Coulomb-blockade transport in single-crystal organic thin-film transistors

W.A. Schoonveld, J. Wildeman, D. Fichou, P.A. Bobbert, B.J. Wees, van, T.M. Klapwijk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

126 Citations (Scopus)
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Coulomb-blockade transport—whereby the Coulomb interaction between electrons can prohibit their transport around a circuit—occurs in systems in which both the tunnel resistance, RT, between neighbouring sites is large (»h/e2) and the charging energy, EC (EC = e2/2C, where C is the capacitance of the site), of an excess electron on a site is large compared to kT. (Here e is the charge of an electron, k is Boltzmann's constant, and h is Planck's constant.) The nature of the individual sites—metallic, superconducting, semiconducting or quantum dot—is to first order irrelevant for this phenomenon to be observed1. Coulomb blockade has also been observed in two-dimensional arrays of normal-metal tunnel junctions2, but the relatively large capacitances of these micrometre-sized metal islands results in a small charging energy, and so the effect can be seen only at extremely low temperatures. Here we demonstrate that organic thin-film transistors based on highly ordered molecular materials can, to first order, also be considered as an array of sites separated by tunnel resistances. And as a result of the sub-nanometre sizes of the sites (the individual molecules), and hence their small capacitances, the charging energy dominates at room temperature. Conductivity measurements as a function of both gate bias and temperature reveal the presence of thermally activated transport, consistent with the conventional model of Coulomb blockade.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)977-980
Issue number6781
Publication statusPublished - 2000


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