Microfluidic technologies are highly adept at generating controllable compositional gradients in fluids, a feature that has accelerated the understanding of the importance of chemical gradients in biological processes.
That said, the development of versatile methods to generate controllable compositional gradients in the solid‐state has been far more elusive. The ability to produce such gradients would provide access to extensive compositional libraries, thus enabling the high‐throughput exploration of the parametric landscape of functional solids and devices in a resource‐, time‐, and cost‐efficient manner. Herein, the synergic integration of microfluidic technologies is reported with blade coating to enable the controlled formation of compositional lateral gradients in solution. Subsequently, the transformation of liquid‐based compositional gradients into solid‐state thin films using this method is demonstrated. To demonstrate efficacy of the approach, microfluidic‐assisted blade coating is used to optimize blending ratios in organic solar cells. Importantly, this novel technology can be easily extended to other solution processable systems that require the formation of solid‐state compositional lateral gradients.
Microfluidic‐Assisted Blade Coating of Compositional Libraries for Combinatorial Applications: The Case of Organic Photovoltaics
Xabier Rodríguez‐Martínez, Semih Sevim, Xiaofeng Xu, Carlos Franco, Paula Pamies‐Puig, Laura Córcoles‐Guija, Romen Rodriguez‐Trujillo, Francisco Javier del Campo, David Rodriguez San Miguel, Andrew J. de Mello, Salvador Pané, David B. Amabilino, Olle Inganäs, Josep Puigmartí‐Luis, Mariano Campoy‐Quiles.
Adv. Energy Mater. 2020, 2001308.