Interplay between vacuum-grown monolayers of alkyl phosphonic acids and the performance of organic transistors based on dinaphtho[2,3-b:2′,3′-f]thieno[3,2-b]thiophene

Stuart Hannah, Javier Cardona, Dimitrios A. Lamprou, Pavol Sutta , Peter Baran, Afra Al Ruzaiqi, Karen Johnston, Helena Gleskova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)
83 Downloads (Pure)


Monolayers of six alkyl phosphonic acids ranging from C8 to C18 were prepared by vacuum evaporation and incorporated into low-voltage organic field-effect transistors based on dinaphtho[2,3-b:2′,3′-f]thieno[3,2-b]thiophene (DNTT). Similar to solution-assembled monolayers, the molecular order for vacuum deposited monolayers improved with increasing length of the aliphatic tail. At the same time, FTIR measurements suggested lower molecular coverage for longer phosphonic acids. The comparison of FTIR and vibration frequencies calculated by Density Functional Theory indicated that monodentate bonding does not occur for any phosphonic acid. All monolayers exhibited low surface energy of ~17.5 mJ/m2 with a dominating Lifshitz-van der Waals component. Their surface roughness was comparable, while the nanomechanical properties were varied but not correlated to the length of the molecule. However, large improvement in the transistor performance was observed with increasing length of the aliphatic tail. Going from C8 to C18 the mean threshold voltage decreased from ‒1.37 to ‒1.24 V, the field-effect mobility increased from 0.03 to 0.33 cm2/Vs, the off-current decreased from ~ 8×10-13 to ~ 3×10-13 A, and for transistors with L = 30 um the on-current increased from ~ 3×10-8 to ~ 2×10-6 A, and the on/off current ratio increased from ~ 3×104 to ~ 4×106. Similarly, transistors with longer phosphonic acids exhibited much better air and bias-stress stability. The achieved transistor performance opens up a completely ‘dry’ fabrication route for ultra-thin dielectrics and low-voltage organic transistors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25405-25414
Number of pages10
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number38
Publication statusPublished - 28 Sep 2016


  • organic field-effect transistor
  • alkyl phosphonic acids
  • monolayer
  • DNTT
  • bias stress
  • vacuum-grown
  • low-voltage operation


Dive into the research topics of 'Interplay between vacuum-grown monolayers of alkyl phosphonic acids and the performance of organic transistors based on dinaphtho[2,3-b:2′,3′-f]thieno[3,2-b]thiophene'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this