Self-Organization of Ink-jet-Printed Triisopropylsilylethynyl Pentacene via Evaporation-Induced Flows in a Drying Droplet


  • This work was supported by a grant (F0004022-2007-23) from the Information Display R&D Center under the 21st Century Frontier R&D Program, ERC program (R11-2003-006-05004-0) of the MOST/KOSEF, and the Regional Technology Innovation Program of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Energy (MOCIE) of Korea (RTI04-01-04) POSTECH Core Research Program. We thank the Pohang Acceleratory Laboratory for providing the synchrotron radiation source at the 4C2, 3C2, and 10C1 beam lines used in this study.


We have demonstrated the influence of evaporation-induced flow in a single droplet on the crystalline microstructure and film morphology of an ink-jet-printed organic semiconductor, 6,13-bis((triisopropylsilylethynyl) pentacene (TIPS_PEN), by varying the composition of the solvent mixture. The ringlike deposits induced by outward convective flow in the droplets have a randomly oriented crystalline structure. The addition of dichlorobenzene as an evaporation control agent results in a homogeneous film morphology due to slow evaporation, but the molecular orientation of the film is undesirable in that it is similar to that of the ring-deposited films. However, self-aligned TIPS_PEN crystals with highly ordered crystalline structures were successfully produced when dodecane was added. Dodecane has a high boiling point and a low surface tension, and its addition to the solvent results in a recirculation flow in the droplets that is induced by a Marangoni flow (surface-tension-driven flow), which arises during the drying processes in the direction opposite to the convective flow. The field-effect transistors fabricated with these self-aligned crystals via ink-jet printing exhibit significantly improved performance with an average effective field-effect mobility of 0.12 cm2 V–1 s–1. These results demonstrate that with the choice of appropriate solvent ink-jet printing is an excellent method for the production of organic semiconductor films with uniform morphology and desired molecular orientation for the direct-write fabrication of high-performance organic electronics.