Main content area

Water-stable organic transistors and their application in chemical and biological sensors

Roberts, Mark E., Mannsfeld, Stefan C.B., Queraltó, Núria, Reese, Colin, Locklin, Jason, Knoll, Wolfgang, Bao, Zhenan
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2008 v.105 no.34 pp. 12134-12139
aqueous solutions, crosslinking, cysteine, glucose, polymers, semiconductors
The development of low-cost, reliable sensors will rely on devices capable of converting an analyte binding event to an easily read electrical signal. Organic thin-film transistors (OTFTs) are ideal for inexpensive, single-use chemical or biological sensors because of their compatibility with flexible, large-area substrates, simple processing, and highly tunable active layer materials. We have fabricated low-operating voltage OTFTs with a cross-linked polymer gate dielectric, which display stable operation under aqueous conditions over >10⁴ electrical cycles using the p-channel semiconductor 5,5'-bis-(7-dodecyl-9H-fluoren-2-yl)-2,2'-bithiophene (DDFTTF). OTFT sensors were demonstrated in aqueous solutions with concentrations as low as parts per billion for trinitrobenzene, methylphosphonic acid, cysteine, and glucose. This work demonstrates of reliable OTFT operation in aqueous media, hence opening new possibilities of chemical and biological sensing with OTFTs.