Organic electronics promise to provide flexible, large-area circuitry such as photovoltaics, displays, and light emitting diodes that can be fabricated inexpensively from solutions. A major obstacle to this vision is that most conjugated organic materials are miscible, making solution-based fabrication of multilayer or micro- to nanoscale patterned films problematic. Here we demonstrate that the solubility of prototypical conductive polymer poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) can be reversibly “switched off” using high electron affinity molecular dopants, then later recovered with light or a suitable dedoping solution. Using this technique, we are able to stack mutually soluble materials and laterally pattern polymer films using evaporation of dopants through a shadow mask or with light, achieving sub-micrometer, optically limited feature sizes. After forming these structures, the films can be dedoped without disrupting the patterned features; dedoped films have identical optical characteristics, charge carrier mobilities, and NMR spectra as as-cast P3HT films. This method greatly simplifies solution-based device fabrication, is easily adaptable to current manufacturing workflows, and is potentially generalizable to other classes of materials.
Adam J. Moule, Ian E. Jacobs, Jun Li, Stephanie L. Burg, David J. Bilsky, Brandon T. Rotondo, and Pieter Stroeve, "High-resolution patterning electronic polymers using dopant induced solubility control (Presentation Recording)," Proc. SPIE 9549, Physical Chemistry of Interfaces and Nanomaterials XIV, 954919 (Presented at SPIE Nanoscience + Engineering: August 12, 2015; Published: 5 October 2015); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2189340.4519370505001.
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