Printable organic thin-film transistors have enabled flexible low-cost electronics, which has the potential for a lot of emerging electronic applications. Despite the excellent dark performance of advanced all-inkjet printed organic thin-film transistors, their photoresponse is less explored and needs to be investigated, especially photoresponse to visible lights that human beings can see and are most familiar with. Importantly, for electronics integration, both devices with and without photo-sensitivity to visible light are important, for photo-detecting and signal processing, respectively. In this study, two organic semiconductor materials are used in all-inkjet printed organic thin-film transistors, namely 2,7-dioctyl[1
]benzothiophene (C8-BTBT), 6,13-bis (triisopropylsilylethynyl) pentacene (TIPS-pentacene). By characterizing devices under optical exposure with wavelengths from 400 to 800 nm, photocurrents and threshold voltage shifts of the devices are extracted. The fabricated C8-BTBT organic thin-film transistors do not exhibit noticeable photo-sensitivity to visible light, whereas the TIPS-pentacene devices demonstrate significant photoresponse to visible lights, with photocurrents in nano- to micro-ampere levels and threshold voltage shifts of hundreds of millivolts to several volts depending on the photon energy of lights under the same intensity. The TIPS-pentacene devices demonstrated reproducible characteristics before and after light exposure. In addition, the responsivity and sensitivity of the devices were characterized with a decent responsivity of 55.9 mA/W. The photoresponse mechanisms are explained with ultraviolet–visible (UV–vis) adsorption spectroscopy measurements and extracted optical bandgaps of the two semiconductors. This study shows both printed organic transistors with and without photo-sensitivity can be fabricated with the same device structure and fabrication process at low cost, which opens the new possibility of using printed organic thin-film transistors for integrated optoelectronic applications.
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