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Influence of Polymer Gate Dielectric on Organic Field‐Effect Transistors: Interdependence of Molecular Weight, Solvent Polarity, and Surface Energy—A Case Study with PMMA and Pentacene.

The semiconductor/dielectric interface controls the performance of organic field-effect transistors (OFETs). Herein, the influence of both the molecular weight and the polarity of the solvent of a poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA)-based gate dielectric on the performance of pentacene OFETs is systematically investigated, by studying surface energy, surface roughness, morphology, leakage current, and capacitance of the dielectric. Various existing views on the role of the surface energy are considered while deriving a correlation. Larger pentacene grains are observed when the film is grown on high molecular weight-PMMA films cast from high dipole moment-solvent. The electrical properties of the corresponding OFETs show great improvement compared to those of OFETs fabricated with low molecular weight-PMMA film as the gate dielectric, irrespective of the solvent. The authors attribute this enhanced performance to the increased surface energy of the polymeric dielectric which turns out to be a strong function of its molecular weight and the dipole moment of the solvent. Bias-stress measurements on the OFETs confirm this correlation.