Electron and Hole Polaron Accumulation in Low-Bandgap Ambipolar Donor-Acceptor Polymer Transistors Imaged by Infrared Microscopy



A resurgence in the use of the donor-acceptor approach in synthesizing conjugated polymers has resulted in a family of high-mobility ambipolar systems with exceptionally narrow energy bandgaps below 1 eV. The ability to transport both electrons and holes is critical for device applications such as organic light-emitting diodes and transistors. Infrared spectroscopy offers direct access to the low-energy excitations associated with injected charge carriers. Here we use a diffraction-limited IR microscope to probe the spectroscopic signatures of electron and hole injection in the conduction channel of an organic field-effect transistor based on an ambipolar DA polymer polydiketopyrrolopyrrole-benzobisthiadiazole. We observe distinct polaronic absorptions for both electrons and holes and spatially map the carrier distribution from the source to drain electrodes for both unipolar and ambipolar biasing regimes. For ambipolar device configurations, we observe the spatial evolution of hole-induced to electron-induced polaron absorptions throughout the transport path. Our work provides a platform for combined transport and infrared studies of organic semiconductors on micron length scales relevant to functional devices.



Absorption, Electrons, Polarons, Holes, Polymers


US Department of Energy, Basic Energy Sciences (DE-FG02-00ER45799).


©2014 American Physical Society


Khatib, O., A. S. Mueller, H. T. Stinson, J. D. Yuen, et al. 2014. "Electron and hole polaron accumulation in low-bandgap ambipolar donor-acceptor polymer transistors imaged by infrared microscopy." Physical Review B 90(23): 235307.