Effect of Polymer Binders on UV-Responsive Organic Thin-Film Phototransistors with Benzothienobenzothiophene Semiconductor
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The influence of polymer binders on the UV response of organic thin-film phototransistors (OTF-PTs) is reported. The active channel of the OTF-PTs was fabricated by blending a UV responsive 2,7-dipenty-benzothieno[2,3-b]benzothiophene (C5-BTBT) as small molecule semiconductor and a branched unsaturated polyester (B-upe) as dielectric binder (ratio 1:1). To understand the influence of the polymer composition on the photoelectrical properties and UV response of C5-BTBT, control blends were prepared using common dielectric polymers, namely, poly(vinyl acetate) (PVAc), polycarbonate (PC), and polystyrene (PS), for comparison. Thin-film morphology and nanostructure of the C5-BTBT/polymer blends were investigated by means of optical and atomic force microscopy, and powder X-ray diffraction, respectively. Electrical and photoelectrical characteristics of the studied OTF-PTs were evaluated in the dark and under UV illumination with a constant light intensity (P = 3 mW cm(-2), λ = 365 nm), respectively, using two- and three-terminal I-V measurements. Results revealed that the purposely chosen B-upe polymer binder strongly affected the UV response of OTF-PTs. A photocurrent increase of more than 5 orders of magnitude in the subthreshold region was observed with a responsivity as high as 9.7 AW(-1), at VG = 0 V. The photocurrent increase and dramatic shift of VTh,average (∼86 V) were justified by the high number of photogenerated charge carriers upon the high trap density in bulk 8.0 × 10(12) cm(-2) eV(-1) generated by highly dispersed C5-BTBT in B-upe binder. Compared with other devices, the B-upe OTF-PTs had the fastest UV response times (τr1/τr2 = 0.5/6.0) reaching the highest saturated photocurrent (>10(6)), at VG = -5 V and VSD = -60 V. The enhanced UV sensing properties of B-upe based OTF-PTs were attributed to a self-induced thin-film morphology. The enlarged interface facilitated the electron withdrawing/donating functional groups in the polymer chains in influencing the photocharge separation, trapping and recombination.
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