Effect of Time and Deposition Method on Quality of Phosphonic Acid Modifier Self-Assembled Monolayers on Indium Zinc Oxide

Lingzi Sang, Kristina M. Knesting, Anuradha Bulusu, Ajaya K. Sigdel, Anthony J. Giordano, Seth R. Marder, Joseph J. Berry, Samuel Graham, David S. Ginger, Jeanne E. Pemberton

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13 Scopus Citations


Phosphonic acid (PA) self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) are utilized at critical interfaces between transparent conductive oxides (TCO) and organic active layers in organic photovoltaic devices (OPVs). The effects of PA deposition method and time on the formation of close-packed, high-quality monolayers is investigated here for SAMs fabricated by solution deposition, micro-contact printing, and spray coating. The solution deposition isotherm for pentafluorinated benzylphosphonic acid (F 5 BnPA) on indium-doped zinc oxide (IZO) is studied using polarization modulation-infrared reflection-absorption spectroscopy (PM-IRRAS) at room temperature as a model PA/IZO system. Fast surface adsorption occurs within the first min; however, well-oriented high-quality SAMs are reached only after ∼48 h, presumably through a continual process of molecular adsorption/desorption and monolayer filling accompanied by molecular reorientation. Two other rapid, soak-free deposition techniques, micro-contact printing and spray coating, are also explored. SAM quality is compared for deposition of phenyl phosphonic acid (PPA), F 13 -octylphosphonic acid (F 13 OPA), and pentafluorinated benzyl phosphonic acid (F 5 BnPA) by solution deposition, micro-contact printing and spray coating using PM-IRRAS. In contrast to micro-contact printing and spray coating techniques, 48–168 h solution deposition at both room temperature and 70 °C result in contamination- and surface etch-free close-packed monolayers with good reproducibility. SAMs fabricated by micro-contact printing and spray coating are much less well ordered.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)190-198
Number of pages9
JournalApplied Surface Science
StatePublished - 15 Dec 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier B.V.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5K00-66922


  • Indium zinc oxide (IZO)
  • Organic photovoltaic (OPV)
  • Phosphonic acid deposition methods
  • Self-assembly


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