Organic thin-film transistors (OTFTs) appear to have become strong contenders to silicon based MOSFET devices whenever low-cost and relatively low performance circuits are required in applications such as radio frequency identification (RFID) for large volume supply chains. In order to develop circuits based on OTFTs, circuit designers require circuit models that predict the operation of OTFT with a reasonable accuracy. Although, generally, OTFT operation is similar to ordinary silicon MOSFET devices, there are several characteristics that clearly differentiate them. One important difference between the operation of the OTFT and the silicon MOSFET (that is a direct consequence of the physical implementation of OTFT) is that the organic transistor is normally operated in the accumulation mode, while the silicon transistor regularly operates in the inversion mode. Due to the molecular nature of the semiconductor, the carrier mobility is orders of magnitude lower than for the silicon MOSFET. Variable carrier mobility law, low on/off ratio, and the Schottky barrier at the interface between the source/drain metal contact and the organic semiconductor are among other important effects that had to be considered for developing of an accurate circuit model of the organic transistor. The developed model has been used to simulate DC characteristics and also simple circuits such as logic gates, ring oscillators, rectifiers, etc.
This paper presents the developed model as well as a comparison between the simulated data and the experimental data. The experimental circuits were fabricated on flexible plastic substrates and employed a solution-cast dielectric. Pentacene was the semiconductor of choice with carrier mobility in the range of 0.1 – 1.5 cm2/V.s.