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- Materials Science
To enhance electron injection in n-type organic field-effect transistors (OFETs), nonconjugated polyelectrolyte (NPE) layers are interposed between a [6,6]-phenyl-C-butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM) layer and Au electrodes. A series of NPEs based on an ethoxylated polyethylenimine backbone with various counterions, including Cl, Br, and I, improve electron mobilities up to ≈10cmVsand yield on–off ratios (I/I) of 10in PCBM OFETs. Ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy reveals that all of the NPEs lead to reduced electron injection barriers (φ) at the NPE/metal interface; this reduction in φis consistent with dipole formation or n-type doping at the electrode interface. Absorption measurements of PCBM films treated with NPEs are consistent with n-doping of the PCBM. Regardless of the type of anion, thick NPE layers lead to high conductivity in the films independent of gate bias, whereas thin NPE layers lead to dramatically improved electron injection and performance. These results demonstrate that thin polyelectrolyte layers can be used to achieve controlled interfacial doping in organic semiconductors. Furthermore, this study provides valuable information about the function of NPEs, which may be exploited to improve device performance and to design new materials for future use in optoelectronic devices.