Trap Healing for High-Performance Low-Voltage Polymer Transistors and Solution-Based Analog Amplifiers on Foil

Vincenzo Pecunia, Mark Nikolka, Antony Sou, Iyad Nasrallah, Atefeh Y. Amin, Iain McCulloch, Henning Sirringhaus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Solution-processed semiconductors such as conjugated polymers have great potential in large-area electronics. While extremely appealing due to their low-temperature and high-throughput deposition methods, their integration in high-performance circuits has been difficult. An important remaining challenge is the achievement of low-voltage circuit operation. The present study focuses on state-of-the-art polymer thin-film transistors based on poly(indacenodithiophene-benzothiadiazole) and shows that the general paradigm for low-voltage operation via an enhanced gate-to-channel capacitive coupling is unable to deliver high-performance device behavior. The order-of-magnitude longitudinal-field reduction demanded by low-voltage operation plays a fundamental role, enabling bulk trapping and leading to compromised contact properties. A trap-reduction technique based on small molecule additives, however, is capable of overcoming this effect, allowing low-voltage high-mobility operation. This approach is readily applicable to low-voltage circuit integration, as this work exemplifies by demonstrating high-performance analog differential amplifiers operating at a battery-compatible power supply voltage of 5 V with power dissipation of 11 µW, and attaining a voltage gain above 60 dB at a power supply voltage below 8 V. These findings constitute an important milestone in realizing low-voltage polymer transistors for solution-based analog electronics that meets performance and power-dissipation requirements for a range of battery-powered smart-sensing applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1606938
JournalAdvanced Materials
Issue number23
StatePublished - Jun 20 2017
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


  • charge trapping
  • low-voltage amplifiers
  • low-voltage polymer transistors
  • solution-based integration


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