Low-temperature solution-processed electronic materials on plastic substrates are of considerable interest for flexible electronics. Solution dispersible inorganic nanostructures (e.g., zero-dimensional (0D) quantum dots or one-dimensional (1D) nanowires) have emerged as interesting ink materials for low-temperature solution processing of electronic thin films on flexible substrates, but usually with limited performance due to the large number of grain boundaries (0D) or incomplete surface coverage (1D). Here, we report two-dimensional (2D) colloidal nanoplates of layered materials as a new ink material for solution assembly of high-performance electronic thin films. The 2D colloidal nanoplates exhibit few dangling bonds and represent an ideal geometry for the assembly of highly uniform continuous thin films with greatly reduced grain boundaries dictated by large-area conformal plane-plane contact with atomically flat/clean interfaces. It can therefore promise efficient charge transport across neighboring nanoplates and throughout the entire thin film to enable unprecedented electronic performance. We show that Bi2Se3 and Bi2Te3 nanoplates can be synthesized with well-controlled thickness (6-15 nm) and lateral dimension (0.5-3 μm) and can be used for the assembly of highly uniform continuous thin films with a full surface coverage and an excellent room temperature carrier mobility >100 cm(2)·V(-1)·s(-1), approaching that of chemical vapor deposition grown materials. Our study demonstrates a general strategy to using 2D nanoplates as a unique building block for the construction of high-performance electronic thin films on plastic substrates for future flexible electronics and optoelectronics.
Keywords: 2D materials; Solution process; flexible electronics; nanoplates; thin films.