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Gate-induced superconductivity in a solution-processed organic polymer film

A Retraction to this article was published on 06 March 2003


The electrical and optical properties of conjugated polymers have received considerable attention in the context of potentially low-cost replacements for conventional metals and inorganic semiconductors. Charge transport in these organic materials has been characterized in both the doped-metallic and the semiconducting state1,2,3,4, but superconductivity has not hitherto been observed in these polymers. Here we report a distinct metal–insulator transition and metallic levels of conductivity in a polymer field-effect transistor. The active material is solution-cast regioregular poly(3-hexylthiophene), which forms relatively well ordered films owing to self-organization, and which yields a high charge carrier mobility (0.05–0.1 cm2 V-1 s-1) at room temperature. At temperatures below 2.35 K with sheet carrier densities exceeding 2.5 × 1014 cm-2, the polythiophene film becomes superconducting. The appearance of superconductivity seems to be closely related to the self-assembly properties of the polymer, as the introduction of additional disorder is found to suppress superconductivity. Our findings therefore demonstrate the feasibility of tuning the electrical properties of conjugated polymers over the largest range possible—from insulating to superconducting.

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Figure 1: Schematic structure of the polythiophene field-effect device used in this study.
Figure 2: Channel resistance of a polythiophene field-effect device as a function of temperature for various carrier concentrations.
Figure 3: Channel resistance of a polythiophene field-effect device as a function of temperature for various magnetic fields up to 9 T.
Figure 4: Channel resistance as a function of temperature for polymer thin films with different degrees of disorder.


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We thank E. A. Chandross, B. Crone, H. E. Katz, H. Y. Hwang, A. J. Lovinger and T. Siegrist for discussions, and E. Bucher for the use of equipment.

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Correspondence to J. H. Schön.

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Schön, J., Dodabalapur, A., Bao, Z. et al. Gate-induced superconductivity in a solution-processed organic polymer film. Nature 410, 189–192 (2001).

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