A single n-type semiconducting polymer-based photo-electrochemical transistor

Victor Druet, David Ohayon, Christopher E. Petoukhoff, Yizhou Zhong, Nisreen Alshehri, Anil Koklu, Prem D. Nayak, Luca Salvigni, Latifah Almulla, Jokubas Surgailis, Sophie Griggs, Iain McCulloch, Frédéric Laquai, Sahika Inal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Conjugated polymer films, which can conduct both ionic and electronic charges, are central to building soft electronic sensors and actuators. Despite the possible interplay between light absorption and the mixed conductivity of these materials in aqueous biological media, no single polymer film has been utilized to create a solar-switchable organic bioelectronic circuit that relies on a fully reversible and redox reaction-free potentiometric photodetection and current modulation. Here we demonstrate that the absorption of light by an electron and cation-transporting polymer film reversibly modulates its electrochemical potential and conductivity in an aqueous electrolyte, which is harnessed to design an n-type photo-electrochemical transistor (n-OPECT). By controlling the intensity of light incident on the n-type polymeric gate electrode, we generate transistor output characteristics that mimic the modulation of the polymeric channel current achieved through gate voltage control. The micron-scale n-OPECT exhibits a high signal-to-noise ratio and an excellent sensitivity to low light intensities. We demonstrate three direct applications of the n-OPECT, i.e., a photoplethysmogram recorder, a light-controlled inverter circuit, and a light-gated artificial synapse, underscoring the suitability of this platform for a myriad of biomedical applications that involve light intensity changes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5481
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2023
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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