The team, led by professor of organic chemistry and materials science Glen Miller and including two UNH undergraduates, published their findings in January 2010 in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
Nonacene, a compound with nine rings of benzene fused in a linear fashion, belongs to a class of organic semiconductors called acenes, widely recognized to be among the very best in terms of electronic performance. Yet they are highly unstable – they oxidize rapidly.
"We have known that nonacene would have very desirable electronic properties, but it was just a tease, because you couldn't make it, you couldn't use it," says Miller, who has been working to prepare large acenes since 2007.
Miller and his team – research scientist Irvinder Kaur, postdoctoral fellow Mikael Jazdzyk, and UNH seniors Polina Prusevich and Nathan Stein – built the large nonacene derivative from smaller pieces, the way one might build a Lego structure. The key to the molecule's stability is the addition of arylthio functional groups, stable collections of atoms that contain sulfur.
"The skeleton of the molecule is still there, but it's got additional functional groups attached to the skeleton," says Miller. This not only made the derivative stable, it also made it soluble, further enhancing its usefulness.
Nonacenes hold promise for further development of flexible organic electronic devices: computer displays so thin they could be rolled up or even worn. Miller notes that the military is interested in the technology that would allow for chameleon-like camouflage clothing that could change with the environment. Organic solar cells are another potential application of nonacenes; such cells could cut the cost of solar power by making use of inexpensive organic molecules rather than the expensive crystalline silicon that is used in most solar cells.
While Miller notes that his team's work is but a first step toward creating stable nonacene devices, "these compounds push all of these technologies further."
"Before our work, the thought of preparing flexible organic electronic devices using nonacene or a nonacene derivative was just a dream," he adds. "With this major step forward, we are much closer to realizing the dream."
The complete paper, "Design, Synthesis, and Characterization of a Persistent Nonacene Derivative", is available at the Journal of the American Chemical Society Web site: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/full/10.1021/ja9095472. Funding was provided by the National Science Foundation through the Nanoscale Science & Engineering Center for High-Rate Nanomanufacturing.
The University of New Hampshire, founded in 1866, is a world-class public research university with the feel of a New England liberal arts college. A land, sea, and space-grant university, UNH is the state's flagship public institution, enrolling 12,200 undergraduate and 2,200 graduate students.
Beth Potier | EurekAlert!
Cells communicate in a dynamic code
19.02.2018 | California Institute of Technology
Studying mitosis' structure to understand the inside of cancer cells
19.02.2018 | Biophysical Society
For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.
In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.
But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...
Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.
The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...
Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters
Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
19.02.2018 | Materials Sciences
19.02.2018 | Materials Sciences
19.02.2018 | Life Sciences