Cornell scientists who have invented a way of processing organic devices with a patent-pending process called orthogonal lithography have received a $900,000 grant from the National Science Foundation’s Materials World Network program. The funds, part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, will last through 2013. The technique patterns materials using a photoresist that is soluble in environmentally safe fluorinated solvents for use in organic electronics. This protects the organic material and dramatically eases some of the hurdles to the mass production of delicate, easily contaminated organic materials faced by the nanofabrication method of photolithography. “We’ve identified a family of orthogonal solvents that is very different than water and very different than the nonpolar organics – the solvents usually used in these processes,” said Chris Ober, co-leader of the grant with George Malliaras, both Cornell professors of materials science and engineering, and Richard Friend of the University of Cambridge in the UK. The grant will fund the group’s continued study of increasingly complex organic devices using the technique and will allow Ober to retain a postdoctoral associate in Ober’s lab. Indirectly, the funds may aid job creation at a new Ithaca startup company, Orthogonal Inc., based on the technology.