Frequently Asked Questions
Orders & Shipping
- Do you ship to my country?
- What are typical delivery times?
- Do you have a preferred agency in my country?
- Value Added Tax (VAT) information
- Why can't you ship certain materials to the USA and certain other regions?
- Can you ship Lead Chloride to my country?
- What's your recommended storage and handling for materials?
- Do I have to worry about materials degradation during transit?
- Can P3HT be used for Inkjet printing?
- Can PEDOT:PSS be used for Inkjet printing?
- Does Ossila provide custom ITO patterning?
- Do you sell flexible substrates?
- Will the Electrical Connection legs fit 1.1 mm substrates?
- Do you provide technical support?
- How do I use the Ossila encapsulation epoxy (E131)?
- Which UV Box do you use to cure the epoxy?
- I'm having problems measuring individual pixels using the Ossila OLED/OPV Test board?
- Why is the USB PV/LED Test Board not recognised by my computer when connected?
- Which operating systems and languages is the USB PV/LED Test Board Compatible with?
- How do I connect the FET Test Board to my source measure unit?
- My SMU has 3 BNC connectors; why does the Ossila FET Test Board only provide two BNC ports?
- How do you apply a voltage to the SiO2 substrates?
If you can't get find the answer you're looking for on our website, then please get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll be happy to answer any questions you have.
Do you ship to my country?
Ossila components and materials are currently used by over 600 academic groups in 57 countries, so there is a strong chance that we already have a customer in your country. We ship products directly from the UK via courier to minimise delivery times.
We currently ship to a range of customers in the countries listed below, and the list is growing all the time. If you can't find your country below, please feel free to get in touch and check that we can ship to you.
- Czech Republic
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
- Puerto Rico
- Saudi Arabia
- South Africa
- South Korea
- Sri Lanka
- United Arab Emirates
- United Kingdom
- United States
Please note that customs restrictions can vary from country to country. If you are uncertain about shipment to your country please do not hesitate to get in touch as we may be able to advise you.
What are typical delivery times?
We currently ship all our orders using a courier and are provided with a delivery estimate of 1-2 days for delivery within Europe, 1-4 days to USA and 1-6 days for all other international delivery. Whilst every effort is made to ensure all shipments pass quickly through customs, please note that the delivery times do not account for any delays that may be incurred during customs clearance.
If you require any extra paperwork for customs; or would like to directly import the order to ease any potential issues with customs, please let us know your requirements when ordering and we will be happy to accommodate them.
For full shipping costs and further details please visit our shipping and returns page here
Do you have a preferred agency in my country?
Generally, Ossila only ship directly from the UK. However, in certain countries (notably India and Malaysia), academic institutions are only able to purchase through an agency. In those cases, we can recommend an agency that we know of.
N.B. Shipment to Russia
All our shipments are sent by courier to ensure speedy delivery with lower shipping costs - although on some occasions, we are unable to provide this service.
An individual may purchase up to €1000 worth of goods for import into Russia. However, imports arriving in Moscow are restricted to €200. Unfortunately, the majority of UK Courier services fly directly into Moscow for shipments and as such we are bound by the import restrictions of Moscow. Where we can we will ship via courier to ensure quick delivery of your goods, however we recommend the use of a purchasing agent for larger orders and will be happy to advise in these situations. If you have any queries about this then please do not hesitate to get in touch.
Value Added Tax Information
If you are based in the UK or within the EU, Value Added Tax (VAT) will be added to your cart at checkout. If you are from a VAT-registered organisation within the EU and don't want to be charged VAT, you can contact us with your VAT number and we can issue a formal quotation without VAT for your purchasing department. If you have already placed your order, then get in touch with your valid VAT number and we will refund the VAT from the order back to your account. All sales subject to our standard terms and conditions.
Why can't you ship certain materials to the USA and certain other regions?
Ossila aims to provide the best materials from the best suppliers for organic electronics. However, in certain circumstances patent issues can be different around the globe, and this can mean that we are unable to provide a material in a certain geographical region. In general Ossila, only supplies materials to academics, so we can often work with license holders to supply these materials to University-based research groups - but this is not always the case.
Can you ship Lead Chloride to my country?
Due to current restrictions surrounding the shipment of dangerous goods, we are unable to ship Lead Chloride to the following countries:
- South Africa
- Sri Lanka
- United Arab Emirates
Please note that while we try to keep this information as up to date as possible, the list is subject to change and we will review each order independently.
If you have any concerns please get in touch with the office directly.
What's your recommended storage and handling for materials?
Most organic electronic materials are relatively stable when stored in the dark. It is the particular combination of light with oxygen/moisture that causes photo-oxidation. This is because the electronegativity of oxygen is around -3.4 eV, and most polymers have HOMO levels around -5 eV or lower. As such, it is not possible for oxygen to capture an electron from most materials when they are in the "ground state." It is only when photo-excitation occurs that electrons in the LUMO level can be captured, thus leading to photodegradation. As such, we generally recommend materials to be stored in the dark or under nitrogen.
Do I have to worry about materials degradation during transit?
Most materials will not be affected by transit. However, an exception to this is PEDOT:PSS which is a colloidal suspension and must not be allowed to freeze or be heated above 50°C. We have only ever had one shipment of PEDOT:PSS not arrive in perfect condition to a customer in southern USA during summer via standard post. Since then, we only ship PEDOT:PSS via courier to minimise transit time and insulate the container very well. After adopting these measures, we have not had any further problems.
Can P3HT be used for Inkjet printing?
While we do not ink-jet print P3HT ourselves, in general we have found that the higher Mw and RR materials are too highly crystalline for slow-drying solvents (such as dichlorobenzene), which are routinely used for these techniques and can lead to very rough surfaces (often RMS > 100 nm). They are also subject to more gelation over time.
As such, we generally recommend a lower Mw and RR. A good place to start is the M107 as it has much better solution stability over time and is less subject to the above problems. There is also a good paper by Brabec et al. on this subject (reference below), however, note that different measurement setups can yield slightly different values of RR and molecular weight can also be an issue. From our own experience we believe that our 95.7% RR P3HT (M102) behaves roughly the same as the 98% RR material that they describe.
On the effect of poly(3-hexylthiophene) regioregularity on inkjet printed organic solar cells
Another possibility is to use a blend of low and high Mw/RR materials such as M107 with M101, which allows an extra way to control crystallisation.
(please note that Ossila has no formal connection to any of the authors or institutions in the above reference)
Can PEDOT:PSS be used for Inkjet printing?
The AI 4083 grade of PEDOT:PSS (and also PH1000) can be ink-jetted fairly well with the addition of additives to control viscosity, wetting and drying. You can find a reference below to a paper where this has been used to good effect in solar cells.
Polymer solar cells based on inkjet-printed PEDOT:PSS layer
We can also supply PEDOT:PSS specially formulated for inkjet printing and which work well out of the bottle without any need for additives. However, the cost of this is significantly higher than for AI 4083.
(please note that Ossila has no formal connection to any of the authors or institutions in the above reference)
Does Ossila provide custom ITO patterning?
Yes, we can do custom ITO patterning. However, the major cost in the patterning is setting up the dedicated processing line in the ITO plant (masks, roller coaters, singulation etc). As such the costs are significantly more expensive than for our standard designs unless you need a large number of substrates.
Do you sell flexible substrates?
We have IZO/PET flexible substrates in stock but wish to make sure that we have a robust encapsulation and electrical connection for them before making them available for purchase. Please contact us for further information.
Will the Electrical Connection legs fit 1.1 mm substrates?
The E241 electrical connection legs are for a standard substrate thickness of 0.7 mm and unfortunately do not fit on 1.1 mm thick glass. However, we have now sourced some electrical connection legs for 1.1 mm glass (product code: E242) and they are available for purchase on the electrical connection legs page listed below.
Do you provide technical support?
We always try to provide the highest level of customer support that we can and we endeavour to answer all technical questions or at least point you in the right direction. We aim to use and test all our materials and components, and routinely make OLEDs, OFETs and OPVs ourselves.
We regularly update our support pages and datasheets, so keep checking back for any new information. However, if there's anything you can't find, please don't hesitate to get in touch.
How do I use the Ossila encapsulation epoxy (E131)?
We've found the best way to encapsulate is to place a drop in the middle of the substrate and place the cover glass on top - this can be seen in the Ossila fabrication video for our standard sized substrates, but the epoxy can be used with other substrates as well. In general, when used with a coverslip, the weight of glass - combined with a capillary action (caused by the thin gap between the cover-slip and the substrate) then pulls the glue into an even film across the surface nicely. The only difficulty is avoiding getting bubbles in the epoxy (not a problem for encapsulation purposes, but doesn't look very nice). However, this can be avoided by very carefully placing the initial drop of epoxy. The amount of epoxy you need will of course depend upon your substrate, but the approximate usage is as below:Substrate size Approximate usage 20 x 15 mm 20 μl 50 x 50 mm 200 μl 100 x 100 mm 1 ml
For further information and a visual guide, please have a look at our fabrication guide. Fabrication Guide - Encapsulation Page
Which UV Box do you use to cure the epoxy?
The UV box we use is a Mega - 300-001 - UV exposure unit available from Farnell, Onecall, CPC and Rapid in the UK (Farnell order code 1201817) or Newark in the USA. However, that encapsulation epoxy will cure from light up to 600 nm in wavelength, and will therefore cure under most illumination sources, including desk lamps (albeit slowly). Please take note - very high power light sources can damage polymer films, so we do not recommend ultra-fast curing.
Encapsulation epoxy product pageEncapsulation epoxy
I'm having problems measuring individual pixels using the Ossila OLED/OPV Test board?
One possibility is that the legs could be misaligned slightly. In the left hand image below, the correct leg alignment gives separate pixels; but in the right hand image, the leg placing means that three pixels are being measured at once.
Another thing that could be causing multiple pixels to be measured is if the measurement aperture mask is not centred. If this is touching the legs, it can short devices together.
Ossila OLED/OPV Testboard product page
Why is the USB PV/LED Test Board not recognised by my computer when connected?
Please ensure that the National Instruments DAQmx driver (Version 9.3 or above) is installed in your system in order for the USB Test Board to be recognised. You may already have it installed if your computer runs LabVIEW with other NI hardware. To check if it is installed, navigate to Start Menu > All Programs > National Instruments and look for NI-DAQ.
Should you find that DAQmx is not installed on your computer, please download it - free of charge (registration required), from the National Instruments Website (www.ni.com).
Which operating systems and languages is the USB PV/LED Test Board Compatible with?
In order for the board to be as flexible as possible, it is controlled by a National Instruments USB 6501 OEM system to allow easy interface with a ranges of languages. The board is compatible with Linux, Mac OS, Pocket PC and Windows and can be used with the following languages:
- ANSI C (Data Acquisition toolbox required)
- Measurement Studio
- Visual Basic
- Visual Studio
- Visual Studio .NET
How do I connect the FET Test Board to my source measure unit?
We have designed our test boards to make FET measurement as simple as possible without the need for a manual probe station. If you are using a dual-channel SMU, simply connect the Gate to your SMU's channel A (BNC1) and the Drain/Source to channel B (BNC2). If you are using a single-channel SMU, you will need to connect the Gate and Drain/Source to two SMUs.
It is very important that the ground of SMU A and SMU B are the same. Our test board already takes care of this by grounding the Gate and Drain/Source together. However, if you are using a long BNC cable with a BNC adapter, it is good practice to ground the two cables together by wiring the adapter with metallic wire, as to ensure that no ground loop arises between the two SMUs or channels.
For further details please refer to the FET Test Board User Manual.
Encapsulation epoxy product page
My SMU has 3 BNC connectors; why does the Ossila FET Test Board only provide two BNC ports?
Two BNC connectors are sufficient for FET measurement; one for the Drain/Source and another for the Gate. Even though extra SMUs can be used to connect the drain and the source separately and a fourth SMU to ground to the 'bulk', the characterisation of a large number of OFET/TFT materials rarely demands such level of accuracy and complexity.
Extra connectors on a SMU are also often used with Kelvin or four probe measurement techniques. Ossila provides a four-probe manual station to accurately measure sheet resistance/conductivity.
How do you apply a voltage to the SiO2 substrates?
Both the front and back face of the substrates have an oxide layer on. However, the dicing process is performed after the oxidation, so the edges of the substrates are bare silicon which can be contacted. This contact can be made in several ways:
- placing a probe directly on the edge of a substrate.
- deliberately breaking a chip out of the corner of the substrate and placing the probe there.
- using a silver loaded ink "silver dag" to glue the substrate down to a conductive surface.
We tend to use the latter method, as it then makes the substrates easy to handle, and you can use any old connection method for the surface you glue it to (such as crocodile clips) and this tends to make life a little easier.
A few support pages you may find useful...Fabrication video
Can I download the fabrication video?
If you would like a copy of our fabrication video for teaching or personal use, please email email@example.com and we will send you a link to download a copy. This is to stop our website from becoming slow, and to control distribution. While we encourage people to share the video with friends and colleagues at their institution, we ask that people do not distribute it via the internet (e.g. on Youtube, etc.). However, we are happy for you to embed a link to our video page from your own website.
What are your terms and conditions?
You can find our terms and conditions on the following page: Terms and Conditions