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Polymer-Induced Self-Assembly of Small Organic Molecules into Ultralong Microbelts with Electronic Conductivity

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journal contribution
posted on 24.03.2010, 00:00 by Minghua Huang, Uwe Schilde, Michael Kumke, Markus Antonietti, Helmut Cölfen
The principle of polymer-controlled crystallization of inorganic materials has been successfully transferred to functional aromatic organic dyes, in this instance 3,4,9,10-perylenetetracarboxylic acid potassium salt (PTCAPS), after its single-crystal structure was determined. The cationic double hydrophilic block copolymer poly(ethylene glycol)-block-branched-poly(ethyleneimine) (PEG-b-PEI) was used as the polymer additive to modify the crystallization of PTCAPS. Ultralong hierarchically structured PTCAPS microbelts with constant width and thickness of each individual belt have been fabricated. The belts are a mesocrystalline assembly of primary nanoparticles with high-energy anionic {001} faces stabilized by polymer complexation. Polarization microscopy, X-ray diffraction, optical absorption spectra, and fluorescence spectra indicate the favorable orientation of the 1D microbelts in the close-stacking direction and reveal a specific 1D superstructure fluorescence. Electrical conductivity measurements performed on a single nanobelt disclose in the doped state a remarkably high electronic conductivity and further demonstrate extended, wirelike π−π interactions along the [020] long axis of the belts. Together with the very large length of the belts and their organic−organic hybrid nanostructure, this makes these organic wires potentially interesting for the field of nano-/micro-optoelectronics.