Optically switchable organic light-emitting transistors
Journal article, 2019

Organic light-emitting transistors are pivotal components for emerging opto- and nanoelectronics applications, such as logic circuitries and smart displays. Within this technology sector, the integration of multiple functionalities in a single electronic device remains the key challenge. Here we show optically switchable organic light-emitting transistors fabricated through a judicious combination of light-emitting semiconductors and photochromic molecules. Irradiation of the solution-processed films at selected wavelengths enables the efficient and reversible tuning of charge transport and electroluminescence simultaneously, with a high degree of modulation (on/off ratios up to 500) in the three primary colours. Different emitting patterns can be written and erased through a non-invasive and mask-free process, on a length scale of a few micrometres in a single device, thereby rendering this technology potentially promising for optically gated highly integrated full-colour displays and active optical memory.

Organic field effect transistors

Light-emitting transistors

Display devices



Computer circuits


Lili Hou

University of Strasbourg

Xiaoyan Zhang

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chemistry and Biochemistry

University of Strasbourg

Giovanni F. Cotella

University College London (UCL)

Giuseppe Carnicella

University College London (UCL)

Martin Herder

Humboldt University of Berlin

Bernd M. Schmidt

Humboldt University of Berlin

Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf

Michael Pätzel

Humboldt University of Berlin

Stefan Hecht

Humboldt University of Berlin

F. Cacialli

University College London (UCL)

Paolo Samorì

University of Strasbourg

Nature Nanotechnology

1748-3387 (ISSN)

Subject Categories

Atom and Molecular Physics and Optics

Other Physics Topics

Condensed Matter Physics



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