Precise, Self-Limited Epitaxy of Ultrathin Organic Semiconductors and Heterojunctions Tailored by van der Waals Interactions

Precise assembly of semiconductor heterojunctions is the key to realize many optoelectronic devices. By exploiting the strong and tunable van der Waals (vdW) forces between graphene and organic small molecules, we demonstrate layer-by-layer epitaxy of ultrathin organic semiconductors and heterostructures with unprecedented precision with well-defined number of layers and self-limited characteristics. We further demonstrate organic p–n heterojunctions with molecularly flat interface, which exhibit excellent rectifying behavior and photovoltaic responses. The self-limited organic molecular beam epitaxy (SLOMBE) is generically applicable for many layered small-molecule semiconductors and may lead to advanced organic optoelectronic devices beyond bulk heterojunctions.