Transfer Printing

Transfer printing (TP) is a technique for transferring the components of an organic electronic device onto plastics substrates.  This process involves transferring a thin film (metal, polymer, carbon nanotube, etc.) deposited onto a transfer substrate with low surface adhesion to a second substrate with higher surface adhesion.  Thus, successful TP requires substrates with carefully chosen adhesion energies or specific treatment of one or more of the interfaces.  The heat and pressure used in NanoImprint Lithography (NIL) provides a mechanism for facilitating transfer printing.  An additional feature of TP is that it allows device fabrication without exposing any component to an incompatible process.  We have used the combination of NIL and TP to print patterns of metals, small molecules, polymers and carbon nanotube thin films onto plastic substrates, resulting in successful fabrication of thin-film transistors of each material type.  Currently, we are investigating the material properties of various polymers to identify possible high-k gate dielectrics that are compatible with TP.  This simple yet powerful technique should find broad applicability in the fabrication of organic electronic devices.