Indiana University chemists demonstrate 'bricks-and-mortar' assembly of new molecular structures

August 06, 2014 01:03 PM EST By: Jennifer Rocha

A development with potential value for the field of organic electronic devices such as field-effect transistors and photovoltaic cells.

Story content courtesy of Indiana University, US

The paper, “Anion-Induced Dimerization of 5-fold Symmetric Cyanostars in 3D Crystalline Solids and 2D Self-Assembled Crystals,” has recently been published online. It is the first collaboration by Amar Flood, the James F. Jackson Associate Professor of Chemistry, and Steven L. Tait, assistant professor of chemistry. Both are in the materials chemistry program in the IU Bloomington Department of Chemistry, part of the College of Arts and Sciences.

The researchers demonstrate the self-assembly and packing of a five-sided, symmetrical molecule, called cyanostar, that was developed by Flood’s IU research team. While researchers have created many such large, cyclic molecules, or macrocycles, cyanostar is unusual in that it can be readily synthesized in a “one pot” process. It also has an unprecedented ability to bind with large, negatively charged anions such as perchlorate.

The future of organic electronics will rely upon packing molecules onto electrode surfaces, yet it has been challenging to get packing of the molecules away from the surface, Tait and Flood said. With this paper, they present a collaborative effort, combining their backgrounds in traditionally distinct fields of chemistry, as a new foray to achieve this goal using a bricks-and-mortar approach.

Support for the research comes from the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy as well as Indiana University.


 

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