Supramolecular Approaches to Semiconducting Devices

Written by Jeremiah Fentress.

Applications of noncovalent interactions to form unique nanoscale morphologies in organic semiconducting devices

Organic semiconducting devices have received enormous attention as low cost and flexible alternatives to silicon based technologies.  Devices such as organic photovoltaic cells (OPVs) and organic field effect transistors (OFETs) are comprised of a π-conjugated organic material which displays electrical conductivity.  The efficiency of the electronic device depends heavily on the ability of charge carriers (electrons and/or holes) to move within the conjugated material without being trapped or scattered. Therefore, it is imperative that the supramolecular architecture of the organic molecules in the solid state promote efficient charge transport. Researchers have shown that noncovalent interactions can act as powerful means for programming nanoscale architectures.  

 

 

Assembly of the π-conjugated molecules forming the organic layer is often unpredictable. Random (a) distribution hinders carrier mobility. Ordered assembly (b) is more ideal.



 

The objective of this research is to utilize noncovalent interactions to form furan and thiophene derivatives that self-assemble yielding unique nanoscale morphologies for organic semiconducting devices. The materials are designed to combine the intrinsic solid state packing capabilities of oligofurans and oligothiophenes, two oligomers which are commonly used in high-efficiency organic devices, with noncovalent bonding to create layered materials with predictable three-dimensional structures. 

 

Halogen Bonding

Noncovalent interaction between halogen atoms and electron-pair-donating heteroatoms

Stacking

Attractive, noncovalent interactions between aromatic rings

Hydrogen Bonding

Interaction between polar molecules, in which hydrogen is bound to a highly electronegative atom

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