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Sono-Assisted Surface Energy Driven Assembly of 2D Materials on Flexible Polymer Substrates: A Green Assembly Method Using Water

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journal contribution
posted on 29.08.2019, 20:29 by Dong Zhou, Ji Hao, Andy Clark, Kyunghoon Kim, Long Zhu, Jun Liu, Xuemei Cheng, Bo Li
The challenges in achieving a green and scalable integration of two-dimensional (2D) materials with flexible polymer substrates present a major barrier for the application of 2D materials, such as graphene, MoS2, and h-BN for flexible devices. Here, we create a sono-assisted surface energy driven assembly (SASEDA) method that can achieve foot-scale to micrometer-scale assembly of 2D materials, form a conductive network in as short as 10 s, and build hierarchical and hybrid flexible devices such as sensors, resistors, and capacitors by using water as the dispersion solvent. SASEDA highlights two counterintuitive innovations. First, we use an “unfavorable” solvent (i.e., water) for both 2D materials (e.g., graphene, MoS2, and h-BN) and polymer substrates (e.g., polydimethylsiloxane) to drive the assembly process. Second, we use a weak sono-field (0.3 W/cm2) generated by a regular sonication bath cleaner to enhance the assembly efficiency and reorganize and unify the assembly network. This method and its principle pave the way toward affordable large-scale 2D material-based flexible devices.