Review Article

Organic electrochemical transistors

  • Nature Reviews Materials volume 3, Article number: 17086 (2018)
  • doi:10.1038/natrevmats.2017.86
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Abstract

Organic electrochemical transistors (OECTs) make effective use of ion injection from an electrolyte to modulate the bulk conductivity of an organic semiconductor channel. The coupling between ionic and electronic charges within the entire volume of the channel endows OECTs with high transconductance compared with that of field-effect transistors, but also limits their response time. The synthetic tunability, facile deposition and biocompatibility of organic materials make OECTs particularly suitable for applications in biological interfacing, printed logic circuitry and neuromorphic devices. In this Review, we discuss the physics and the mechanism of operation of OECTs, focusing on their identifying characteristics. We highlight organic materials that are currently being used in OECTs and survey the history of OECT technology. In addition, form factors, fabrication technologies and applications such as bioelectronics, circuits and memory devices are examined. Finally, we take a critical look at the future of OECT research and development.

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Acknowledgements

The authors gratefully acknowledge financial support from the National Science Foundation, DMR award 1507826 (A.S.); ERC CoG IMBIBE, action number 723951 (R.M.O.); the STIAS, Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, SSF and Önnesjöstiftelsen (M.B.); the European Union's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under grant agreement No. 732032 (BrainCom) (G.G.M.) and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) Office of Sponsored Research (OSR) under award No. OSR-2016-CRG5-3003 (S.I., G.G.M.).

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Affiliations

  1. Department of Biomedical Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, USA.

    • Jonathan Rivnay
  2. Biological and Environmental Sciences and Engineering Division, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Thuwal, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

    • Sahika Inal
  3. Materials Science and Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA.

    • Alberto Salleo
  4. Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.

    • Róisín M. Owens
  5. Laboratory of Organic Electronics, ITN, Linköping University,Norrköping, Sweden.

    • Magnus Berggren
  6. Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Studies (STIAS), Wallenberg Research Center at Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa.

    • Magnus Berggren
  7. Electrical Engineering Division, Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.

    • George G. Malliaras

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Contributions

All authors contributed equally to the preparation of this manuscript.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Jonathan Rivnay or George G. Malliaras.