Metal Composition and Polyethylenimine Doping Capacity Effects on Semiconducting Metal Oxide-Polymer Blend Charge Transport

Wei Huang, Peijun Guo, Li Zeng, Ran Li, Binghao Wang, Gang Wang, Xinan Zhang, Robert P.H. Chang, Junsheng Yu, Michael J. Bedzyk*, Tobin J. Marks, Antonio Facchetti

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Charge transport and film microstructure evolution are investigated in a series of polyethylenimine (PEI)-doped (0.0-6.0 wt%) amorphous metal oxide (MO) semiconductor thin film blends. Here, PEI doping generality is broadened from binary In2O3 to ternary (e.g., In+Zn in IZO, In+Ga in IGO) and quaternary (e.g., In+Zn+Ga in IGZO) systems, demonstrating the universality of this approach for polymer electron doping of MO matrices. Systematic comparison of the effects of various metal ions on the electronic transport and film microstructure of these blends are investigated by combined thin-film transistor (TFT) response, AFM, XPS, XRD, X-ray reflectivity, and cross-sectional TEM. Morphological analysis reveals that layered MO film microstructures predominate in PEI-In2O3, but become less distinct in IGO and are not detectable in IZO and IGZO. TFT charge transport measurements indicate a general coincidence of a peak in carrier mobility (μpeak) and overall TFT performance at optimal PEI doping concentrations. Optimal PEI loadings that yield μpeak values depend not only on the MO elemental composition but also, equally important, on the metal atomic ratios. By investigating the relationship between the MO energy levels and PEI doping by UPS, it is concluded that the efficiency of PEI electron-donation is highly dependent on the metal oxide matrix work function in cases where film morphology is optimal, as in the IGO compositions. The results of this investigation demonstrate the broad generality and efficacy of PEI electron doping applied to electronically functional metal oxide systems and that the resulting film microstructure, morphology, and energy level modifications are all vital to understanding charge transport in these amorphous oxide blends.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5457-5473
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number16
StatePublished - Apr 25 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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