Painting with semiconductors

by akoloy

Painting with semiconductors
Perovskite portret of Marie Skłodowska-Curie. Credit: Lukas Helmbrecht

AMOLF researchers Lukas Helmbrecht and Wim Noorduin have developed a reactive ink that may be painted on an equally reactive canvas. The ink reacts with the fabric on the canvas to turn into a semiconductor that emits coloured mild, an important a part of digital elements corresponding to LEDs. Consequently, a brand new method of manufacturing these digital elements is now inside attain. The outcomes of the analysis, a collaboration between the AMOLF teams Self-Organizing Matter and Hybrid Solar Cells, are printed this week within the journal Advanced Materials.

Imagine that you may paint a canvas by making the canvas itself change to a distinct colour as an alternative of brushing paint on it. That is what Lukas Helmbrecht and his colleagues are doing with the brand new ion trade lithography approach. In this system, the “ink” reacts with the “canvas” by way of ion trade. Helmbrecht put his cash the place his mouth is and used this system to airbrush a picture of Madame Curie. “I find it fascinating to see: the green image forms as soon as you start spraying, despite both the ink and the canvas being colorless.”

Colorful approach

The analysis revolves round producing perovskite, a brand new and extremely promising semiconductor materials used to provide objects corresponding to LEDs and photo voltaic cells. Helmbrecht and his colleagues discovered a method of changing a layer of lead carbonate (the canvas) right into a perovskite, just by “painting” on it with an answer of methylammonium bromide. The latter undergoes a chemical response with the lead carbonate to kind a green-emitting perovskite. Using an answer of a distinct substance because the ink permits you to paint a blue- or red-emitting perovskite subsequent to this, or to airbrush or print a sample.

A variety of variations within the composition of the perovskites is feasible by selecting totally different inks. The patterns will be created very precisely: drops of ink just some micrometers in measurement additionally yield dots just some micrometers in measurement. This means the ink doesn’t run. “The challenge of this research was developing the chemical reaction and the conditions: the quantity of ink, the pressure, and the properties of the canvas. None of these were known, and the process does not work if they are not exactly right,” says Helmbrecht.

Everything in a single layer

The comparability with different methods for making use of layers of perovskites to a provider springs to thoughts. But this system is essentially totally different, Helmbrecht explains. “All traditional techniques result in different layers of perovskite next to each other or on top of each other. Our method results in a single layer that consists of different types of perovskite.” In addition, perovskites are normally fairly delicate to the remedies utilized in conventional strategies, corresponding to etching or rinsing. These can injury the perovskite. With ion trade lithography, these remedies are not wanted.

  • Painting with semiconductors
    Painting with semiconductors. Credit: Lukas Helmbrecht
  • Painting with semiconductors
    Pattern of three semiconductors. Credit: Lukas Helmbrecht
  • Painting with semiconductors
    Microscopic dots. Credit: Lukas Helmbrecht

“In principle, this is a far simpler method for applying a pattern of different perovskite semiconductors next to each other on a chip or LED,” Helmbrecht says. Cleanrooms or different particular circumstances are not required. The researchers have demonstrated the utility of ion trade lithography by utilizing the approach to provide a working LED. “That has proven the principle.” Different teams inside AMOLF will begin utilizing this system to create different functions.

Mystery of amorphous perovskite solved

More data:
L. Helmbrecht et al, Ion Exchange Lithography: Localized Ion Exchange Reactions for Spatial Patterning of Perovskite Semiconductors and Insulators, Advanced Materials (2021).

Painting with semiconductors (2021, April 12)
retrieved 12 April 2021

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