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Spray-printing of organic semiconducting single crystals.

Rigas, G P; Payne, M M*; Anthony, J E*; Horton, P N*; Castro, F A; Shkunov, M* (2016) Spray-printing of organic semiconducting single crystals. Nature Comms., 7. p. 13531.

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Single crystal semiconductors have been at the forefront of scientific interest for more than 70 years, serving as the backbone of electronic devices[1] or as a testbed for enhancing our understanding of the physical properties of new classes of materials[2-5]. Inorganic single crystal semiconductors are typically grown from a melt, using time consuming and energy expensive processes. Organic semiconductor single crystals (OSSCs), on the other hand, have the potential to be grown through a solution based process at room temperature in air, opening up the possibility of low cost large scale production of inexpensive electronics, with applications ranging from high performance field effect transistors (FETs)[6] and light emitting diodes[7], to low cost medical x-ray[8] and high energy isotope[9, 10] detectors. Despite significant efforts devoted to the development of a scalable printing method to fabricate OSSCs[11], reported processes are either material[12, 13] or substrate[14] specific, limiting widespread application. Here we demonstrate a low-cost, scalable printing process to fabricate high-quality OSSCs on virtually any substrate using various types of conjugated molecules. By combining the advantages of antisolvent crystallization[12] and solution shearing[15], with spray-printing [16-19], one-step single crystal growth of various small semiconducting molecules was realized. In addition, crystal size, shape, and orientation was controlled by the shear force generated by the impact of the droplets from the spray onto the antisolvent¿s surface, eliminating the need for pre-deposition patterning. The compatibility of the proposed technique with a variety of substrates and materials, combined with its low cost will pave the way for large scale manufacturing of high performance organic printed electronic devices.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Advanced Materials
Advanced Materials > Electrochemistry
Identification number/DOI: 10.1038/ncomms13531
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2018 13:13
URI: http://eprintspublications.npl.co.uk/id/eprint/7341

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