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Nat Mater. 2013 Jul;12(7):665-71. doi: 10.1038/nmat3650. Epub 2013 Jun 2.

Solution coating of large-area organic semiconductor thin films with aligned single-crystalline domains.

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  • 1Department of Chemical Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, USA.


Solution coating of organic semiconductors offers great potential for achieving low-cost manufacturing of large-area and flexible electronics. However, the rapid coating speed needed for industrial-scale production poses challenges to the control of thin-film morphology. Here, we report an approach--termed fluid-enhanced crystal engineering (FLUENCE)--that allows for a high degree of morphological control of solution-printed thin films. We designed a micropillar-patterned printing blade to induce recirculation in the ink for enhancing crystal growth, and engineered the curvature of the ink meniscus to control crystal nucleation. Using FLUENCE, we demonstrate the fast coating and patterning of millimetre-wide, centimetre-long, highly aligned single-crystalline organic semiconductor thin films. In particular, we fabricated thin films of 6,13-bis(triisopropylsilylethynyl) pentacene having non-equilibrium single-crystalline domains and an unprecedented average and maximum mobilities of 8.1±1.2 cm(2) V(-1) s(-1) and 11 cm(2) V(-1) s(-1). FLUENCE of organic semiconductors with non-equilibrium single-crystalline domains may find use in the fabrication of high-performance, large-area printed electronics.

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