While it often seems that the focus on printing technology today is on the three-dimensional kind, researchers hoping to further printed electronics applications are looking for new two-dimensional materials with unique properties. Newer materials, researchers believe, could greatly advance the printing of optoelectronics and photonics using ordinary inkjet printing process.
Black phosphorus (BP), a physical of phosphorus, is a two-dimensional material similar to graphene. Its semiconducting bandgap spans a wide region of the electromagnetic spectrum making it more appealing for many optoelectronic and photonic applications. Previous research into the use of BP in printing was unable to convert the bulk crystals into a stable and printable ink – the ink solvents had boiling points that were too high and led to long drying times, and as such BP could degrade by oxidation under ambient conditions. This made it challenging to develop stable BP-based printed optoelectronic devices.
Dr. Tawfique Hasan and his research team from the Hybrid Nanomaterials Engineering Group at Cambridge Graphene Center presented a new ink formulation of black phosphorus in a study published in the journal Nature Communications. In their work, the team converted BP crystals into a functional ink that can be used with inkjet printers for functional device fabrication. The new BP ink was designed to have the fluidic properties required by inkjet printing technology and showed long-term stability against sedimentation thanks to careful solvent selection and an ink composition design that achieves fast drying.
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Source: Design News