A guide for the characterization of organic electrochemical transistors and channel materials

by Sahika Inal, Victor Druet, David  Ohayon
Year: 2023 DOI: 10.1039/D2CS00920J


The organic electrochemical transistor (OECT) is one of the most versatile devices within the bioelectronics toolbox, with its compatibility with aqueous media and the ability to transduce and amplify ionic and biological signals into an electronic output. The OECT operation relies on the mixed (ionic and electronic charge) conduction properties of the material in its channel. With the increased popularity of OECTs in bioelectronics applications and to benchmark mixed conduction properties of channel materials, the characterization methods have broadened somewhat heterogeneously. We intend this review to be a guide for the characterization methods of the OECT and the channel materials used. Our review is composed of two main sections. First, we review techniques to fabricate the OECT, introduce different form factors and configurations, and describe the device operation principle. We then discuss the OECT performance figures of merit and detail the experimental procedures to obtain these characteristics. In the second section, we shed light on the characterization of mixed transport properties of channel materials and describe how to assess films’ interactions with aqueous electrolytes. In particular, we introduce experimental methods to monitor ion motion and diffusion, charge carrier mobility, and water uptake in the films. We also discuss a few theoretical models describing ion–polymer interactions. We hope that the guidelines we bring together in this review will help researchers perform a more comprehensive and consistent comparison of new materials and device designs, and they will be used to identify advances and opportunities to improve the device performance, progressing the field of organic bioelectronics.