Solvent Engineering for High-Performance n-Type Organic Electrochemical Transistors

Achilleas Savva, David Ohayon, Jokubas Surgailis, Alexandra Paterson, Tania C. Hidalgo, Xingxing Chen, Iuliana P. Maria, Bryan D. Paulsen, Anthony J. Petty, Jonathan Rivnay, Iain McCulloch, Sahika Inal

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62 Scopus citations


Organic electrochemical transistors (OECTs) exhibit strong potential for various applications in bioelectronics, especially as miniaturized, point-of-care biosensors, because of their efficient transducing ability. To date, however, the majority of reported OECTs have relied on p-type (hole transporting) polymer mixed conductors, due to the limited number of n-type (electron transporting) materials suitable for operation in aqueous electrolytes, and the low performance of those which exist. It is shown that a simple solvent-engineering approach boosts the performance of OECTs comprising an n-type, naphthalenediimide-based copolymer in the channel. The addition of acetone, a rather bad solvent for the copolymer, in the chloroform-based polymer solution leads to a three-fold increase in OECT transconductance, as a result of the simultaneous increase in volumetric capacitance and electron mobility in the channel. The enhanced electrochemical activity of the polymer film allows high-performance glucose sensors with a detection limit of 10 × 10−6 m of glucose and a dynamic range of more than eight orders of magnitude. The approach proposed introduces a new tool for concurrently improving the conduction of ionic and electronic charge carriers in polymer mixed conductors, which can be utilized for a number of bioelectronic applications relying on efficient OECT operation.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1900249
JournalAdvanced Electronic Materials
Issue number8
StatePublished - Jun 27 2019

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: A.S. and D.O. contributed equally to this work. A.S., D.O., I.M., and S.I. acknowledge financial support from the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology Office of Sponsored Research (OSR) under Award No. OSR-2016-CRG5-3003. B.P. and J.R. gratefully acknowledge support from the National Science Foundation Grant No. NSF DMR-1751308. The authors would like to thank Mahmood H. Akhtar for his assistance in device microfabrication, and Joseph Strzalka and Qingteng Zhang for beamline assistance. This research used resources of the Advanced Photon Source, a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science User Facility operated for the DOE Office of Science by Argonne National Laboratory under Contract No. DE-AC02-06CH11357.


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