skip to main content

Title: Structural color printing via polymer-assisted photochemical deposition

Structural color printings have broad applications due to their advantages of long-term sustainability, eco-friendly manufacturing, and ultra-high resolution. However, most of them require costly and time-consuming fabrication processes from nanolithography to vacuum deposition and etching. Here, we demonstrate a new color printing technology based on polymer-assisted photochemical metal deposition (PPD), a room temperature, ambient, and additive manufacturing process without requiring heating, vacuum deposition or etching. The PPD-printed silver films comprise densely aggregated silver nanoparticles filled with a small amount (estimated <20% volume) of polymers, producing a smooth surface (roughness 2.5 nm) even better than vacuum-deposited silver films (roughness 2.8 nm) at ~4 nm thickness. Further, the printed composite films have a much larger effective refractive indexn(~1.90) and a smaller extinction coefficientk(~0.92) than PVD ones in the visible wavelength range (400 to 800 nm), therefore modulating the surface reflection and the phase accumulation. The capability of PPD in printing both ultra-thin (~5 nm) composite films and highly reflective thicker film greatly benefit the design and construction of multilayered Fabry–Perot (FP) cavity structures to exhibit vivid and saturated colors. We demonstrated programmed printing of complex pictures of different color schemes at a high spatial resolution of ~6.5 μm by three-dimensionally modulating the top composite film geometries and more » dielectric spacer thicknesses (75 to 200 nm). Finally, PPD-based color picture printing is demonstrated on a wide range of substrates, including glass, PDMS, and plastic, proving its broad potential in future applications from security labeling to color displays.

« less
; ; ; ; ;
Award ID(s):
1838443 1809997 1947753
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Light: Science & Applications
Nature Publishing Group
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Direct write Inkjet Printing is a versatile additive manufacturing technology that allows for the fabrication of multiscale structures with dimensions spanning from nano to cm scale. This is made possible due to the development of novel dispensing tools, enabling controlled and precise deposition of fluid with a wide range of viscosities (1 – 50 000 mPas) in nano-liter volumes. As a result, Inkjet printing has been recognized as a potential low-cost alternative for several established manufacturing methods, including cleanroom fabrication. In this paper, we present a characterization study of PEDOT: PSS polymer ink deposition printing process realized with the help of an automated, custom Direct Write Inkjet system. PEDOT: PSS is a highly conductive ink that possesses good film forming capabilities. Applications thus include printing thin films on flexible substrates for tactile (touch) sensors. We applied the Taguchi Design of Experiment (DOE) method to produce the optimal set of PEDOT:PSS ink dispensing parameters, to study their influence on the resulting ink droplet diameter. We experimentally determined that the desired outcome of a printed thin film with minimum thickness is directly related to 1) the minimum volume of dispensed fluid and 2) the presence of a preprocessing step, namely air plasmamore »treatment of the Kapton substrate. Results show that an ink deposit with a minimum diameter of 482 μm, and a thin film with approximately 300 nm thickness were produced with good repeatability.« less
  2. There has been an increasing need of technologies to manufacturing chemical and biological sensors for various applications ranging from environmental monitoring to human health monitoring. Currently, manufacturing of most chemical and biological sensors relies on a variety of standard microfabrication techniques, such as physical vapor deposition and photolithography, and materials such as metals and semiconductors. Though functional, they are hampered by high cost materials, rigid substrates, and limited surface area. Paper based sensors offer an intriguing alternative that is low cost, mechanically flexible, has the inherent ability to filter and separate analytes, and offers a high surface area, permeable framework advantageous to liquid and vapor sensing. However, a major drawback is that standard microfabrication techniques cannot be used in paper sensor fabrication. To fabricate sensors on paper, low temperature additive techniques must be used, which will require new manufacturing processes and advanced functional materials. In this work, we focus on using aerosol jet printing as a highresolution additive process for the deposition of ink materials to be used in paper-based sensors. This technique can use a wide variety of materials with different viscosities, including materials with high porosity and particles inherent to paper. One area of our efforts involves creatingmore »interdigitated microelectrodes on paper in a one-step process using commercially available silver nanoparticle and carbon black based conductive inks. Another area involves use of specialized filter papers as substrates, such as multi-layered fibrous membrane paper consisting of a poly(acrylonitrile) nanofibrous layer and a nonwoven poly(ethylene terephthalate) layer. The poly(acrylonitrile) nanofibrous layer are dense and smooth enough to allow for high resolution aerosol jet printing. With additively fabricated electrodes on the paper, molecularly-functionalized metal nanoparticles are deposited by molecularly-mediated assembling, drop casting, and printing (sensing and electrode materials), allowing full functionalization of the paper, and producing sensor devices with high surface area. These sensors, depending on the electrode configuration, are used for detection of chemical and biological species in vapor phase, such as water vapor and volatile organic compounds, making them applicable to human performance monitoring. These paper based sensors are shown to display an enhancement in sensitivity, as compared to control devices fabricated on non-porous polyimide substrates. These results have demonstrated the feasibility of paper-based printed devices towards manufacturing of a fully wearable, highly-sensitive, and wireless human performance monitor coupled to flexible electronics with the capability to communicate wirelessly to a smartphone or other electronics for data logging and analysis.« less
  3. Abstract Aerosol jet printing (AJP) is a direct-write additive manufacturing technique, which has emerged as a high-resolution method for the fabrication of a broad spectrum of electronic devices. Despite the advantages and critical applications of AJP in the printed-electronics industry, AJP process is intrinsically unstable, complex, and prone to unexpected gradual drifts, which adversely affect the morphology and consequently the functional performance of a printed electronic device. Therefore, in situ process monitoring and control in AJP is an inevitable need. In this respect, in addition to experimental characterization of the AJP process, physical models would be required to explain the underlying aerodynamic phenomena in AJP. The goal of this research work is to establish a physics-based computational platform for prediction of aerosol flow regimes and ultimately, physics-driven control of the AJP process. In pursuit of this goal, the objective is to forward a three-dimensional (3D) compressible, turbulent, multiphase computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model to investigate the aerodynamics behind: (i) aerosol generation, (ii) aerosol transport, and (iii) aerosol deposition on a moving free surface in the AJP process. The complex geometries of the deposition head as well as the pneumatic atomizer were modeled in the ansys-fluent environment, based on patented designsmore »in addition to accurate measurements, obtained from 3D X-ray micro-computed tomography (μ-CT) imaging. The entire volume of the constructed geometries was subsequently meshed using a mixture of smooth and soft quadrilateral elements, with consideration of layers of inflation to obtain an accurate solution near the walls. A combined approach, based on the density-based and pressure-based Navier–Stokes formation, was adopted to obtain steady-state solutions and to bring the conservation imbalances below a specified linearization tolerance (i.e., 10−6). Turbulence was modeled using the realizable k-ε viscous model with scalable wall functions. A coupled two-phase flow model was, in addition, set up to track a large number of injected particles. The boundary conditions of the CFD model were defined based on experimental sensor data, recorded from the AJP control system. The accuracy of the model was validated using a factorial experiment, composed of AJ-deposition of a silver nanoparticle ink on a polyimide substrate. The outcomes of this study pave the way for the implementation of physics-driven in situ monitoring and control of AJP.« less
  4. This paper addresses one of the key issues in the scientific community of Si photonics: thin-film quality and the light emission properties of band-engineered n+Germanium-on-Silicon (Ge-on-Si). Compared to the traditional delta doping approach, which was utilized in the first electrically-pumped Ge-on-Si lasers, we offer an n+Ge-on-Si thin film with better material quality and higher carrier injection efficiency grown by metal-organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD). The impacts of thermal cycle annealing and Si substrate offcut on the thin film quality were investigated, including surface roughness, strain, threading dislocation density, Si-Ge interdiffusion, and dopant diffusion. It was revealed that: 1) MOCVD overcomes the outdiffision issue of n-type dopants by having the dopant peaks at the bottom of the Ge films; 2) the characterization of the light emission properties of these MOCVD n+Ge-on-Si samples (1.0 × 1019cm−3doped) compared to delta-doped ultra-high vacuum chemical vapor deposition (UHVCVD) Ge, showing comparable photoluminescence (PL) spectral intensity at 1/4 of the doping level; 3) Detailed PL spectral analyses showed that population inversion from the direct gap transition has been achieved, and the injected electron density in the direct Γ valley is comparable to that of the delta-doped sample even though the n-type doping level is 75% less; and 4)more »Experimental evidences that Si-Ge interdiffusion has a much larger impact on PL intensity than threading dislocation density in the range of 108-109/cm3. These results indicate that MOCVD n+Ge is very promising to reduce the threshold of Ge gain media on Si notably.

    « less
  5. [Formula: see text] is a widely studied 3D topological insulator having potential applications in optics, electronics, and spintronics. When the thickness of these films decreases to less than approximately 6 nm, the top and bottom surface states couple, resulting in the opening of a small gap at the Dirac point. In the 2D limit, [Formula: see text] may exhibit quantum spin Hall states. However, growing coalesced ultrathin [Formula: see text] films with a controllable thickness and typical triangular domain morphology in the few nanometer range is challenging. Here, we explore the growth of [Formula: see text] films having thicknesses down to 4 nm on sapphire substrates using molecular beam epitaxy that were then characterized with Hall measurements, atomic force microscopy, and Raman imaging. We find that substrate pretreatment—growing and decomposing a few layers of [Formula: see text] before the actual deposition—is critical to obtaining a completely coalesced film. In addition, higher growth rates and lower substrate temperatures led to improvement in surface roughness, in contrast to what is observed for conventional epitaxy. Overall, coalesced ultrathin [Formula: see text] films with lower surface roughness enable thickness-dependent studies across the transition from a 3D-topological insulator to one with gapped surface states in the 2Dmore »regime.

    « less