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Polymer Journal (2009) 41, 459–469; doi:10.1295/polymj.PJ2008324

Development of Liquid-Crystalline Semiconductors with High Carrier Mobilities and Their Application to Thin-film Transistors

Masahiro Funahashi1

1Department of Chemistry and Biotechnology, School of Engineering, the University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8656, Japan

Correspondence: Masahiro Funahashi, Fax: +81-3-5841-8661, E-mail: funahashi@chembio.t.u-tokyo.ac.jp

Received 20 December 2008; Accepted 31 January 2009; Published online 8 April 2009.

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Abstract

Carrier transport in liquid-crystal phases, design of liquid-crystalline semiconductors with high carrier mobilities, and their application to field-effect transistors are reviewed. High carrier mobility has been observed in the smectic phases of oligothiophene derivatives as well as in the columnar phases of triphenylene and hexabenzocoronene derivatives. The mobility increases with the molecular ordering in the mesophases and extension of the π-conjugated system of the liquid-crystal molecules. Asymmetrically substituted liquid-crystalline oligothiophene derivatives retain the highly ordered smectic phases below room temperature. The liquid crystals are solution-processable and can be used in high-performance field-effect transistors. The transistors exhibit high hole mobility and on/off ratio of 4 × 10−2 cm2 V−1 s−1 and 107, respectively.

Keywords:

Organic Semiconductor, Liquid Crystal, Liquid-Crystalline Semiconductor, Smectic Phase, Columnar Phase, Time-of-Flight Technique, Field-Effect Transistor

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