Doping organic semiconductors has become a key technology to increase the performance of organic light-emitting diodes, solar cells, or field-effect transistors (OFETs). However, doping can be used not only to optimize these devices but also to enable new design principles as well. Here, a novel type of OFET is reported—the vertical organic tunnel field-effect transistor. Based on heterogeneously doped drain and source contacts, charge carriers are injected from an n-doped source electrode into the channel by Zener tunneling and are transported toward a p-doped drain electrode. The working mechanism of these transistors is discussed with the help of a tunnel model that takes energetic broadening of transport states in organic semiconductors and roughness of organic layers into account. The proposed device principle opens new ways to optimize OFETs. It is shown that the Zener junction included between the source and drain of the vertical organic tunnel field-effect transistors suppresses short channel effects and improves the saturation of vertical OFETs.
Liu, S., Tietze, M. L., Al-Shadeedi, A., Kaphle, V., Keum, C., & Lüssem, B. (2019). Vertical Organic Tunnel Field-Effect Transistors. ACS Applied Electronic Materials, 1(8), 1506–1516. doi:10.1021/acsaelm.9b00305
The authors acknowledge funding from the National Science Foundation (EECS 1709479 and 1639073) and from the Binational Science Foundation (Grant 2014396). The research was further supported by competitive research funding from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology.