Printing 2D Conjugated Polymer Monolayers and Their Distinct Electronic Properties

Prapti Kafle, Fengjiao Zhang, Noah B. Schorr, Kai Yu Huang, Joaquín Rodríguez-López, Ying Diao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recently, 2D monolayer films of conjugated polymers have gained increasing attention owing to the preeminence of 2D inorganic films that exhibit unique optoelectronic and mechanical properties compared to their bulk analogs. Despite numerous efforts, crystallization of semiconducting polymers into highly ordered 2D monolayer films still remains challenging. Herein, a dynamic-template-assisted meniscus-guided coating is utilized to fabricate continuous, highly ordered 2D monolayer films of conjugated polymers over a centimeter scale with enhanced backbone π–π stacking. In contrast, monolayer films printed on solid substrates confer upon the 1D fiber networks strong alkyl side-chain stacking at the expense of backbone packing. From single-layers to multilayers, the polymer π-stacks change from edge-on to bimodal orientation as the film thickness reaches ≈20 nm. Spectroscopic and cyclic voltammetry analysis reveals an abrupt increase in J-aggregation and absorption coefficient and a decrease in bandgap and highest occupied molecular orbital level until critical thickness, possibly arising from the straightened polymer backbone. This is corroborated by an abrupt increase in hole mobility with film thickness, reaching a maximum of 0.7 cm2 V−1 s−1 near the critical thickness. Finally, fabrication of chemical sensors incorporating polymer films of various thicknesses is demonstrated, and an ultrahigh sensitivity of the ≈7 nm thick ultrathin film (bilayers) to 1 ppb ammonia is shown.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1909787
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number12
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020


  • 2D
  • conjugated polymers
  • dynamic template
  • monolayers
  • morphology
  • organic electronics
  • printing
  • transistors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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