Directed assembly of optoelectronically active alkyl-π-conjugated molecules by adding n-alkanes or π-conjugated species
ArticleHollamby, M.J., Karny, M., Bomans, P.H.H., Sommerdijk, N.A.J.M., Saeki, A., Seki, S., Minamikawa, H., Grillo, I., Pauw, B.R., Brown, P., Eastoe, J., Mohwald, H. & Nakanishi, T. (2014). Directed assembly of optoelectronically active alkyl-π-conjugated molecules by adding n-alkanes or π-conjugated species. Nature Chemistry, 6, 690-696. In Scopus Cited 57 times.
Supramolecular assembly can yield ordered structures by taking advantage of the cumulative effect of multiple non-covalent interactions between adjacent molecules. The thermodynamic origin of many self-assembled structures in water is the balance between the hydrophilic and hydrophobic segments of the molecule. Here, we show that this approach can be generalized to use solvophobic and solvophilic segments of fully hydrophobic alkylated fullerene molecules. Addition of n-alkanes results in their assembly—due to the antipathy of C60 towards n-alkanes—into micelles and hexagonally packed gel-fibres containing insulated C60 nanowires. The addition of pristine C60 instead directs the assembly into lamellar mesophases by increasing the proportion of p-conjugated material in the mixture. The assembled structures contain a large fraction of optoelectronically active material and exhibit comparably high photoconductivities. This method is shown to be applicable to several alkyl–pi-conjugated molecules, and can be used to construct organized functional materials with pi-conjugated sections.