Engineering of Advanced Materials

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Cluster of Excellence

Engineering of Advanced Materials

FT3 Thin Films

Self-organization & processing of thin films from liquids

A central question about thin liquid films and their conversion into solid films is how to tailor their microstructures, which influence the electronic, optical, catalytic, and mechanical properties. The interactions between building blocks – molecules and nanoparticles – determine the thin-film rheology via aggregation and self-organization during drying. The concentrations increase hereby as a function of the drying kinetics, which in turn depend on the solvent and, at later stages, the evolving microstructure. The interplay between surface energies of the substrate, solvents and solids, together with their solubilities in the various phases controls the length-scale of phase separation.

Key activities of FT3 will include

  • Development of design rules for materials and inks
  • Control of film formation through ink formulation
  • Inline and online analysis of microstructure formation during film formation
  • Design of functionality via self-organization during phase transition
Zinc Oxide nanorods – formation of dense films with distinct domains due to coating of particles
Zinc Oxide nanorods functionalized with C60 derivatives for printable electronics applications
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Additional information


FT3 Self-organization & processing of thin films from liquids
Prof. Christoph Brabec
Chair of Materials for Electronics & Energy Technology