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Flexible and Printed Electronics

Summary

This project is focused on the measurements needed to accelerate the innovation cycle for semiconducting-inks for sheet-to-sheet and roll-to-roll printing, to enable bespoke, flexible, low cost electronics for the IoT, Industry 4.0, and healthcare. Specially, we are (1) developing and demonstrating measurement methods (soft and hard X-ray, IR, TEM, SANS, swelling-based measurements) and computational toolboxes (pyPRISM) focused on characterizing and predicting the local structure and orientation in organic semiconductor-based systems to link structure to device performance for device optimization and (2) developing measurement methods to probe the kinetics and induced morphological changes during the doping process in organic electrochemical transistors (OECTs) to gain the understanding necessary to optimize the structure and performance of such devices.

Description

Approach

Developing commercial products based on organic electronics requires materials that deliver predictable and reproducible performance. One advantage of these materials is their compatibility with versatile solution processing methods. However, this advantage can lead to unpredictable performance and poor reproducibility because the critical microstructure of the material forms dynamically as the solution dries during manufacturing. Many process parameters influence the drying process and the microstructure formation is often hard to control.

We aim to develop and demonstrate multimodal analysis suites that combine information from the molecular level (IR-absorption, near edge X-ray absorption fine structure - NEXAFS) and crystalline structure (grazing-incidence wide-angle X-ray scattering - GIWAXS) with mesoscale (transmission electron microscopy - TEM, grazing-incidence small-angle X-ray scattering - GISAXS, vapor swelling, polarized soft X-ray scattering - pRSoXS) tools to “triangulate” on the film structure to correlate to device performance. These tools are deployed in both static (structure<->function) and in-situ (process<->structure) modalities. Through the combination of static and in-situ modalities we seek to elucidate the mechanisms underlying (meso)phase and structure development during processing and link key material properties to device performance.

Major Accomplishments

Organic Photovoltaics (OPV)

Schematic of an organic photovoltaic device, showing device components including the bulk heterojunction consisting of the electron donating and electron accepting organic semiconductors.

Organic Thin-Film Transistors (OTFT)

Schematic of an organic thin film transistor showing gate, dielectric, source, drain, and organic semiconductor.
Credit: Chad Snyder

Organic Electrochemical Transistors (OECT)

Animated gif showing swelling and color change (due to doping/de-doping) of an organic electrochemical transistor upon water and ion infiltration and exfiltration.
Credit: Chad Snyder
Swelling and color change (due to doping/de-doping) of an OECT upon water and ion infiltration and exfiltration.
Created November 4, 2008, Updated September 2, 2020