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Low-voltage organic transistors with an amorphous molecular gate dielectric


Organic thin film transistors (TFTs) are of interest for a variety of large-area electronic applications, such as displays1,2,3, sensors4,5 and electronic barcodes6,7,8. One of the key problems with existing organic TFTs is their large operating voltage, which often exceeds 20 V. This is due to poor capacitive coupling through relatively thick gate dielectric layers: these dielectrics are usually either inorganic oxides or nitrides2,3,4,5,6,7,8, or insulating polymers9, and are often thicker than 100 nm to minimize gate leakage currents. Here we demonstrate a manufacturing process for TFTs with a 2.5-nm-thick molecular self-assembled monolayer (SAM) gate dielectric and a high-mobility organic semiconductor (pentacene). These TFTs operate with supply voltages of less than 2 V, yet have gate currents that are lower than those of advanced silicon field-effect transistors with SiO2 dielectrics. These results should therefore increase the prospects of using organic TFTs in low-power applications (such as portable devices). Moreover, molecular SAMs may even be of interest for advanced silicon transistors where the continued reduction in dielectric thickness leads to ever greater gate leakage and power dissipation.

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Figure 1: Chemical structures of organic materials, and cross-section and electrical characteristics of a TFT with molecular SAM gate dielectric.
Figure 2: Electrical characteristics of Si/SAM/Au capacitors.
Figure 3: Cross-section and electrical characteristics of a pentacene TFT with molecular SAM dielectric and photolithographically patterned source–drain contacts.


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M.S. and S.M. were supported by the PhD Fellowship of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft.

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Correspondence to Marcus Halik.

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Supplementary information

Supplementary Data (DOC 32 kb)

Supplementary Figure S1

Tapping mode AFM height and phase images. (DOC 207 kb)

Supplementary Figure S2

STM images of a PhO-OTS monolayer. (DOC 600 kb)

Supplementary Figure S3

Electrical characteristics of an Eth-6T-Eth TFT with PhO-OTS gate dielectric. (DOC 43 kb)

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Halik, M., Klauk, H., Zschieschang, U. et al. Low-voltage organic transistors with an amorphous molecular gate dielectric. Nature 431, 963–966 (2004).

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