Organic Gas Sensors*

Frank Liao and Steve Volkman1
(Professor Vivek Subramanian)
DARPA and Semiconductor Research Corporation

Organic transistors show marked sensitivity to chemical compounds over their silicon counterparts. While in the past this may have been regarded as a disadvantage, it is possible to leverage this response by designing chemical sensors based on organic TFTs. Since it is has been shown that transistor drain currents are affected by exposure to various chemical analytes [1], it is possible to design an array of TFTs that would register unique signatures to different chemical agents and gases.

In this work, we are interested in designing chemical sensors capable of positively identifying a specific chemical agent or gas as well as an integrated approach to fabricating these devices. The development of these sensors will occur in several areas including materials, fabrication, and systems design. It involves understanding the responses of the active materials to an assortment of analytes and tailoring their chemistry to attenuate these responses. For a fully integrated approach, it is also necessary to develop the supporting circuitry, derived from organic materials, which would integrate the sensors’ responses and provide electrical readout. Finally, a solution-based process that is compatible with our in-house inkjet technology will augment functionality by integration into areas such as cloth or food packaging.

B. Crone, A. Dodabalapur, A. Gelperin, L. Torsi, H. E. Katz, A. J. Lovinger, and Z. Bao, "Electronic Sensing of Vapors with Organic Transistors," Applied Physics Lett., Vol. 78, No. 15, 2001.
1Undergraduate (non-EECS)

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