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Enhanced Hole Carrier Transport Due to Increased Intermolecular Contacts in Small Molecule Based Field Effect Transistors

Dharmapurikar, Satej S., Arulkashmir, Arulraj, Das, Chayanika, Muddellu, Pooja, Krishnamoorthy, Kothandam
ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 2013 v.5 no.15 pp. 7086-7093
annealing, chemical elements, molecular weight, solubility
Small molecules and oligomers can be synthesized with very high purity and precise molecular weights, but they often do not form uniform thin films while processed from solution. Decreased intermolecular contacts between the small molecules are another disadvantage. To increase the intermolecular contacts in small molecules, we have chosen i-indigo, as one of the conjugated molecular units. The electron poor i-indigo has been connected with electron rich triphenylamine to synthesize a donor–acceptor–donor type small molecule. The propeller shaped triphenylamine helps to increase the solubility of the small molecule as well as isotropic charge transport. The intermolecular spacing between the molecules has been found to be low and did not vary as a function of thermal annealing. This implies that the intermolecular contacts between the small molecules are enhanced, and they do not vary as a function of thermal annealing. Organic field effect transistors (OFET) fabricated using a small molecule exhibited a hole carrier mobility (μ) of 0.3 cm²/(V s) before thermal annealing. A marginal increase in μ was observed upon thermal annealing at 150 °C, which has been attributed to changes in thin film morphology. The morphology of the thin films plays an important role in charge transport in addition to the intermolecular spacing that can be modulated with a judicious choice of the conjugated molecular unit.