International Year of Light: Transfer Printing

by | Dec 17, 2015

John Rogers and co-workers present recent progress in the development of optoelectronic devices and their implementation enabled by micro-transfer printing.

2015 is the International Year of Light, proclaimed by the United Nations to recognize the achievements of light science and its applications, and its contributions to humankind. It will raise special attention for major topics and key technologies in the field of optics and photonics.  Advanced Optical Materials is contributing to this goal by publishing a special series of outstanding review articles.

micro-transfer printingTransfer printing is a materials assembly technique that uses elastomeric stamps for heterogeneous integration of various classes of micro- and nanostructured materials into two- and three-dimensionally organized layouts on virtually any type of substrate. The soft stamp serves as a tool for removing material elements from a source substrate and delivering them to a target surface, in a parallel fashion under ambient conditions, thereby allowing the integration of dissimilar materials. The results provide high-performance characteristics from materials optimized for their respective roles, independent of concerns of epitaxy, growth conditions, thermal budgets, solvent compatibility, or others.

In their review article John Rogers (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) and co-authors highlight recent advances in heterogeneously integrated optoelectronic devices enabled by transfer printing, ranging from solar cells to light-emitting diodes, lasers, photodetectors, and digital imaging systems. They show that in all cases transfer printing bypasses many key challenges in traditional processing and fabrication approaches, thereby creating new functionalities or enhancing the performance and cost-effectiveness of existing ones. The emerging commercial applications in photovoltaics and emissive display systems represent some of the most advanced examples.

The full series can be found at All articles are published in Advanced Optical Materials and added to this virtual issue over the year.