Water stable molecular n-doping produces organic electrochemical transistors with high transconductance and record stability

Alexandra F. Paterson, Achilleas Savva, Shofarul Wustoni, Leonidas Tsetseris, Bryan D. Paulsen, Hendrik Faber, Abdul Hamid Emwas, Xingxing Chen, Georgios Nikiforidis, Tania C. Hidalgo, Maximillian Moser, Iuliana Petruta Maria, Jonathan Rivnay, Iain McCulloch, Thomas D. Anthopoulos, Sahika Inal

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61 Citations (SciVal)


From established to emergent technologies, doping plays a crucial role in all semiconducting devices. Doping could, theoretically, be an excellent technique for improving repressively low transconductances in n-type organic electrochemical transistors – critical for advancing logic circuits for bioelectronic and neuromorphic technologies. However, the technical challenge is extreme: n-doped polymers are unstable in electrochemical transistor operating environments, air and water (electrolyte). Here, the first demonstration of doping in electron transporting organic electrochemical transistors is reported. The ammonium salt tetra-n-butylammonium fluoride is simply admixed with the conjugated polymer poly(N,N’-bis(7-glycol)-naphthalene-1,4,5,8-bis(dicarboximide)-co-2,2’-bithiophene-co-N,N’-bis(2-octyldodecyl)-naphthalene-1,4,5,8-bis(dicarboximide), and found to act as a simultaneous molecular dopant and morphology-additive. The combined effects enhance the n-type transconductance with improved channel capacitance and mobility. Furthermore, operational and shelf-life stability measurements showcase the first example of water-stable n-doping in a polymer. Overall, the results set a precedent for doping/additives to impact organic electrochemical transistors as powerfully as they have in other semiconducting devices.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3004
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
S.I., T.D.A. and I. M. acknowledge King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) for their financial support. I.P.M. thanks Alexander Giovannitti for the monomer of p(gNDI-gT2). L.T. acknowledges the use of GRNET high performance computing facility ARIS under project 6055-STEM-2. B.P. and J.R. acknowledge support from the National Science Foundation Grant No. NSF DMR-1751308. The authors would like to thank Joseph Strzalka and Qingteng Zhang for beam line assistance. This research used resources of the Advanced Photon Source, a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science User Facility operated for the DOE Office of Science by Argonne National Laboratory under Contract No. DE-AC02-06CH11357. Fig. 1d was created by Heno Hwang, scientific illustrator at KAUST.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, The Author(s).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General
  • Physics and Astronomy (all)
  • Chemistry (all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (all)


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