Light scattering studies of organic field effect transistors
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Organic semiconductors hold a great promise of enabling new technology based on low cost and flexible electronic devices. While much work has been done in the field of organic semiconductors, the field is still quite immature when compared to that of traditional inorganic based devices. More work is required before the full potential of organic field effect transistors (OFETs), organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs), and organic photovoltaics (OPVs) is realized. Among such work, a further development of diagnostic tools that characterize charge transport and device robustness more efficiently is required. Charge transport in organic semiconductors is limited by the nature of the metal-semiconductor interfaces where charge is injected into the semiconductor film and the semiconductor-dielectric interface where the charge is accumulated and transported. This, combined with that fact that organic semiconductors are especially susceptible to having structural defects induced via oxidation, charge transport induced damage, and metallization results in a situation where a semiconductor film's ability to conduct charge can degrade over time. This degradation manifests itself in the electrical device characteristics of organic based electronic devices. OFETs, for example, may display changes in threshold voltage, lowering of charge carrier mobilities, or a decrease in the On/Off ratio. All these effects sum together to result in degradation in device performance. The work begins with a study where matrix assisted pulsed laser deposition (MAPLE), an alternative organic semiconductor thin film deposition method, is used to fabricate OFETs with improved semiconductor-dielectric interfaces. MAPLE allows for the controlled layer-by-layer growth of the semiconductor film. Devices fabricated using this technique are shown to exhibit desirable characteristics that are otherwise only achievable with additional surface treatments. MAPLE is shown to be viable alternative to other fabrication methods. The work continues with a combined electro-optical study of the metal semiconductor interface in OFETs. It is highly desirable that a method that can be used to understand the mechanisms of device performance degradation be developed. We demonstrate that the surface enhanced Raman (SERS) effect (at the metal-semiconductor interface) can serve as such a method. We first show how the Raman spectrum of a pristine pentacene (a common organic semi- conductor) film is dramatically different from the spectrum collected when the film is probed through a metal contact. The spectrum collected from the contact region exhibits a change in peak intensities, peak positions, and an overall enhancement of signal intensity, all of which are direct evidence of the SERS effect. The SERS spectrum is then modeled by first principles density functional theory (DFT). The DFT calculations demonstrate that the SERS effect shows an extreme sensitivity to disorder in these semiconductor films. We further show how the SERS spectrum evolves after the device has been subjected to a bias-stress (i.e. applying both gate and drain voltages for an extended period of time). Devices that exhibit a strong degradation in performance also feature a concurrent change of the SERS spectrum. On the other hand, we see no change in the SERS spectrum of devices that exhibit stable operating characteristics. Thus, we confirm that the SERS spectrum can be used as a diagnostic tool for correlating transport properties to structural changes, if any, in organic semiconductor films. In conclusion, we develop a non-invasive opto-electronic visualization tool that can be used as an in-situ probe to characterize charge transport in organic semiconductor devices.