JUL 20, 2016 7:26 AM PDT

New Molecule Advances Field of Organic Electronics

WRITTEN BY: Carmen Leitch
Organic electronics was established as a field of study relatively recently; much of the early work was simply establishing data on conductive organic materials. The first organic diode was made in 1987 and since then the field has grown considerably and includes organic light emitting devices and field-effect transistors. If your eyes are already starting to glaze over, check out this video below from Veritaseum to get some background.
While much of the current work aims to create electronics using organic materials, it’s still not comparable to standard electronics in terms of performance or durability. If those limitations can be overcome, organic materials present many advantages such as low weight, flexibility, transparency, and crucially, plastic electronics are far cheaper than the current silicon stuff. The main uses for organic electronics include solar cells, a technology severely impeded by high costs, which restrict it from efficient coverage of big areas.

Scientists from the Moscow State University (MSU) in collaboration with colleagues from Germany have found that a derivative of [3]-radialene, can be used to create organic semiconductors. Publishing in Advanced Materials, Dmitry Ivanov, the Head of the Laboratory of Materials Engineering at the Department of Fundamental Physics and Chemical Engineering at MSU, believes that the achievement will greatly contribute to the development of organic electronics and, in particular, to fabrication of organic light emitting diodes and new classes of organic solar cells.
The energy levels of the studied systems and a synchrotron X-ray diffractogram measured on a thin film of an organic semiconductor doped with a derivative of [3]-radialene. / Credit: The Lomonosov Moscow State University
The molecule the researchers are interested in is the dopant - a substance that is used to produce a desired electrical feature in a semiconductor, and in this case, to significantly increase the electrical conductivity of a polymer. Fluorinated dopants are what are currently used along with different organic semiconductors to intensify electrical conductivity, but some polymers used today in plastic electronics would not be suited to this pairing.

“Together with our Dresden colleagues we decided to design a completely new type of low molecular weight dopant for the organic semiconductor,” said Dmitry Ivanov. “And here it was important to choose a molecule that it was not only suitable in its energy levels, but, importantly, the dopant must be well mixed with the polymer, so that in contact with the polymer it does not segregate in a separate phase, eventually crystallizing and, in fact, losing contact with the polymer.”

This dopant, the derivative of [3]-radialene, is a small planar molecule that has a triangular structure from its carbon atoms. [3]-radialene was selected because it has the most suitable LUMO level, or the lowest unoccupied molecular orbital. Meaning that it can help to easily extract electrons from the semiconducting polymer matrix, thus becoming free charges and consequently increasing the conductivity of the doped material.

The researchers confirmed experimentally that this substance boosted the electrical conductivity of the polymer tremendously. “This could pave the way to fabrication of new organic solar cells with improved characteristics. We also think about production of organic field-effect transistors. I think it will give a significant boost to the development of organic electronic devices,” concluded Ivanov.

Sources: AAAS/Eurekalert! via Moscow State University, Advanced Materials
 
About the Author
  • Experienced research scientist and technical expert with authorships on over 30 peer-reviewed publications, traveler to over 70 countries, published photographer and internationally-exhibited painter, volunteer trained in disaster-response, CPR and DV counseling.
You May Also Like
MAR 19, 2021
Genetics & Genomics
The Giraffe Genome Explains Some of Its Unusual Characteristics
MAR 19, 2021
The Giraffe Genome Explains Some of Its Unusual Characteristics
Giraffes are unique and have made many evolutionary adaptations. They have a very short sleep cycle, for example.
MAR 25, 2021
Microbiology
Good Microbes Can Help Plants Withstand Heat
MAR 25, 2021
Good Microbes Can Help Plants Withstand Heat
Bacteria live everywhere, and we're starting to understand how they affect the biology of animals and plants. This comes ...
APR 13, 2021
Microbiology
Learning How TORCH Pathogens Cause Brain Malformations
APR 13, 2021
Learning How TORCH Pathogens Cause Brain Malformations
The term TORCH pathogens refers to a group of viruses including Toxoplasma gondii, Rubella, Herpes Simplex Viruses 1 and ...
APR 14, 2021
Cell & Molecular Biology
Repairing Traumatic Brain Injuries with 'Brain Glue'
APR 14, 2021
Repairing Traumatic Brain Injuries with 'Brain Glue'
Brain injuries are common, costly, and difficult to treat. The brain damage that accompanies a significant traumatic bra ...
MAY 03, 2021
Health & Medicine
The Challenges and Advantages of Direct PCR Amplification
MAY 03, 2021
The Challenges and Advantages of Direct PCR Amplification
  Testing for COVID-19 continues to be one of the most important tools in the global fight to slow and reduce the i ...
APR 27, 2021
Neuroscience
Leaky Blood-Brain Barrier Linked to Schizophrenia
APR 27, 2021
Leaky Blood-Brain Barrier Linked to Schizophrenia
Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania have found that people with schizophrenia may have a more permeable bloo ...
Loading Comments...