Organic light-emitting transistors are pivotal components for emerging opto- and nanoelectronics applications, such as logic circuitries and smart displays. Within this technology sector, the integration of multiple functionalities in a single electronic device remains the key challenge. Here we show optically switchable organic light-emitting transistors fabricated through a judicious combination of light-emitting semiconductors and photochromic molecules. Irradiation of the solution-processed films at selected wavelengths enables the efficient and reversible tuning of charge transport and electroluminescence simultaneously, with a high degree of modulation (on/off ratios up to 500) in the three primary colours. Different emitting patterns can be written and erased through a non-invasive and mask-free process, on a length scale of a few micrometres in a single device, thereby rendering this technology potentially promising for optically gated highly integrated full-colour displays and active optical memory.
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The authors acknowledge funding from the European Commission through the Marie Sklodowska-Curie ITN project iSwitch (GA-642196), the Marie Sklodowska-Curie ITN project SYNCHRONICS (GA-643238), ERC projects SUPRAFUNCTION (GA-257305) and LIGHT4FUNCTION (GA-308117), the Agence Nationale de la Recherche through the Labex project CSC (ANR-10-LABX-0026 CSC) within the Investissement d’Avenir programme (ANR-10-120 IDEX-0002-02), the International Center for Frontier Research in Chemistry (icFRC) as well as the German Research Foundation (via SFB 765 and SFB 951). F.C. is a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award holder.
The authors declare no competing interests
Journal peer review information Nature Nanotechnology thanks Rafaella Capelli and other anonymous reviewers for their contribution to the peer review of this work.
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Hou, L., Zhang, X., Cotella, G.F. et al. Optically switchable organic light-emitting transistors. Nat. Nanotechnol. 14, 347–353 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41565-019-0370-9
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