22. Morphology, mechanical stability and protective properties of ultrathin gallium oxide coatings
Lawrenz, F.; Lange, P.; Severin, N.; Rabe, J.P.*; Helm, C. A.*; Block, S.* – 2015
Ultrathin gallium oxide layers with a thickness of 2.8 ± 0.2 nm were transferred from the surface of liquid gallium onto solid substrates, including conjugated polymer poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT). The gallium oxide exhibits high mechanical stability, withstanding normal pressures of up to 1 GPa in contact mode scanning force microscopy imaging. Moreover, it lowers the rate of photodegradation of P3HT by 4 orders of magnitude, as compared to uncovered P3HT. This allows us to estimate the upper limits for oxygen and water vapor transmission rates of 0.08 cm3 m–2 day–1 and 0.06 mg m–2 day–1, respectively. Hence, similar to other highly functional coatings such as graphene, ultrathin gallium oxide layers can be regarded as promising candidates for protective layers in flexible organic (opto-)electronics and photovoltaics because they offer permeation barrier functionalities in conjunction with high optical transparency.