Temperature-Modulated Doping at Polymer Semiconductor Interfaces

Natalie P. Holmes, Daniel C. Elkington, Matthew Bergin, Matthew J. Griffith, Anirudh Sharma, Adam Fahy, Mats R. Andersson, Warwick Belcher, Jakub Rysz, Paul C. Dastoor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Understanding doping in polymer semiconductors has important implications for the development of organic electronic devices. This study reports a detailed investigation of the doping of the poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT)/Nafion bilayer interfaces commonly used in organic biosensors. A combination of UV–visible spectroscopy, dynamic secondary ion mass spectrometry (d-SIMS), dynamic mechanical thermal analysis, and electrical device characterization reveals that the doping of P3HT increases with annealing temperature, and this increase is associated with thermally activated interdiffusion of the P3HT and Nafion. First-principles modeling of d-SIMS depth profiling data demonstrates that the diffusivity coefficient is a strong function of the molar concentration, resulting in a discrete intermixed region at the P3HT/Nafion interface that grows with increasing annealing temperature. Correlating the electrical conductance measurements with the diffusion model provides a detailed model for the temperature-modulated doping that occurs in P3HT/Nafion bilayers. Point-of-care testing has created a market for low-cost sensor technology, with printed organic electronic sensors well positioned to meet this demand, and this article constitutes a detailed study of the doping mechanism underlying such future platforms for the development of sensing technologies based on organic semiconductors.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalACS Applied Electronic Materials
StatePublished - Mar 12 2021

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2021-03-30
Acknowledgements: This work was performed in part at the Materials Node (Newcastle) of the Australian National Fabrication Facility (ANFF), which is a company established under the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy to provide nano- and microfabrication facilities for Australia’s researchers. This research was supported by the Australian Research Council’s Discovery Projects funding scheme (project DP170102467). H. Andersson (Flinders University) is gratefully acknowledged for GPC measurements. E. Gomez (Penn State University) is gratefully acknowledged for helpful scientific discussion


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