Single-crystal semiconductors have been at the forefront of scientific interest for more than 70 years, serving as the backbone of electronic devices. Inorganic single crystals are typically grown from a melt using time-consuming and energy-intensive processes. Organic semiconductor single crystals, however, can be grown using solution-based methods at room temperature in air, opening up the possibility of large-scale production of inexpensive electronics targeting applications ranging from field-effect transistors and light-emitting diodes to medical X-ray detectors. Here we demonstrate a low-cost, scalable spray-printing process to fabricate high-quality organic single crystals, based on various semiconducting small molecules on virtually any substrate by combining the advantages of antisolvent crystallization and solution shearing. The crystals’ size, shape and orientation are controlled by the sheer force generated by the spray droplets’ impact onto the antisolvent’s surface. This method demonstrates the feasibility of a spray-on single-crystal organic electronics.

Document Type


Publication Date


Notes/Citation Information

Published in Nature Communications, v. 7, article no. 13531, p. 1-8.

© The Author(s) 2016

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


Funding Information

G.-P.R. and F.A.C. acknowledge funding from the UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. M.S. acknowledges equipment support from EPSRC grant EP/I017569/1. J.E.A. and M.M.P. thank the U.S. National Science Foundation (CMMI-1255494) for support of organic semiconductor synthesis.

Related Content

The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author on request.

ncomms13531-s1.pdf (14678 kB)
Supplementary Information: Supplementary Figures 1-14, Supplementary Table 1, Supplementary Notes 1-6 and Supplementary References

ncomms13531-s2.pdf (244 kB)
Supplementary Information: Peer Review File