Press Release

Hyper 100 °C Langmuir-Blodgett (Langmuir-Schaefer) Technique for Organized Ultrathin Film of Polymeric Semiconductors


In this study, we advanced the conventional Langmuir-Blodgett (LB) method to a high-temperature range (above 100 °C) using a newly manufactured LB machine, which is adaptable to a high-boiling-point subphase, as a universally usable apparatus. A sophisticated trough design, with homogeneous heating capability up to approximately 200 °C, together with automatic film compression and Langmuir-Schaefer type film transfer, enabled the fabrication of highly aligned thin films of polymeric semiconductors with uniaxial alignment of polymer backbones, which is desirable for efficient charge transport. Herein, ultrathin films of semicrystalline thiophene-based semiconductors were prepared on ethylene glycol and heated to 80 °C. The analyses of the transferred films with pressure-area isotherms, atomic force microscopy (AFM), polarized optical microscopy (POM), and grazing-incidence wide-angle X-ray scattering (GIWAXS) indicated that the proposed high-temperature LB method allows ideal deposition of high-quality ultrathin films with molecular layer precision at the selected high-temperature conditions. Furthermore, preparing thin-film donor-acceptor-type copolymers in ionic liquids at high temperatures (up to 140 °C) was a challenging task that was successfully demonstrated in this study. Highly ordered thin films of donor-acceptor polymers with a uniaxial backbone orientation were obtained only at 140 °C. The obtained semicrystalline thin films with uniaxially aligned polymer backbones significantly contribute to the two-dimensional overlap of molecular orbitals, which is likely to promote charge transport. The use of the manufactured automatic LB machines is advantageous for better quality films prepared at higher temperatures (even above 100 °C) from various technical viewpoints, including homogeneous heating, constant compression, and automatic film transfer. The novel methodology proposed herein expands the possibilities of the Hyper 100 °C Langmuir-Blodgett technique, which has not been accessible by the conventional LB method with the aqueous subphase.


Publication: Langmuir

Title: Hyper 100°C Langmuir-Blodgett (Langmuir-Shaefer) Technique for Organized Ultrathin Film of Polymeric Semiconductors

Authors: Masato Ito, Yu Yamashita, Taizo Mori, Masaaki Chiba, Takayuki Futae, Jun Takeya, Shun Watanabe*, and Katsuhiko Ariga*

DOI: 10.1021/acs.langmuir.1c02596