A Solution-Processable Liquid-Crystalline Semiconductor for Low-Temperature-Annealed Air-Stable N-Channel Field-Effect Transistors
Kostakoglu, Sinem Tuncel
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A new solution-processable and air-stable liquid-crystalline nchannel organic semiconductor (2,2'-(2,8-bis(5-(2-octyldodecyl) thiophen-2-yl) indeno[1,2-b] fluorene-6,12-diylidene) dimalononitrile, alpha,omega-2OD-TIFDMT) with donor-acceptor-donor (D-AD) pi conjugation has been designed, synthesized, and fully characterized. The new semiconductor exhibits a low LUMO energy (-4.19 eV) and a narrow optical bandgap (1.35 eV). The typical pseudo-focal-conic fan-shaped texture of a hexagonal columnar liquid-crystalline (LC) phase was observed over a wide temperature range. The spin-coated semiconductor thin films show the formation of large (approximate to 0.5-1 mu m) and highly crystalline platelike grains with edge-on molecular orientations. Low-temperature-annealed (50 degrees C) top-contact/bottom-gate OFETs have provided good electron obility values as high as 0.11 cm(2) (Vs)(-1) and high I-on/I-off ratios of 10(7) to 10(8) with excellent ambient stability. This indicates an enhancement of two orders of magnitude (100 V) when compared with the b-substituted parent semiconductor, beta-DD-TIFDMT (2,2'-(2,8-bis(3-dodecylthiophen- 2-yl) indeno[1,2-b] fluorene-6,12-diylidene) dimalononitrile). The current rational alkyl-chain engineering route offers great advantages for D-A-D pi-core coplanarity in addition to maintaining good solubility in organic solvents, and leads to favorable optoelectronic/physicochemical characteristics. These remarkable findings demonstrate that alpha,omega-2OD-TIFDMT is a promising semiconductor material for the development of n-channel OFETs on flexible plastic substrates and LC-state annealing of the columnar liquid crystals can lower the electron mobility for transistor-type charge transport.