2D organic materials: World's first synthesis of thiophene nanosheets with 3.5nm thickness

Apr 25, 2013
Schematic diagram of the supramolecular thiophene nanosheet formation process.

A team of researchers from the National Institute of Material Science and the Max Plank Institute for Polymer Research has developed the world's first supramolecular thiophene nanosheets, which is a 2-dimensional organic material with a thickness of 3.5nm.

In recent years, electronic materials with 2-dimensional sheet structures such as "Graphene" have attracted considerable attention. However, in the case of graphene, size control is difficult, and chemical functionalization of the graphene surface is impossible. On the other hand, the thiophene derivatives have been actively investigated as electronic materials for (FET), , organic electroluminescence (organic EL) materials, and other applications. However, the manufacturing process of thiophene thin film has many problems. For instance, vacuum vapor deposition requires much energy and expensive equipment. Although thin film via simple wet process have been developed using a , it is difficult to obtain polymer thin films with high crystallinity. In this research, Dr. Ikeda overcame these problems and found a facile manufacturing method of thiophene nanosheets with high in the solution.

In this work, Dr. Ikeda discovered that an alternating copolymer, in which a thiophene derivative and flexible chain are alternately connected, is folded in some in such a way that the thiophene units are stacked each other, and the folded copolymers self-assemble into a 2-dimensional sheet structure (Figure). Although the length of the polymer used in this work is approximately 80nm, the thickness of the sheet is only 3.5nm due to the folded conformation of the copolymer. The arrangement of the thiophene units in the nanosheet was confirmed to be the same as that manufactured by vacuum of low-molecular-weight thiophene compounds. Therefore, our thiophene nanosheets are feasible to the application of organic electronics devices. The lateral size of the nanosheet was controllable by tuning the concentration of the polymer solution. The chemical modification of the nanosheet surface was also possible by introducing the other functional unit at the terminals of the copolymer.

Since it is possible to fabricate monolayers like those manufactured by vacuum deposition by just dissolving a polymer in a solvent, this method will lead to simple, low-cost and energy-efficient device fabrication. The self-assembly process via polymer folding reported herein is also of great scientific interest, as it artificially reproduces the folding and self-assembly of proteins in nature.

This research achievement was published online on March 26 (local time) in the international scientific journal Angewandte Chemie International Edition of the German Chemical Society, and was selected by the Editorial Board of that journal as a "hot paper."

Explore further: Thinnest feasible nano-membrane produced

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Organic Molecules Stay on Top

Nov 19, 2007

The van der Waals force, a weak attractive force, is solely responsible for binding certain organic molecules to metallic surfaces. In a model for organic devices, it is this force alone that binds an organic film to a metallic ...

Recommended for you

Thinnest feasible nano-membrane produced

Apr 17, 2014

A new nano-membrane made out of the 'super material' graphene is extremely light and breathable. Not only can this open the door to a new generation of functional waterproof clothing, but also to ultra-rapid filtration. The ...

Wiring up carbon-based electronics

Apr 17, 2014

Carbon-based nanostructures such as nanotubes, graphene sheets, and nanoribbons are unique building blocks showing versatile nanomechanical and nanoelectronic properties. These materials which are ordered ...

Making 'bucky-balls' in spin-out's sights

Apr 16, 2014

(Phys.org) —A new Oxford spin-out firm is targeting the difficult challenge of manufacturing fullerenes, known as 'bucky-balls' because of their spherical shape, a type of carbon nanomaterial which, like ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

'Exotic' material is like a switch when super thin

(Phys.org) —Ever-shrinking electronic devices could get down to atomic dimensions with the help of transition metal oxides, a class of materials that seems to have it all: superconductivity, magnetoresistance ...

Innovative strategy to facilitate organ repair

A significant breakthrough could revolutionize surgical practice and regenerative medicine. A team led by Ludwik Leibler from the Laboratoire Matière Molle et Chimie (CNRS/ESPCI Paris Tech) and Didier Letourneur ...