|Wieberger, F.; Kolb, T.; Neuber, C.; Ober, C.K.; Schmidt, H.-W.: Combinatorial Techniques to Efficiently Investigate and Optimize Organic Thin Film Processing and Properties, Molecules, 18(4), 4120-4139 (2013) -- DOI: 10.3390/molecules18044120|
In this article we present several developed and improved combinatorial techniques to optimize processing conditions and material properties of organic thin films. The combinatorial approach allows investigations of multi-variable dependencies and is the perfect tool to investigate organic thin films regarding their high performance purposes. In this context we develop and establish the reliable preparation of gradients of material composition, temperature, exposure, and immersion time. Furthermore we demonstrate the smart application of combinations of composition and processing gradients to create combinatorial libraries. First a binary combinatorial library is created by applying two gradients perpendicular to each other. A third gradient is carried out in very small areas and arranged matrix-like over the entire binary combinatorial library resulting in a ternary combinatorial library. Ternary combinatorial libraries allow identifying precise trends for the optimization of multi-variable dependent processes which is demonstrated on the lithographic patterning process. Here we verify conclusively the strong interaction and thus the interdependency of variables in the preparation and properties of complex organic thin film systems. The established gradient preparation techniques are not limited to lithographic patterning. It is possible to utilize and transfer the reported combinatorial techniques to other multi-variable dependent processes and to investigate and optimize thin film layers and devices for optical, electro-optical, and electronic applications.