Nanoscale Mapping of Morphology of Organic Thin Films

Jongchan Kim, Shaocong Hou, Haonan Zhao, Stephen R. Forrest

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


We determine precise nanoscale information about the morphologies of several organic thin film structures using Fourier plane imaging microscopy (FIM). We used FIM microscopy to detect the orientation of molecular transition dipole moments from an extremely low density of luminescent dye molecules, which we call "morphology sensors". The orientation of the sensor molecules is driven by the local film structure and thus can be used to determine details of the host morphology without influencing it. We use symmetric planar phosphorescent dye molecules as the sensors that are deposited into the bulk of organic film hosts during the growth. We demonstrate morphological mapping with a depth resolution to a few Ångstroms that is limited by the ability to determine thickness during deposition, along with an in-plane resolution limited by optical diffraction. Furthermore, we monitor morphological changes arising from thermal annealing of metastable organic films that are commonly employed in photonic devices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8290-8297
Number of pages8
JournalNano letters
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Nov 11

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 American Chemical Society. All rights reserved.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering


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