The research in Dadmun Group utilizes a variety of techniques to examine methods by which the properties of polymer mixtures can be optimized by control of dispersion size or by the selective migration of a polymeric additive to the surface.
The group was recently published in ACS Applied Nano Materials for their work “Impact of Substrate Rigidity on the Structure of Multilayer Nanoscale ITO Films: Implications for Flexible Electronic Devices.”
This research looks into polymeric substrates, which have become increasingly important in the recent drive in technology to produce flexible displays and mechanically adaptable devices. Multi-nanoscale layer coatings are often necessary for specific device applications, and these complex coatings are often fabricated by sputtering onto the substrate.
The work presented here investigates the impact of depositing increasingly thick bilayer films of indium tin oxide (ITO) and tungsten (W) on flexible (poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET)) and rigid (silicon) substrates by utilizing complementary characterization methods of X-ray and neutron reflectivity to study the nanoscale structures (depth profile and interfacial breadth) between layers.
This fundamental study defines the influence of substrate properties on coating composition, density, and interfacial structure at the nanoscale—all of which play important roles in the application specific properties and function of the targeted bilayers. The findings from this study have implications on the nanoscale structure in flexible functional thin films used in a wide range of applications such as flexible television and smartphone displays.