N-Type Ionic-Organic Electronic Ratchets for Energy Harvesting

Kenneth Liao, Samuel D. Collins, Viktor V. Brus, Oleksandr V. Mikhnenko, Yuanyuan Hu, Hung Phan, Thuc Quyen Nguyen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Ionic-organic ratchets are three-terminal electronic devices with asymmetric conductivity of the active layer. These devices are capable of generating useful direct current electrical power by converting electromagnetic noise signals available in any environment. In this work, we demonstrate for the first time an n-type ionic-organic ratchet which can generate a current of up to 7.29 μA and power up to 12.5 μW that exceed the values reported for many of the presently state-of-the-art, p-type organic electronic ratchets. We show that n-type ratchets require elimination of electron traps at the SiO 2 surface, which is not required in p-type devices. This can be achieved by using a trap-free passivation layer such as benzocyclobutene, where the traditional silane treatment is insufficient. Chemical doping is employed to further fill electron traps in the channel and increase carrier concentration and mobilities. Scanning Kelvin probe force microscopy studies provide evidence of a pn-like rectifying junction in the n-type ratchets fabricated in this work, which inherently differs from the rectification mechanism of previous ionic-organic p-type ratchets.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1081-1087
Number of pages7
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 9 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • capacitance
  • charge transport
  • ions
  • PCBM
  • pn-junction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)

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