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1.
ACS Nano ; 12(9): 9116-9125, 2018 Sep 25.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30138559

RESUMO

Photocharge generation and formation of long-lived charge carriers are relevant in photosynthesis, photocatalysis, photovoltaics, and organic electronics. A better understanding of the factors that determine these processes in synthetic polymer semiconductors is crucial, but difficult due to their morphological inhomogeneity. Here, we report the formation of exceptionally long-lived photocharges in one-dimensional organic semiconductor nanostructures. These nanostructures consist of chiral oligopeptide-substituted thienothiophene-based chromophores and exhibit a well-defined helical arrangement of these chromophores at their core. The chromophores give rise to spectroscopic H-aggregates and show strong intermolecular excitonic coupling. We demonstrate that all of these parameters are the prerequisites required for the nanostructures to show the efficient formation of polaron-like photocharges upon irradiation with a low-power white light source. The observed charge carriers in the helical nanowires show an unusually long lifetime on the order of several hours and are formed at high concentrations of up to 3 mol % in the absence of any dedicated electron acceptor. They are observed in solution as well as in film and furthermore give rise to a light-induced increase of the macroscopic charge transport. By contrast, no such photocharge generation is observed either in non-aggregating reference systems of the same chromophores or in aggregated but non-helical systems that do not form one-dimensional nanostructures. Our results thus demonstrate a clear correlation between nanoscopic confinement and the generation of long-lived photocharges.

2.
ACS Nano ; 11(9): 8747-8757, 2017 09 26.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28813143

RESUMO

Self-assembled monolayer field-effect transistors (SAMFETs) are not only a promising type of organic electronic device but also allow detailed analyses of structure-property correlations. The influence of the morphology on the charge transport is particularly pronounced, due to the confined monolayer of 2D-π-stacked organic semiconductor molecules. The morphology, in turn, is governed by relatively weak van-der-Waals interactions and is thus prone to dynamic structural fluctuations. Accordingly, combining electronic and physical characterization and time-averaged X-ray analyses with the dynamic information available at atomic resolution from simulations allows us to characterize self-assembled monolayer (SAM) based devices in great detail. For this purpose, we have constructed transistors based on SAMs of two molecules that consist of the organic p-type semiconductor benzothieno[3,2-b][1]benzothiophene (BTBT), linked to a C11 or C12 alkylphosphonic acid. Both molecules form ordered SAMs; however, our experiments show that the size of the crystalline domains and the charge-transport properties vary considerably in the two systems. These findings were confirmed by molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and semiempirical molecular-orbital electronic-structure calculations, performed on snapshots from the MD simulations at different times, revealing, in atomistic detail, how the charge transport in organic semiconductors is influenced and limited by dynamic disorder.

4.
Nat Commun ; 8: 15909, 2017 06 26.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28649998

RESUMO

Micelles formed by the self-assembly of block copolymers in selective solvents have attracted widespread attention and have uses in a wide variety of fields, whereas applications based on their electronic properties are virtually unexplored. Herein we describe studies of solution-processable, low-dispersity, electroactive fibre-like micelles of controlled length from π-conjugated diblock copolymers containing a crystalline regioregular poly(3-hexylthiophene) core and a solubilizing, amorphous regiosymmetric poly(3-hexylthiophene) or polystyrene corona. Tunnelling atomic force microscopy measurements demonstrate that the individual fibres exhibit appreciable conductivity. The fibres were subsequently incorporated as the active layer in field-effect transistors. The resulting charge carrier mobility strongly depends on both the degree of polymerization of the core-forming block and the fibre length, and is independent of corona composition. The use of uniform, colloidally stable electroactive fibre-like micelles based on common π-conjugated block copolymers highlights their significant potential to provide fundamental insight into charge carrier processes in devices, and to enable future electronic applications.

5.
Adv Mater ; 29(18)2017 May.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28160336

RESUMO

The patterning of functional materials represents a crucial step for the implementation of organic semiconducting materials into functional devices. Classical patterning techniques such as photolithography or shadow masking exhibit certain limitations in terms of choice of materials, processing techniques and feasibility for large area fabrication. The use of self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) as a patterning tool offers a wide variety of opportunities, from the region-selective deposition of active components to guiding the crystallization direction. Here, we discuss general techniques and mechanisms for SAM-based patterning and show that all necessary components for organic electronic devices, i.e., conducting materials, dielectrics, organic semiconductors, and further functional layers can be patterned with the use of self-assembled monolayers. The advantages and limitations, and potential further applications of patterning approaches based on self-assembled monolayers are critically discussed.

6.
Acc Chem Res ; 48(7): 1901-8, 2015 Jul 21.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26072927

RESUMO

Self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) have been established as crucial interlayers and electronically active layers in organic electronic devices, such as organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs), organic photovoltaics (OPVs), organic thin film transistors (OTFTs), and nonvolatile memories (NVMs). The use of self-assembling functionalized organic molecules is beneficial due to mainly three advantages compared with common thin film deposition approaches. (1) Molecular self-assembly occurs with surface selectivity, determined by the interaction between the functional anchor group of the organic molecules and the target surface. (2) The film thickness of the resulting layers is perfectly controllable on the angstrom scale, due to the self-terminating film formation to only a single molecular layer. And finally, (3) the wide variability in the chemical structure of such molecules enables different SAM functionalities for devices, ranging from electrical insulation to charge storage to charge transport. The SAM approach can be further expanded by employing several functionalized molecules to create mixed SAMs with consequently mixed properties. The function of SAMs in devices depends not only on the chemical structure of the molecules but also on their final arrangement and orientation on the surface. A reliable and nondestructive in-depth characterization of SAMs on nonconductive oxide surfaces is still challenging because of the very small thickness and the impracticality of methods such as scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). In this Account, we illustrate how X-ray reflectivity (XRR) provides analytical access to major questions of SAM composition, morphology, and even formation by means of investigations of pure and mixed SAMs based on phosphonic acids (PAs) of various chain structures on flat alumina (AlOx) surfaces. XRR is an analytical method that provides access to spatially averaged structural depth profiles over a relatively large area of several square micrometers. The key outcome of XRR, the surface-normal electron density profile of the SAMs, leads to precise information on the SAM thickness with subangstrom resolution and allows for the determination of molecular tilt angles and packing densities. We have systematically increased the chemical complexity of PA molecules and the resulting SAMs, utilizing XRR to provide insight into the SAM structures. In SAMs composed of functionalized molecules or complex chain structures, the distribution of electron rich and electron poor signatures is detected and thus the molecular order within the SAM is determined. In mixed SAMs of two different molecular species, electron density profiles reveal the morphology and how the surface-normal structure changes if one component of the mixed SAM is altered. Furthermore, XRR was applied to investigate in situ the self-assembly of functionalized PA molecules from solution by tracking the monolayer growth over time. Even though the results provided by XRR on in-plane molecular arrangement are limited, it presents excellent information on the molecular scale along the surface normal and in addition allows for drawing conclusions on the intermolecular interactions within the SAM.

7.
Nanoscale ; 6(21): 13022-7, 2014 Nov 07.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-25245837

RESUMO

The control of order in organic semiconductor systems is crucial to achieve desired properties in electronic devices. We have studied the order in fullerene functionalized self-assembled monolayers by mixing the active molecules with supporting alkyl phosphonic acids of different chain length. By adjusting the length of the molecules, structural modifications of the alignment of the C60 head groups within the SAM can be tuned in a controlled way. These changes on the sub-nanometre scale were analysed by grazing incidence X-ray diffraction and X-ray reflectivity. To study the electron transport properties across these layers, self-assembled monolayer field-effect transistors (SAMFETs) were fabricated containing only the single fullerene monolayer as semiconductor. Electrical measurements revealed that a high 2D crystalline order is not the only important aspect. If the fullerene head groups are too confined by the supporting alkyl phosphonic acid molecules, defects in the crystalline C60 film, such as grain boundaries, start to strongly limit the charge transport properties. By close interpretation of the results of structural investigations and correlating them to the results of electrical characterization, an optimum chain length of the supporting alkyl phosphonic acids in the range of C10 was determined. With this study we show that minor changes in the order on the sub-nanometre scale, can strongly influence electronic properties of functional self-assembled monolayers.

8.
ACS Nano ; 7(12): 11427-34, 2013 Dec 23.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-24274682

RESUMO

Approaches for the selective self-assembly of functionalized carbon allotropes from solution are developed and validated for 0D-fullerenes, 1D-carbon nanotubes and 2D-graphene. By choosing the right molecular interaction of self-assembled monolayers (serving the surface) with the functionalization features of carbon materials, which provide the solubility but also serve the driving force for assembly, we demonstrate a region-selective and self-terminating assembly of the materials. Active layers of the carbon allotropes can be selectively deposited in the channel region of thin-film transistor (TFT) devices by this approach. As an example for a 0D system, molecules of C60 functionalized octadecylphosphonic acids are used to realize self-assembled monolayer field-effect transistors (SAMFETs) based on a selective molecular exchange reaction of stearic acid in the channel region. For noncovalently functionalized single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) and graphene oxide (GO) flakes, the electrostatic Coulomb interactions between the functional groups of the carbon allotropes and the charged head groups of a SAM dielectric layer are utilized to implement the selective deposition.

9.
ACS Appl Mater Interfaces ; 5(13): 6073-80, 2013 Jul 10.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-23734774

RESUMO

We report a computational study on the chemical bonding of phosphonates and carboxylates to aluminum oxide surfaces and how the binding properties are related to the amount of water in the experimental environment. Two different surface structures were used in the calculations in order to model representative adsorption sites for the phosphonates and carboxylates and to account for the amorphous nature of the hydroxylated AlOx films in experiment. For the phosphonates, we find that the thermodynamically preferred binding mode changes between mono-, bi-, and tridentate depending on the surface structure and the amount of residual water. For the carboxylates, on the other hand, monodentate adsorption is always lower in energy at all experimental conditions. Phosphonates are more strongly bound to aluminum oxide than carboxylates, so that carboxylates can be replaced easily by phosphonates. The theoretical findings are consistent with those obtained in adsorption, desorption, and exchange reactions of n-alkyl phosphonic and carboxylic acids on AlOx surfaces. The results provide an atomistic understanding of the adsorption and help to optimize experimental conditions for self-assembly of organic films on aluminum oxide surfaces.

10.
Adv Mater ; 25(32): 4511-4, 2013 Aug 27.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-23788245

RESUMO

Self-assembled monolayer field-effect transistors (SAMFETs) of BTBT functionalized phosphonic acids are fabricated. The molecular design enables device operation with charge carrier mobilities up to 10(-2) cm(2) V(-1) s(-1) and for the first time SAMFETs which operate on rough, flexible PEN substrates even under mechanical substrate bending.

11.
J Am Chem Soc ; 135(12): 4893-900, 2013 Mar 27.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-23480792

RESUMO

A three-pronged approach has been used to design rational improvements in self-assembled monolayer field-effect transistors: classical molecular dynamics (MD) simulations to investigate atomistic structure, large-scale quantum mechanical (QM) calculations for electronic properties, and device fabrication and characterization as the ultimate goal. The MD simulations reveal the effect of using two-component monolayers to achieve intact dielectric insulating layers and a well-defined semiconductor channel. The QM calculations identify improved conduction paths in the monolayers that consist of an optimum mixing ratio of the components. These results have been used both to confirm the predictions of the calculations and to optimize real devices. Monolayers were characterized with X-ray reflectivity measurements and by electronic characterization of complete devices.

12.
Langmuir ; 28(39): 13900-4, 2012 Oct 02.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-22963322

RESUMO

In this work, we compared the kinetics of monolayer self-assembly long-chained carboxylic acids and phosphonic acids on thin aluminum oxide surfaces and investigated their dielectric properties in capacitors and low-voltage organic thin-film transistors. Phosphonic acid anchor groups tend to substitute carboxylic acid molecules on aluminum oxide surfaces and thus allow the formation of mixed or fully exchanged monolayers. With different alkyl chain substituents (n-alkyl or fluorinated alkyl chains), the exchange reaction can be monitored as a function of time by static contact angle measurements. The threshold voltage in α,α'-dihexyl-sexithiophene thin-film transistors composed of such mixed layer dielectrics correlates with the exchange progress and can be tuned from negative to positive values or vice versa depending on the dipole moment of the alkyl chain substituents. The change in the dipole moment with increasing exchange time also shifts the capacitance of these devices. The rate constants for exchange reactions determined by the time-dependent shift of static contact angle, threshold voltage, and capacitance exhibit virtually the same value thus proving the exchange kinetics to be highly controllable. In general, the exchange approach is a powerful tool in interface engineering, displaying a great potential for tailoring of device characteristics.

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