ACS nano

Photoresist Contact Patterning of Quantum Dot Films.

PMID 30247027


Scalable and cost-effective protocols to pattern and integrate colloidal quantum dots (QDs) with high resolution have been challenging to establish. While their solubility can facilitate certain processes such as spin-casting into thin films, it also makes them incompatible with many conventional patterning techniques including photolithography that require solution processing. In this work, we present "photoresist (PR) contact patterning", a dry means to pattern QD films over large areas with high resolution while maintaining desired properties. Here, a PR layer on an elastomer substrate is patterned by conventional photolithography and used as a dry contact stamp to selectively peel off QDs in the contact regions, leaving behind a QD film with the negative of the PR pattern. Once patterned, QD films are readily transferred and integrated on foreign substrates by subsequent transfer printing processes. Patterned PR layers can also be transferred from elastomer substrates onto QD films and used as masking layers for subsequent deposition and patterning of additional materials, e. g., patterned metal electrodes or charge transport layers for QD-based devices. The study of the interfacial mechanics and energy of materials associated with PR contact patterning reveals why a lithographically patterned PR is superior for high-resolution QD film patterning. Applicability of PR contact patterning is demonstrated through the fabrication of red, green, and blue (RGB) QD light-emitting diode pixels. PR contact patterning presented in this work not only allows dry patterning of QD films but also enables high-resolution integration of functional multistack structures for future QD-based electronic and optoelectronic devices.

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