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Water-Surface Drag Coating: A New Route Toward High-Quality Conjugated Small-Molecule Thin Films with Enhanced Charge Transport Properties.

Abstract

Electronic properties of organic semiconductor (OSC) thin films are largely determined by their morphologies and crystallinities. However, solution-processed conjugated small-molecule OSC thin films usually exhibit abundant grain boundaries and impure grain orientations because of complex fluid dynamics during solution coating. Here, a novel methodology, water-surface drag coating, is demonstrated to fabricate high-quality OSC thin films with greatly enhanced charge transport properties. This method utilizes the water surface to alter the evaporation dynamics of solution to enlarge the grain size, and a unique drag-coating process to achieve the unidirectional growth of organic crystals. Using 2,8-difluoro-5,11-bis(triethylsilylethynyl)anthradithiophene (Dif-TES-ADT) as an example, thin films with millimeter-sized single-crystal domains and pure crystallographic orientations are achieved, revealing a significant enhancement (4.7 times) of carrier mobility. More importantly, the resulting film can be directly transferred onto any desired flexible substrates, and flexible transistors based on the Dif-TES-ADT thin films show a mobility as high as 16.1 cm2 V-1 s-1 , which represents the highest mobility value for the flexible transistors reported thus far. The method is general for the growth of various high-quality OSC thin films, thus opening up opportunities for high-performance organic flexible electronics.

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