Thermoconformational Behavior of Cellulose Nanofiber Films as a Device Substrate and Their Superior Flexibility and Durability to Glass

V Pakharenko and S Mukherjee and OAT Dias and C Wu and J Manion and CV Singh and D Seferos and J Tjong and K Oksman and M Sain, ACS APPLIED MATERIALS & INTERFACES, 13, 40853-40862 (2021).

DOI: 10.1021/acsami.1c10589

The design and high-throughput manufacturing of thin renewable energy devices with high structural and atomic configurational stability are crucial for the fabrication of green electronics. Yet, this concept is still in its infancy. In this work, we report the extraordinary durability of thin molecular interlayered organic flexible energy devices based on chemically tuned cellulose nanofiber transparent films that outperform glass by decreasing the substrate weight by 50%. The nanofabricated flexible thin film has an exceptionally low thermal coefficient of expansion of 1.8 ppm/K and a stable atomic configuration under a harsh fabrication condition (over 190 degrees C for an extended period of 5 h). A flexible optoelectronic device using the same renewable cellulose nanofiber film substrate was found to be functionally operational over a life span of 5 years under an intermittent operating condition. The success of this device's stability opens up an entirely new frontier of applications of flexible electronics.

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