Microscopic Studies Of The Fate Of Charges In Organic Semiconductors: Scanning Kelvin Probe Measurements Of Charge Trapping, Transport, And Electric Fields In P- And N-Type Devices

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Organic semiconductors could have wide-ranging applications in lightweight, efficient electronic circuits. However, several fundamental questions regarding organic electronic device behavior have not yet been fully addressed, including the nature of chemical charge traps, and robust models for injection and transport. Many studies focus on engineering devices through bulk transport measurements, but it is not always possible to infer the microscopic behavior leading to the observed measurements. In this thesis, we present scanning-probe microscope studies of organic semiconductor devices in an effort to connect local properties with local device behavior. First, we study the chemistry of charge trapping in pentacene transistors. Working devices are doped with known pentacene impurities and the extent of charge trap formation is mapped across the transistor channel. Trap-clearing spectroscopy is employed to measure an excitation of the pentacene charge trap species, enabling identification of the degradationrelated chemical trap in pentacene. Second, we examine transport and trapping in peryelene diimide (PDI) transistors. Local mobilities are extracted from surface potential profiles across a transistor channel, and charge injection kinetics are found to be highly sensitive to electrode cleanliness. Trap-clearing spectra generally resemble PDI absorption spectra, but one derivative yields evidence indicating variation in trap-clearing mechanisms for different surface chemistries. Trap formation rates are measured and found to be independent of surface chemistry, contradicting a proposed silanol trapping mechanism. Finally, we develop a variation of scanning Kelvin probe microscopy that enables measurement of electric fields through a position modulation. This method avoids taking a numeric derivative of potential, which can introduce high-frequency noise into the electric field signal. Preliminary data is presented, and the theoretical basis for electric field noise in both methods is examined.

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organic semiconductors; scanning probe microscopy; charge trapping


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Marohn,John A.

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Dichtel,William Robert

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Chemistry and Chemical Biology

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Ph. D., Chemistry and Chemical Biology

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Doctor of Philosophy

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dissertation or thesis

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