The integration of quantum dots (QDs) into device arrays for high-resolution display and imaging sensor systems remains a significant challenge in research and industry because of issues associated with the QD patterning process. It is difficult for conventional patterning processes such as stamping, inkjet printing, and photolithography to employ QDs and fabricate high-resolution patterns without degrading the properties of QDs. Here, we introduce a novel strategy for the QD patterning process by treating QDs with a bifunctional ligand for acid-base reaction-assisted photolithography. Bifunctional ligands, such as MPA (mercaptopropionic acid) or TGA (thioglycolic acid), have a carboxyl group on one side that allows the QDs to be etched along with the photoresist (PR) by the base developer, while on the opposite side the ligands have a thiol group that passivates the QD surface. Passivating MPA ligands on QDs facilitates patterning of QD films and makes them compatible with harsh photolithography processes. We successfully achieved the patterning of QDs down to 5 μm. We also fabricated high-resolution patterned QD light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and QD photodetector arrays. Our patterning process provides precise control for the fabrication of highly integrated QD-based optoelectronic devices.
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- acid-base reaction
- ligand engineering
- optoelectronic devices
- quantum dot
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Materials Science