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We report a tactile touch sensor based on a planar liquid crystal-gated-organic field-effect transistor (LC-g-OFET) structure. The LC-g-OFET touch sensors were fabricated by forming the 10 μm thick LC layer (4-cyano-4-pentylbiphenyl - 5CB) on top of the 50 nm thick channel layer (poly(3-hexylthiophene) - P3HT) that is coated on the in-plane aligned drain/source/gate electrodes (indium-tin oxide - ITO). As an external physical stimulation to examine the tactile touch performance, a weak nitrogen flow (83.3 μl/s) was employed to stimulate the LC layer of the touch device. The LC-g-OFET device exhibited p-type transistor characteristics with a hole mobility of 1.5 cm2/Vs, but no sensing current by the nitrogen flow touch was measured at sufficiently high drain (V) and gate (V) voltages. However, a clear sensing current signal was detected at lower voltages, which was quite sensitive to the combination of V and V. The best voltage combination was V = −0.2 V and V = −1 V for the highest ratio of signal currents to base currents (i.e., signal-to-noise ratio). The change in the LC alignment upon the nitrogen flow touch was assigned as the mechanism for the present LC-g-OFET touch sensors.


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