Boosting Direct X-Ray Detection in Organic Thin Films by Small Molecules Tailoring

Andrea Ciavatti, Laura Basiricò, Ilaria Fratelli, Stefano Lai, Piero Cosseddu, Annalisa Bonfiglio, John E. Anthony, Beatrice Fraboni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


The attention focused on the application of organic electronics for the detection of ionizing radiation is rapidly growing among the international scientific community, due to the great potential of organic technology to enable large-area conformable sensor panels. However, high-energy photon absorption is challenging as organic materials are constituted of atoms with low atomic numbers. Here it is reported how, by synthesizing new solution-processable organic molecules derived from 6,13-bis(triisopropylsilylethynyl)pentacene (TIPS-pentacene) and 2,8-difluoro-5,11-bis(triethylsilylethynyl)anthradithiophene, with Ge-substitution in place of the Si atoms to increase the material atomic number, it is possible to boost the X-ray detection performance of organic thin films on flexible plastic substrates. Bis(triisopropylgermylethynyl)-pentacene based flexible organic thin film transistors show high electrical performance with higher mobility (0.4 cm2 V−1 s−1) and enhanced X-ray sensitivity, up to 9.0 × 105 µC Gy−1 cm−3, with respect to TIPS-pentacene-based detectors. Moreover, similar results are obtained for 5,11-bis(triethylgermylethynyl)anthradithiophene devices, confirming that the proposed strategy, that is, increasing the atomic number of organic molecules by chemical tailoring to improve X-ray sensitivity, can be generalized to organic thin film detectors, combining high X-ray absorption, mechanical flexibility, and large-area processing.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1806119
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number21
StatePublished - May 23 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
J.E.A. thanks the U.S. National Science Foundation (DMREF-1627428) for support of organic semiconductor development.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim


  • TIPGe-pentacene
  • TIPS-pentacene
  • organic X-ray detectors
  • thin film transistors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry (all)
  • Materials Science (all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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