Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

X-rays reveal molecular arrangements for better printable electronics

Date:
April 25, 2012
Source:
University of California - Santa Barbara
Summary:
By employing powerful X-rays that can see down to the molecular level of organic materials used in printable electronics, researchers are now able to determine why some materials perform better than others. Their findings could lead to cheaper, more efficient printable electronic devices.

A printed electronics system.
Credit: Peter Allen

By employing powerful X-rays that can see down to the molecular level of organic materials used in printable electronics, researchers are now able to determine why some materials perform better than others. Their findings, published in the journal Nature Materials, could lead to cheaper, more efficient printable electronic devices.

"This work is exciting because it helps reveal in new detail how we can achieve high performance transistors and solar cells with polymers," said UC Santa Barbara professor of materials Michael Chabinyc, who, with UCSB chemistry graduate student Justin Cochran and North Carolina State physicists Harald Ade and Brian Collins, set out to find out which materials and which processing steps worked better, in what is still a largely trial-and-error process for manufacturers of printable electronics. This effort also involved collaboration with an international team, including researchers from Monash University in Australia and Univeristδt Erlangen-Nόmberg in Germany.

Printed electronics is a process that employs fairly common printing methods to deposit inks containing organic conductive molecules onto surfaces, to creating circuitry for a variety of electronic devices, including photovoltaics, displays, and even luminescent clothing. The process is faster and cheaper than conventional production techniques for the same products, and could pave the way toward making these devices more accessible to consumers.

However, until recently, the process of selecting these organic materials -- and what steps to take in order to improve their performance -- was something of a mystery. Some materials and treatments worked better than others, and the researchers set out to find out why.

The researchers developed a technique that used powerful X-rays to peer into these organic materials at the molecular level. They found that the performance of the material had to do with its molecular alignment, and that this alignment was controlled by simple methods such as heating and molecular interactions at surface levels.

"In transistors, we found that as the alignment between molecules increased, so did the performance," Collins said. "In the case of the solar cells, we discovered alignment of molecules at interfaces in the device, which may be the key to more efficient harvesting of light. For both, this was the first time anyone had been able to really look at what was happening at the molecular level."

The researchers hope that the new X-ray technique will provide a better perspective into the nature of organic materials used in printed electronics.

"We're hoping that this technique will give researchers and manufacturers greater insight into the fundamentals of these materials," Collins said. "Understanding how these materials work can only lead to improved performance and better commercial viability."

Funding for work on organic transistors at UCSB and NCSU was supported by the Division of Materials Research of the National Science Foundation, through an award from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - Santa Barbara. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. B. A. Collins, J. E. Cochran, H. Yan, E. Gann, C. Hub, R. Fink, C. Wang, T. Schuettfort, C. R. McNeill, M. L. Chabinyc, H. Ade. Polarized X-ray scattering reveals non-crystalline orientational ordering in organic films. Nature Materials, 2012; DOI: 10.1038/nmat3310

Cite This Page:

University of California - Santa Barbara. "X-rays reveal molecular arrangements for better printable electronics." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 April 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120425140452.htm>.
University of California - Santa Barbara. (2012, April 25). X-rays reveal molecular arrangements for better printable electronics. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120425140452.htm
University of California - Santa Barbara. "X-rays reveal molecular arrangements for better printable electronics." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120425140452.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

German Researchers Crack Samsung's Fingerprint Scanner

German Researchers Crack Samsung's Fingerprint Scanner

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) — German researchers have used a fake fingerprint made from glue to bypass the fingerprint security system on Samsung's new Galaxy S5 smartphone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Porsche CEO Says Supercar Is Not Dead: Cue the Spyder 918

Porsche CEO Says Supercar Is Not Dead: Cue the Spyder 918

TheStreet (Apr. 16, 2014) — The Porsche Spyder 918 proves that, in an automotive world obsessed with fuel efficiency, the supercar is not dead. Porsche North America CEO Detlev von Platen attributes the brand's consistent sales growth -- 21% in 2013 -- with an investment in new technology and expanded performance dynamics. The hybrid Spyder 918 has 887 horsepower and 944 lb-ft of torque, but it can run 18 miles on just an electric charge. The $845,000 vehicle is not a consumer-targeted vehicle but a brand statement. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
Industry's Optimism Shines At New York Auto Show

Industry's Optimism Shines At New York Auto Show

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) — After seeing auto sales grow last month, there's plenty for the industry to celebrate as it rolls out its newest designs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ford Mustang Fetes Its 50th Atop Empire State Building

Ford Mustang Fetes Its 50th Atop Empire State Building

AFP (Apr. 16, 2014) — Ford celebrated the 50th birthday of its beloved Mustang by displaying a new model of the convertible on top of the Empire State Building in New York. Duration: 00:28 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins