American Chemical Society
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Self-Assembly of Electron Donor−Acceptor Dyads into Ordered Architectures in Two and Three Dimensions:  Surface Patterning and Columnar “Double Cables”

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journal contribution
posted on 2004-03-24, 00:00 authored by Paolo Samorì, Xiaomin Yin, Natalia Tchebotareva, Zhaohui Wang, Tadeusz Pakula, Frank Jäckel, Mark D. Watson, Alessandro Venturini, Klaus Müllen, Jürgen P. Rabe
We report the synthesis and characterization of covalent dyads and multiads of electron acceptors (A) and donors (D), with the purpose of exploiting their nanophase separation behavior toward (a) two-dimensional (2D) surface patterning with well-defined integrated arrays of dissimilar molecular electronic features and (b) bulk self-assembly to noncovalent columnar versions of the so-called “double cable” systems, the likes of which could eventually provide side-by-side percolation pathways for electrons and holes in solar cells. Soluble, alkylated hexa-peri-hexabenzocoronenes (HBCs) bearing tethered anthraquinones (AQs) are shown by scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) to self-assemble at the solution−graphite interface into either defect-rich polycrystalline monolayers or extended 2D crystalline domains, depending on the number of tethered AQs. In the bulk, the thermal stability of the room-temperature HBC columnar phase is increased, which is attributed to the desired nanotriphase separation of HBC columns, insulating alkyl sheaths, and AQ units. Homeotropic alignment (columns normal to surfaces), predicted to be ideal for potential exploitation of such “double cables” in photovoltaic devices, is demonstrated.