Graphene and related materials hold great potential for technological applications such as electronics, sensors, and energy storage devices, among others. Thanks to their high surface sensitivity, these materials are an ideal platform to study the interplay between molecular assemblies at the nanoscale and macroscopic electrical phenomena.
Researchers within the Graphene Flagship designed a molecule that can reversibly undergo chemical transformations when illuminated with ultraviolet and visible light. This molecule –a photoswitchable spiropyran– can be then anchored to the surface of materials such as graphene or molybdenum disulfide, thus generating an atomically precise hybrid macroscopic superlattice. When illuminated, the whole supramolecular structure experiences a collective structural rearrangement, which could be directly visualized with a sub-nanometer resolution by scanning tunneling microscopy.
More importantly, this light-induced reorganization at the molecular level induces large changes in the macroscopic electrical properties of the hybrid devices. The molecules, together with the layers of graphene and related materials, can convert single-molecule events into a spatially homogeneous switching action that generates a macroscopic electrical response. This novel and versatile approach takes supramolecular electronics to the next level.
‘Thanks to this new approach, we can exploit the capacity of collective switching events occurring in superlattices of photochromic molecules assembled onto graphene and related materials to induce large scale and reversible modulation in the electrical properties of high-performance opto-electronic devices,’ explains Paolo Samorì, lead author of the paper. ‘This technology could find applications in the next generation of smart and portable electronics, with programmable properties,’ he adds.
Samorì also explains how this idea of tailoring molecular superlattices could generate a wide variety of new materials with tunable and responsive properties. ‘Dial your functions! You only need to carefully choose the right molecules, the thus-formed superlattice will allow to maximize the change in properties as a response to external inputs,’ he says.
Vittorio Pellegrini, researcher at IIT and Division Leader for Energy, Composites, and Production at the Graphene Flagship, highlights how the research is ‘unique in the way it combines graphene and other related materials with light-responsive chemical molecules. These macroscopic arrangements are promising platforms for optoelectronics.’ Pellegrini points out the outstanding potential of these new findings: ‘the molecular ultra-thin coating can be tailored just by synthesizing different molecules.’ Moreover, ‘this discovery will lead us to the development of devices, as the technique developed by Samorì and his team can be scaled up in reproducible manner,’ he added. Samorì agrees: ‘The limit in the scalability is the accessibility to ultra-flat and atomically precise graphene and related materials.’
These advances, made possible by the collaborative environment of the Graphene Flagship, could lead to promising applications in sensors, optoelectronics, and flexible devices. Researchers now dream of high-performance multifunctional hybrid devices under control of nature’s most abundant and powerful source of energy – light.
Receive an email update when we add a new SUPREMOLECULAR ELECTRONICS article.
The Latest on: Supramolecular electronics
via Google News
The Latest on: Supramolecular electronics
- Five minutes in the life of a molecular shuttle on October 31, 2018 at 9:43 am
The academic interest for synthetic molecular shuttles resides in their potential applications in molecular electronics, nanomedicine and ... between IMDEA Nanociencia and University of Barcelona: sup... […]
- Flipping the switch on supramolecular electronics on August 14, 2018 at 7:46 am
Graphene and related materials hold great potential for technological applications such as electronics, sensors, and energy storage devices, among others. Thanks to their high surface sensitivity, the... […]
- Final Report Summary - SUPRAFUNCTION (Supramolecular materials for organic electronics: unravelling the architecture vs. function relationship) on May 10, 2018 at 5:00 pm
SUPRAFUNCTION contributed to major advances towards mastering the principles of supramolecular chemistry, in combination with top-down nanofabrication, to achieve a full control over the architecture ... […]
- Self-assembling peptide semiconductors on November 16, 2017 at 11:22 am
bioinspired self-assembling peptide semiconductors may serve as candidates for advanced interdisciplinary functional nanostructures. Promotion of the design principles of peptide-based supramolecular ... […]
- Structural water as an essential comonomer in supramolecular polymerization on November 15, 2017 at 11:15 am
2 Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung (BAM), Unter den Eichen 87, 12205 Berlin, Germany. 3 School of Physics and Electronics, Hunan University, Changsha 410082, Hunan, P.R. China. 4 Depar... […]
- Park Systems AFM Webinar to Focus on Nobel Prize Winners in Supramolecular Chemistry and Nano Machines on October 7, 2016 at 8:24 am
"Park Atomic Force Microscopes or AFMs advanced surface science and topography can observe and characterize these molecules, facilitating further discoveries in supramolecular chemistry," comments Kei... […]
- Promise of Nanowires in Optoelectronics Realized By Getting Them Connected on July 26, 2016 at 1:47 pm
Supramolecular electronics has been solidifying as the bridge between molecular electronics—in which molecules become the basic building blocks of electronics—and the use polymers for the fabrication ... […]
- GRaphene supramolEculAr elecTronics: a life-long training Career development project on February 27, 2014 at 4:00 pm
"GREAT aims at offering to a young scientist with an excellent scientific record, possessing a Ph.D in chemistry, a cross-disciplinary and supra-sectorial training and research experience in the emerg... […]
- Researchers create first soluble 2D supramolecular organic frameworks on December 16, 2013 at 10:54 am
Rigid triangular struts self-assemble in combination with macrocycle rings in solution to create a supramolecular organic framework ... Liu, who oversees the supramolecular electronics research group ... […]
via Bing News