Georgia Tech inventors have developed a multi-stage approach to obtain desirable processing attributes without sacrificing semiconducting capabilities. Through the attachment of multistage sidechains, conjugated polymers can be synthesized, characterized, and purified in organic solvents, making purification of final product simple. They are then converted to a water-soluble form for aqueous processing and brought through a final treatment to leave behind the desired electronic material as a solvent-resistant film. Applying this method allows the polymer to take on different physical characteristics under specific stimuli. This method would allow for organic electronic films to be “printed” with specific patterns, for example, using water, but maintaining electrical properties.
- Versatile and Tunable Technique – Ability to utilize different triggers to induce different properties; allows for thin film processing without loss of electronic properties
- Environmentally Friendly – Processes with water rather than toxic solvents
- Cheaper – Water replaces current solvents used in manufacturing
- Printed Electronics Production
- Organic LEDs, Organic Photovoltaics, Organic Thin-Film Transistors, etc.
- Application with electrochromic polymers for windows, glasses, and mirrors
Currently, the printed electronics industry aims to provide cheap, versatile electronics components by transitioning away from traditional high-energy silicon manufacturing and towards high-throughput, solution-based printing of organic materials. The ability to process conjugated polymers using water as the solvent is highly advantageous for reducing the costs and environmental hazards of large-scale production of organic electronics. However, maintaining competitive electronic properties while achieving aqueous solubility is difficult.