Dr. Ying Diao has identified a new nanoporous thin film fabrication method using simple solution processing methods applicable to both polymer and small molecule semiconductors. Using the novel additive method, she has developed a OFET chemical sensors comprising of nanoporous thin film. Templated by the nanostructured PVP:HAD layer, the pore sizes in the semiconductor layer are widely tunable from 50 nm to 1µm.
Compared to the currently available sensors, the invention exhibited ultrafast and ultrasensitive response to ammonia as well as formaldehyde molecules down to 1ppb at hundred-millisecond time scale, a breakthrough of 10-fold sensitivity enhancement. The excellent performance, simple fabrication, and diverse form-factors of nanoporous transistors has opened up a wide range of applications of the invention in the fields of personal health and environmental monitoring, both fields which demand sensors with high sensitivity on the ppb level with fast response.