Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors
Heifer International



Home > Press > Printing innovations provide 10-fold improvement in organic electronics

This image shows a cross-polarized optical micrograph comparing a sample of an organic semiconducting film created without micropillars (top) and with micropillars (bottom) at scales of both one millimeter and 50 micrometers. Note the uniformity of the crystals in the bottom image as compared to in the top image.

Credit: Credit: Y. Diao et al.
This image shows a cross-polarized optical micrograph comparing a sample of an organic semiconducting film created without micropillars (top) and with micropillars (bottom) at scales of both one millimeter and 50 micrometers. Note the uniformity of the crystals in the bottom image as compared to in the top image.

Credit: Credit: Y. Diao et al.

Abstract:
Through innovations to a printing process, researchers have made major improvements to organic electronics - a technology in demand for lightweight, low-cost solar cells, flexible electronic displays and tiny sensors. The printing method is fast and works with a variety of organic materials to produce semiconductors of strikingly higher quality than what has so far been achieved with similar methods.

Printing innovations provide 10-fold improvement in organic electronics

Menlo Park, CA | Posted on June 3rd, 2013

Organic electronics have great promise for a variety of applications, but even the highest quality films available today fall short in how well they conduct electrical current. The team from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University have developed a printing process they call FLUENCE—fluid-enhanced crystal engineering—that for some materials results in thin films capable of conducting electricity 10 times more efficiently than those created using conventional methods.

"Even better, most of the concepts behind FLUENCE can scale up to meet industry requirements," said Ying Diao, a SLAC/Stanford postdoctoral researcher and lead author of the study, which appeared today in Nature Materials.

Stefan Mannsfeld, a SLAC materials physicist and one of the principal investigators of the experiment, said the key was to focus on the physics of the printing process rather than the chemical makeup of the semiconductor. Diao engineered the process to produce strips of big, neatly aligned crystals that electrical charge can flow through easily, while preserving the benefits of the "strained lattice" structure and "solution shearing" printing technique previously developed in the lab of Mannsfeld's co-principal investigator, Professor Zhenan Bao of the Stanford Institute for Materials and Energy Sciences, a joint SLAC-Stanford institute.

To make the advance, Diao focused on controlling the flow of the liquid in which the organic material is dissolved. "It's a vital piece of the puzzle," she said. If the ink flow does not distribute evenly, as is often the case during fast printing, the semiconducting crystals will be riddled with defects. "But in this field there's been little research done on controlling fluid flow."

Diao designed a printing blade with tiny pillars embedded in it that mix the ink so it forms a uniform film. She also engineered a way around another problem: the tendency of crystals to randomly form across the substrate. A series of cleverly designed chemical patterns on the substrate suppress the formation of unruly crystals that would otherwise grow out of alignment with the printing direction. The result is a film of large, well-aligned crystals.

X-ray studies of the group's organic semiconductors at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL) allowed them to inspect their progress and continue to make improvements, eventually showing neatly arranged crystals at least 10 times longer than crystals created with other solution-based techniques, and of much greater structural perfection.

The group also repeated the experiment using a second organic semiconductor material with a significantly different molecular structure, and again they saw a notable improvement in the quality of the film. They believe this is a sign the techniques will work across a variety of materials.

Principal investigators Bao and Mannsfeld say the next step for the group is pinning down the underlying relationship between the material and the process that enabled such a stellar result. Such a discovery could provide an unprecedented degree of control over the electronic properties of printed films, optimizing them for the devices that will use them.

"That could lead to a revolutionary advance in organic electronics," Bao said. "We've been making excellent progress, but I think we're only just scratching the surface."

###

Other study co-authors included researchers from Stanford University's departments of chemistry and chemical and electrical engineering and Nanjing University. The research was supported by the SLAC's Laboratory Directed Research and Development program. SSRL is a national user facility operated by Stanford University on behalf of the DOE's Office of Science.

Citation: Y. Diao et al., Nature Materials, 02 June 2013 (10.1038/NMAT3650)

####

About DOE/SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
SLAC is a multi-program laboratory exploring frontier questions in photon science, astrophysics, particle physics and accelerator research. Located in Menlo Park, California, SLAC is operated by Stanford University for the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science. To learn more, please visit http://www.slac.stanford.edu.

DOE's Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit science.energy.gov.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Bronwyn Barnett

650-926-8580

Scientist Contact:

Zhenan Bao
SLAC
Stanford University

650-723-2419

Stefan Mannsfeld
SLAC

650-926-3173

Copyright © DOE/SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Daikin Industries becomes OCSiAl shareholder July 27th, 2021

The National Space Society Congratulates Blue Origin and Jeff Bezos for the Spectacular First Crewed Flight of the New Shepard: Well-Tested Suborbital Tourist Rocket Soars to 63 Miles; Opens New Frontiers July 21st, 2021

Unconventional superconductor acts the part of a promising quantum computing platform: If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck. July 16th, 2021

Unlocking efficient light-energy conversion with stable coordination nanosheets: Scientists design a high-performance, self-powered, UV photodetector using 2D nanosheets that show record photocurrent stability under air exposure July 16th, 2021

Primers with graphene nanotubes offer a new solution for electrostatic painting of automotive parts July 16th, 2021

Display technology/LEDs/SS Lighting/OLEDs

Removing the lead hazard from perovskite solar cells July 16th, 2021

Nanotech OLED electrode liberates 20% more light, could slash display power consumption: A five-nanometer-thick layer of silver and copper outperforms conventional indium tin oxide without adding cost June 29th, 2021

Use of perovskite will be a key feature of the next generation of electronic appliances: Nanomaterials of perovskite dispersed in hexane and irradiated by laser; light emission by these materials is intense thanks to resistance to surface defects March 12th, 2021

Laboratories

Scientists take first snapshots of ultrafast switching in a quantum electronic device: They discover a short-lived state that could lead to faster and more energy-efficient computing devices July 16th, 2021

Argonne researchers use AI to optimize a popular material coating technique in real time June 25th, 2021

Magnetism drives metals to insulators in new experiment: Study provides new tools to probe novel spintronic devices June 4th, 2021

New form of silicon could enable next-gen electronic and energy devices: Novel crystalline form of silicon could potentially be used to create next-generation electronic and energy devices June 4th, 2021

Flexible Electronics

A molecule like a nanobattery: Chemical scientists decipher complex electronic structure of a three-nuclear metallorganic compound with the capacity of donating and receiving multiple electrons June 9th, 2021

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

The virus trap: Hollow nano-objects made of DNA could trap viruses and render them harmless July 16th, 2021

Scientists create rechargeable swimming microrobots using oil and water July 16th, 2021

Scientists take first snapshots of ultrafast switching in a quantum electronic device: They discover a short-lived state that could lead to faster and more energy-efficient computing devices July 16th, 2021

Stress-free path to stress-free metallic films paves the way for next-gen circuitry: Optimized sputtering technique helps minimize stress in tungsten thin films July 4th, 2021

Discoveries

Repairs using light signals: FAU research group develops smart microparticle that identifies defective parts in electrical appliances July 16th, 2021

Removing the lead hazard from perovskite solar cells July 16th, 2021

Scientists create rechargeable swimming microrobots using oil and water July 16th, 2021

Scientists take first snapshots of ultrafast switching in a quantum electronic device: They discover a short-lived state that could lead to faster and more energy-efficient computing devices July 16th, 2021

Announcements

Daikin Industries becomes OCSiAl shareholder July 27th, 2021

The National Space Society Congratulates Blue Origin and Jeff Bezos for the Spectacular First Crewed Flight of the New Shepard: Well-Tested Suborbital Tourist Rocket Soars to 63 Miles; Opens New Frontiers July 21st, 2021

Scientists take first snapshots of ultrafast switching in a quantum electronic device: They discover a short-lived state that could lead to faster and more energy-efficient computing devices July 16th, 2021

Researchers discover a new inorganic material with lowest thermal conductivity ever reported July 16th, 2021

Printing/Lithography/Inkjet/Inks/Bio-printing/Dyes

With a zap of light, system switches objects' colors and patterns: "Programmable matter" technique could enable product designers to churn out prototypes with ease May 6th, 2021

New 3D-Bioprinter + Bioink Use Living Cells Straight From Culture Plate: Cell models mimicking natural tissue topography herald new era for biomedical research April 13th, 2021

Weak force has strong impact on nanosheets: Rice lab finds van der Waals force can deform nanoscale silver for optics, catalytic use December 15th, 2020

Materials scientists learn how to make liquid crystal shape-shift September 25th, 2020

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project