Fabrication and analysis of polymer field-effect transistors



Parameters of organic field-effect transistors (OFET) achieved in recent years are promising enough for R & D activities towards a commercial low-cost polymer electronics. In spite of the fast progress, preparations dominated by trial and error are concentrated essentially on higher mobility polymers and shorter channel patterning, and the analysis of measured data is based on oversimplified models. Here ways to professionalize the research on polymer field-effect transistors are discussed exploiting experience accumulated in microelectronics. First of all, designing the devices before fabricating and subsequently analyzing them requires appropriate modelling. Almost independently from the nature of the transport process, the device physics is basically described by the drift-diffusion model, combined with non-degenerate carrier statistics. Therefore, with a modified interpretation of the so-called effective density of states, existing simulation tools can be applied, except for special cases which are discussed. Analytical estimates are helpful already in designing devices, and applied to experimental data they yield input parameters for the numerical simulations. Preparations of OFET's and capacitors with poly(3-ocylthiophene) (P3OT), poly(3-dodecylthiophene) P3HT, Arylamino-poly-(phenylene-vinylene) (PPV), poly(2-methoxy, 5 ethyl (2′ hexyloxy) paraphenylenevinylene) MEH-PPV, and pentacene from a soluble precursor are described, with silicon dioxide (SiO2) or poly(4-vinylphenol) (P4VP) as gate insulator, and with rather different channel length. We demonstrate the advantage of combining all steps from design/fabrication to analysis of the experimental data with analytical estimates and numerical simulation. Of special importance is the connection between mobility, transistor channel length, cut-off frequency and operation voltage, which was the starting point for the development of a low-cost fabrication of high-performance submicrometer OFET's by an underetching technique. Finally results of simulation studies are presented concerning the formation of inversion layers, the influence of a trap distribution (as in the a-Si model) and of different types of source/drain contacts on top and bottom contact OFET's, and short-channel effects in submicrometer devices. (© 2004 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim)