Colloidal quantum dots (QDs) stand at the forefront of a variety of photonic applications given their narrow spectral bandwidth and near-unity luminescence efficiency. However, integrating luminescent QD films into photonic devices without compromising their optical or transport characteristics remains challenging. Here we devise a dual-ligand passivation system comprising photocrosslinkable ligands and dispersing ligands to enable QDs to be universally compatible with solution-based patterning techniques. The successful control over the structure of both ligands allows the direct patterning of dual-ligand QDs on various substrates using commercialized photolithography (i-line) or inkjet printing systems at a resolution up to 15,000 pixels per inch without compromising the optical properties of the QDs or the optoelectronic performance of the device. We demonstrate the capabilities of our approach for QD-LED applications. Our approach offers a versatile way of creating various structures of luminescent QDs in a cost-effective and non-destructive manner, and could be implemented in nearly all commercial photonics applications where QDs are used.
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All data supporting this work are contained in Figs. 1–4. Source data are provided with this paper.
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This study was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT, and Future Planning (2020R1A2C2011478 (W.K.B.), 2021R1A2C2008332 (M.S.K.), 2020M3D1A2101310 & 2021M3H4A3A01062960 (W.K.B., M.S.K. and D.C.L.), and 2021M3H4A1A01004332 (D.C.L. and W.K.B.)); the Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy (MOTIE, Korea) (no. 20010737 (W.K.B.) and 20015805 (J.-W.S., N.S.C. and C.K.)); and Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) grant funded by the Korean government (no. 22ZB1200 (J.-W.S., N.S.C. and C.K.), Development of ICT Materials, Components and Equipment Technologies). This research was also supported by Samsung Display (W.K.B., M.S.K. and D.C.L.).
The authors declare no competing interests.
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Nature Nanotechnology thanks Lei Qian, Manuel Triana and the other, anonymous, reviewer(s) for their contribution to the peer review of this work.
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Supplementary Notes 1–6, Figs. 1–24, Tables 1 and 2, caption for Supplementary Video 1 and references.
Electroluminescence of 10 × 10 RGB QD-LED arrays implementing photocrosslinked QD patterns. Real-time movie of light emission from 10 × 10 QD-LED arrays for each primary colour and RGB QD-LED array.
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Hahm, D., Lim, J., Kim, H. et al. Direct patterning of colloidal quantum dots with adaptable dual-ligand surface. Nat. Nanotechnol. 17, 952–958 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41565-022-01182-5
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