For most practical applications, it is essential to fabricate micro- or nanoscale polymer electroluminescent (EL) devices and pixel arrays. Although several methods to pattern EL polymers have been used previously: photolithography, laser ablation, and ink-jet printing, these techniques have limitations such as damage of EL materials.
A new powerful lithographic technique, ‘soft lithography’, has been developed as an alternative to photolithography for micro- and nanofabrication. This technique uses a patterned elastomer (usually PDMS) as the mold, stamp, or mask to generate or transfer the pattern. Soft lithography offers immediate advantages over photolithography and other conventional microfabrication techniques. Here we describe a method of patterning polymeric EL materials based on microcontact printing using PDMS stamp. In this technique, we use the self-assembled monolayer (SAM) system of alkanephosphonic acids on ITO substrate, and patterned EL polymer is formed on the SAM-modified ITO substrate.