than 1 nW per logic gate. These organic circuits are thus well suited for battery-powered systems such as portable display devices2 and large-surface sensor networks3 as well as for radio-frequency identification tags with extended operating range4.

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