A new method for enhancing photoluminescence from quantum dot (QD)/polymer nanocomposite films is proposed. Poly(lauryl methacrylate) (PLMA) thin films containing embedded QDs are intentionally allowed to undergo dewetting on substrates by exposure to a nonsolvent vapor. After controlled dewetting, films exhibited typical dewetting morphologies with increased amounts of scattering that served to outcouple photoluminescence from the film and reduce internal light propagation within the film. Up to a 5-fold enhancement of the film emission was achieved depending on material factors such as the initial film thickness and QD concentration within the film. An increase in initial film thickness was shown to increase the dewetted maximum feature size and its characteristic length until a critical thickness was reached where dewetting became inhibited. A unique light exposure-based photopatterning method is also presented for the creation of high contrast emissive patterns as guided by spatially controlled dewetting.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Division of Materials Sciences and Engineering under Award #DE-FG02-09ER46604. The synthesis of quantum dots was conducted with financial support from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research FA9550-14-1-0037 (synthetic photonics Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative: synthesis, fabrication, and development).
© 2017 American Chemical Society.