Micropatterns of conductive polymers are key for various applications in the fields of flexible electronics and sensing. A bottom-up method that allows high-resolution printing without additives is still lacking. Here, such a method is presented based on microprinting by the laser-induced microbubble technique (LIMBT). Continuous micropatterning of polyaniline (PANI) was achieved from a dispersion of the emeraldine base form of PANI (EB-PANI) in n-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP). A focused laser beam is absorbed by the EB-PANI nanoparticles and leads to formation of a microbubble, followed by convection currents, which rapidly pin EB-PANI nanoparticles to the bubble/substrate interface. Micro-Raman spectra confirmed that the printed patterns preserve the molecular structure of EB-PANI. A simple transformation of the printed lines to the conducting emeraldine salt form of PANI (ES-PANI) was achieved by doping with various acid solutions. The hypothesized deposition mechanism was verified, and the resulting structures were characterized by microscopic methods. The microstructures displayed conductivities of 3.8 × 10-1 S/cm upon HCl doping and 1.5 × 10-1 S/cm upon H2SO4 doping, on par with state-of-the-art patterning methods. High fidelity control over the width of the printed lines down to ∼650 nm was accomplished by varying the laser power and microscope stage velocity. This straightforward bottom-up method using low-power lasers offers an alternative to current microfabrication techniques.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We gratefully acknowledge support by the US-Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF) grant number 2016-160. We would like to acknowledge Bharathi Rajeswaran for her assistance with Raman measurements.
Copyright © 2020 American Chemical Society.
- directed assembly
- laser printing
- nanoparticle assembly