Acceptor Functionalization via Green Chemistry Enables High-Performance n-Type Organic Electrochemical Transistors for Biosensing, Memory Applications

Yazhou Wang, Anil Koklu, Yizhou Zhong, Tianrui Chang, Keying Guo, Chao Zhao, Tania Cecilia Hidalgo Castillo, Zhonggao Bu, Chengyi Xiao, Wan Yue, Wei Ma, Sahika Inal*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The organic electrochemical transistor (OECT) is one of the most versatile building blocks within the bioelectronics device toolbox. While p-type organic semiconductors have progressed as OECT channel materials, only a few n-type semiconductors have been reported, precluding the development of advanced sensor-integrated OECT-based complementary circuits. Herein, green aldol polymerization is uses to synthesize lactone-based n-type conjugated polymers. Fluorination of the lactone-based acceptor endows a fully locked backbone with a low-lying lowest unoccupied molecular orbital, facilitating efficient ionic-to-electronic charge coupling. The resulting polymer has a record-high n-type OECT performance with a high product of mobility and capacitance (µC* = 108 F cm−1 V−1 s−1), excellent mobility (0.912 cm2 V−1 s−1), low threshold voltage (0.02 V), and fast switching speed (τON, τOFF = 336 µs,108 µs). This work demonstrates two types of device architectures and applications enabled by the high performance of this n-type OECT, i.e., an artificial synapse and a complementary amplifier for detecting α-synuclein, a potential biomarker of Parkinson's disease. This study shows that materials that enable high gain and fast speed n-type OECTs can be developed via a green polymerization route, and the diverse form factors that these devices take promise for exploration of other application areas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank I. McCulloch and A. Marks from Oxford University for providing the p(gCT2‐T) used in CA experiments. This publication is based upon work supported by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology Research Funding (KRF) under Award Nos. ORA‐2021‐CRG10‐4650 and FCC/1/1976‐33‐01, KAUST Smart Health Initiative Award No. REI/1/5130‐01‐01, and KAUST Research Translational Grant Award No. REI/1/4577‐01. W. Yue gratefully acknowledge the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities, Sun Yat‐sen University (No. 23yxqntd002) 3 2

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Wiley-VCH GmbH.


  • biosensors
  • n-type organic semiconductors
  • organic electrochemical transistors
  • organic synapses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biomaterials
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrochemistry


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