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Keywords:

  • microcontact printing;
  • topological confinement;
  • sacrificial layer;
  • ZnO thin film transistors;
  • sticker-type electronics

Abstract

To create ultrathin sticker-type electronic devices that can be attached to unconventional substrates, it is highly desirable to develop printable membrane-type electronics on a handling substrate and then transfer the printing to a target surface. A facile method is presented for high-efficiency transfer printing by controlling the interfacial adhesion between a handling substrate and an ultrathin substrate in a systematic manner under mild conditions. A water-soluble sacrificial polymer layer is employed on a dimpled handling substrate, which enables the topological confinement of the polymer residue inside and near the dimples during the etching and drying processes to reduce the interfacial adhesion gently, creating a high yield of transfer printing in a deterministic manner. As an example of an electronic device that was created using this method, a highly flexible sticker-type ZnO thin film transistor was successfully developed with a thickness of 13 μm including a printable ultrathin substrate, which can be attached to various substrates, such as paper, plastic, and stickers.