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Influence of the Underlying Substrate on the Physical Vapor Deposition of Zn-Phthalocyanine on Graphene

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journal contribution
posted on 2021-07-27, 12:42 authored by Timothy Mirabito, Benjamin Huet, Joan M. Redwing, David W. Snyder
Graphene shows great promise not only as a highly conductive flexible and transparent electrode for fabricating novel device architectures but also as an ideal synthesis platform for studying fundamental growth mechanisms of various materials. In particular, directly depositing metal phthalocyanines (MPc’s) on graphene is viewed as a compelling approach to improve the performance of organic photovoltaics and light-emitting diodes. In this work, we systematically investigate the ZnPc physical vapor deposition (PVD) on graphene either as-grown on Cu or as-transferred on various substrates including Si(100), C-plane sapphire, SiO2/Si, and h-BN. To better understand the effect of the substrate on the ZnPc structure and morphology, we also compare the ZnPc growth on highly crystalline single- and multilayer graphene. The experiments show that, for identical deposition conditions, ZnPc exhibits various morphologies such as high-aspect-ratio nanowires or a continuous film when changing the substrate supporting graphene. ZnPc morphology is also found to transition from a thin film to a nanowire structure when increasing the number of graphene layers. Our observations suggest that substrate-induced changes in graphene affect the adsorption, surface diffusion, and arrangement of ZnPc molecules. This study provides clear guidelines to control MPc crystallinity, morphology, and molecular orientations which drastically influence the (opto)­electronic properties.