Inkjet deposition of electrolyte: Towards Fully Printed Light-emitting Electrochemical Cells
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Organic electronics is a hot and modern topic which holds great promise for present and future applications. One such application is the light-emitting electrochemical cell (LEC). It can be fully solution processed and driven at low voltage providing light emission from a large surface. Inkjet printers available today can print a variety of inks, both solutions and dispersions. The technique is scalable and a quick and easy way to accurately deposit small quantities of material in user definable patterns onto a substrate. This is desirable to make low cost and efficient optical devices like displays.
In this thesis it has been shown that solid electrolytes, after being dissolved in a liquid solvent, can be inkjet printed into a set of well separated distinct drops with an average maximum thickness of 150 nm. The electrolytes are commonly used in LECs and comprised by poly(ethylene glycol) with molar masses ranging from 1 – 35 kg/mol, and potassium trifluoromethanesulfonate (KCF3 SO3 )—together dissolved incyclohexanone to form an ink. The smallest achieved edge to edge distance between the printed drops was 40 μm. Together with a drop diameter of 50 μm it yields a coverage of 24% at a resolution of 280 dpi.
Profiles of dried deposited drops of electrolyte were examined with a profilometer, which showed adistinct coffee ring effect on each drop. In particular, the ridges of the coffee rings were broken into pillar like shapes, together forming a structure akin to a scandinavian ancient remnant called stone ship. Different drop diameters were measured in and between the indium tin oxide samples. The drops’ speeds and sizes atejection from the nozzles seemed unchanged, and wettability is most probably the physical phenomena tolook into in order to understand what generates the differences. Local changes in surface roughness and/or surface energy, possibly originating from the cleaning process of the samples, is most likely the cause. No indications towards large differences in surface tension between the printable inks were seen, however their viscoelastic properties were not measured. As part of the thesis work a LEC characterization set-up was built. It drives a LEC at constant currentand measures the driving voltage, -current, and luminance over time. The set-up is controlled by a Labview virtual instrument and the data exported to a text-file for later analysis. The precision of the luminance measurements is ±0.1 cd/m2 for readings < 50 cd/m2 , but the accuracy is uncertain. The conclusion of this thesis is that it is indeed possible to print solid electrolytes dissolved in cyclo-hexanone with an inkjet printer. However, in order to fully understand the spreading and drying of thedrops, studies of the inks’ viscoelastic properties, together with surface roughness and -energy density ofthe substrates, are needed. The largest molar mass of nicely printable poly(ethylene glycol), at an ink concentration of 10 mg/ml, was 35 kg/mol. This is comparable to the molar mass of an active light-emittingmaterial, “SuperYellow”, often used in LECs. Even though their respective molecular structures are very different, this indicates that inkjet printing of complete LEC-inks, containing both the active material and solid electrolyte, is feasible. Most probably it would require substantial tuning of the printing parameters. This thesis provides further hope for future fully inkjet printed LECs.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 44 p.
inkjet printing, organic electronics, light-emitting electrochemical cell, solid electrolyte, coffee ring, stone ship, wettability
bläckstråleskrivare, organisk elektronik, ljusemitterande elektrokemiska celler, fast elektrolyt, kaffering, skeppssättning, vätbarhet
Other Physics Topics
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-80272OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-80272DiVA: diva2:648156
Subject / course
Examensarbete i teknisk fysik
Master of Science Programme in Engineering Physics
Sandström, Andreas, PhD
Wågberg, Thomas, Associate Professor