Blending organic semiconductors with insulating polymers has been known to be an effective way to overcome the disadvantages of single-component organic semiconductors for high-performance organic field-effect transistors (OFETs). We show that when a solution processable organic semiconductor (6,13-bis(triisopropylsilylethynyl)pentacene, TIPS-pentacene) is blended with an insulating polymer (PS), morphological and structural characteristics of the blend films could be significantly influenced by the processing conditions like the spin coating time. Although vertical phase-separated structures (TIPS-pentacene-top/PS-bottom) were formed on the substrate regardless of the spin coating time, the spin time governed the growth mode of the TIPS-pentacene molecules that phase-separated and crystallized on the insulating polymer. Excess residual solvent in samples spun for a short duration induces a convective flow in the drying droplet, thereby leading to one-dimensional (1D) growth mode of TIPS-pentacene crystals. In contrast, after an appropriate spin-coating time, an optimum amount of the residual solvent in the film led to two-dimensional (2D) growth mode of TIPS-pentacene crystals. The 2D spherulites of TIPS-pentacene are extremely advantageous for improving the field-effect mobility of FETs compared to needle-like 1D structures, because of the high surface coverage of crystals with a unique continuous film structure. In addition, the porous structure observed in the 2D crystalline film allows gas molecules to easily penetrate into the channel region, thereby improving the gas sensing properties.
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This work was supported by grants from the Basic Science Research Program (Code No. 2016R1C1B2013176, 2017R1A2B4006019) and the Center for Advanced Soft Electronics under the Global Frontier Research Program (Code No. 2011–0031628) of the Ministry of Science and ICT, Korea.
Supplementary information accompanies this paper at https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-36652-1.
Lee, Jung Hun; Seo, Yena; Park, Yeong Don; Anthony, John E.; Kwak, Do Hun; Lim, Jung Ah; Ko, Sunglim; Jang, Ho Won; Cho, Kilwon; and Lee, Wi Hyoung, "Effect of Crystallization Modes in TIPS-Pentacene/Insulating Polymer Blends on the Gas Sensing Properties of Organic Field-Effect Transistors" (2019). Center for Applied Energy Research Faculty and Staff Publications. 31.