A π-gel scaffold for assembling fullerene to photoconducting supramolecular rods

Science Advances  23 Sep 2016:
Vol. 2, no. 9, e1600142
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1600142

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Nonequilibrium self-assembly of molecules holds a huge prospect as a tool for obtaining new-generation materials for future applications. Crystallization of neutral molecules within a supramolecular gel matrix is one example in which two nonequilibrium processes occur orthogonal to each other. On the other hand, electronically interacting donor-acceptor two-component systems are expected to form phase-miscible hybrid systems. Contrary to the expectation, we report the behavior of a π-gel, derived from oligo(p-phenylenevinylene), OPVA, as a scaffold for the phase separation and crystallization of fullerene (C60) to supramolecular rods with increased transient photoconductivity (φƩμmax = 2.4 × 10−4 cm2 V−1 s−1). The C60 supramolecular rods in the π-gel medium exhibited high photocurrent in comparison to C60 loaded in a non–π-gel medium. This finding provides an opportunity for large-scale preparation of micrometer-sized photoconducting rods of fullerenes for device application.

  • Self-assembly
  • fullerene
  • gels
  • crystallization
  • p-n heterojunctions
  • self-sorting
  • photoconductivity

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