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Concept: Organic electronics


Supramolecular organic electronics rests on the use of bottom-up chemical self-assembly processes in order to design conducting components on the 5-100 nm scale. The challenges in this field are both the construction of 1D-nanostructures displaying optimized transport properties and their precise connections to electrodes. The present Research News highlights important advances in such materials regarding their electrical performances, from semiconductors to organic metals, but also regarding their processability. In particular, by externally controlling light-responsive supramolecular polymerization processes, and by using appropriate methods of casting with an applied electric field, it becomes possible to pre-determine the accurate positioning of organic interconnects within patterned nano-circuitry. These strategies using external stimuli to obtain addressability, thus hold promising alternatives to other conducting materials such as carbon nanotubes for further technological applications in nanosciences.

Concepts: Electricity, Chemistry, Carbon, Nanotechnology, Diode, Molecular self-assembly, Self-assembly, Organic electronics


The advancement of mechanical actuators benefits from the development of new structural materials with prominent properties. A novel three-dimensional (3D) hydrothermally converted graphene and polypyrrole (G-PPy) hybrid electrochemical actuator is presented, which is prepared via a convenient hydrothermal process, followed by in situ electropolymerization of pyrrole. The 3D pore-interconnected G-PPy pillar exhibits strong actuation responses superior to pure graphene and PPy film. In response to the low potentials of ±0.8 V, the saturated strain of 3D G-PPy pillar can reach a record of 2.5%, which is more than 10 times higher than that of carbon nanotube film and about 3 times that of unitary graphene film under an applied potential of ±1.2 V. Also, the 3D G-PPy actuator exhibits high actuation durability with high operating load as demonstrated by an 11 day continuous measurement. Finally, a proof-of-concept application of 3D G-PPy as smart filler for on/off switch is also demonstrated, which indicates the great potential of the 3D G-PPy structure developed in this study for advanced actuator systems.

Concepts: Carbon, Carbon nanotube, Graphite, Actuator, Switch, Organic electronics, Polypyrrole, Linear actuator


Stacks of potential: A cross-linkable host-guest system for state-of-the-art multi-layer device stacks is developed. The spirobifluorene-based host materials were co-cross-linked with green emitting phosphorescent (fac)-Ir(III) complexes. As a result a five-layered organic light-emitting diode (OLED) could be fabricated in which each organic layer has been deposited from solution.

Concepts: Chemistry, Organic electronics, Light-emitting diodes, Optical diodes


A series of 1,8-naphthalimide derivatives has been designed to explore their optical, electronic, and charge transport properties as charge transport and/or luminescent materials for organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs). The frontier molecular orbitals (FMOs) analysis have shown that the vertical electronic transitions of absorption and emission are characterized as intramolecular charge transfer (ICT) for electron-donating and aromatic groups substituted derivatives. However, the ICT character of the electron-withdrawing substituted derivatives is not significant. The calculated results show that their optical and electronic properties are affected by the substituent groups in 4-position of 1,8-naphthalimide. Our results suggest that 1,8-naphthalimide derivatives with electron-donating -OCH(3) and -N(CH(3))(2) (1 and 2), electron-withdrawing -CN and-COCH(3) (3 and 4), 2-(thiophen-2-yl)thiophene (5), 2,3-dihydrothieno[3,4-b][1, 4]dioxine (6), 2-phenyl-1,3,4-oxadiazole (7), and benzo[c][1,2,5]thiadiazole (8) fragments are expected to be promising candidates for luminescent materials for OLEDs, particularly for 5 and 7. In addition, 3 and 7 can be used as promising hole transport materials for OLEDs. This study should be helpful in further theoretical investigations on such kind of systems and also to the experimental study for charge transport and/or luminescent materials for OLEDs.

Concepts: Molecule, Chemistry, Organic chemistry, Organic LED, Diode, Organic electronics, Light-emitting diodes, Optical diodes


Power conversion efficiencies in excess of 7 % have been achieved with bulk heterojunction (BHJ)-type organic solar cells using two components: p- and n-doped materials. The energy level and absorption profile of the active layer can be tuned by introduction of an additional component. Careful design of the additional component is required to achieve optimal panchromatic absorption, suitable energy-level offset, balanced electron and hole mobility, and good light-harvesting efficiency. This article reviews the recent progress on ternary organic photovoltaic systems, including polymer/small molecule/functional fullerene, polymer/polymer/functional fullerene, small molecule/small molecule/functional fullerene, polymer/functional fullerene I/functional fullerene II, and polymer/quantum dot or metal/functional fullerene systems.

Concepts: Solar cell, Photovoltaics, Organic solar cell, Energy conversion, Photovoltaic module, Photovoltaic array, Organic electronics, Solar tracker


Ancillary ligands in heteroleptic iridium complexes significantly influence the orientation of the transition dipole moments. Ir(ppy)3, a homoleptic iridium complex, exhibits isotropic dipole orientation, whereas the heteroleptic Ir complexes of Ir(ppy)2 tmd show a highly preferred dipole orientation (78%) in the horizontal direction. In addition, we demonstrate an unprecedented highly efficient green OLED exhibiting an EQE of 32.3% and a power efficiency of 142.5 lm/W by using an emitter with high quantum yield and horizontally oriented dipoles.

Concepts: Vector space, Manifold, Light-emitting diode, Dipole, Organic electronics, Light-emitting diodes, Optical diodes, Vaska's complex


Two aggregation-induced emission active luminogens (TPE-pTPA and TPE-mTPA) were successfully synthesized. For comparison, another six similar compounds were prepared. Because of the introduced hole-dominated triphenylamine (TPA), fluorene groups with high luminous efficiency, and unconjugated linkages, the π conjugation length of the obtained luminogens is effectively restricted to ensure their blue emission. The undoped organic light-emitting diodes based on TPE-pTPA and TPE-mTPA exhibited blue or deep-blue emissions, low turn-on voltages (3 V), and high electroluminescence efficiencies with Lmax , ηC,max , and ηP,max values of up to 26 697 cd m(-2) , 3.37 cd A(-1) , and 2.40 Lm W(-1) .

Concepts: Estimator, Solar cell, Light-emitting diode, Lighting, Organic electronics, Light-emitting diodes, Optical diodes, Molecular electronics


Organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) under constant current operation suffer from a decrease of luminance accompanied by an increase of driving voltage. We report a way to greatly improve the stability of OLEDs having a green emitter exhibiting thermally activated delayed fluorescence (TADF), (4s,6s)-2,4,5,6-tetra(9H-carbazol-9-yl) isophthalonitrile (4CzIPN), by introducing ultrathin (1 to 3 nm) interlayers of 8-hydroxyquinolinato lithium (Liq) between hole-blocking layer and its surrounding emissive and electron-transport layers. Under constant current operation starting at a luminescence of 1,000 cd/m(2), the time to reach 90% of initial luminance (LT90) increased eight times, resulting in LT90 = 1,380 hours after insertion of the interlayers. Combining this new concept and mixed host system, LT95 was further extended to 1315 hours that is 16 times of reference device. This is the best value reported for TADF-based OLEDs and is comparable to the operational lifetimes of well-established phosphorescence-based OLEDs. Thermally stimulated current measurements showed that the number of deep charge traps was reduced with the insertion of the ultrathin Liq interlayer, indicating that reducing the number of deep traps is important for improving the operational lifetime and that exciton-polaron annihilation may be a source of the device degradation.

Concepts: Fluorescence, Electron, Cathode, Organic LED, Luminescence, Organic electronics, Light-emitting diodes, Optical diodes


Pyrene-based π-conjugated materials are considered to be an ideal organic electro-luminescence material for application in semiconductor devices, such as organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs), organic field-effect transistors (OFETs) and organic photovoltaics (OPVs), and so forth. However, the great drawback of employing pyrene as an organic luminescence material is the formation of excimer emission, which quenches the efficiency at high concentration or in the solid-state. Thus, in order to obtain highly efficient optical devices, scientists have devoted much effort to tuning the structure of pyrene derivatives in order to realize exploitable properties by employing two strategies, 1) introducing a variety of moieties at the pyrene core, and 2) exploring effective and convenient synthetic strategies to functionalize the pyrene core. Over the past decades, our group has mainly focused on synthetic methodologies for functionalization of the pyrene core; we have found that formylation/acetylation or bromination of pyrene can selectly lead to functionalization at K-region by Lewis acid catalysis. Herein, this Minireview highlights the direct synthetic approaches (such as formylation, bromination, oxidation, and de-tert-butylation reactions, etc.) to functionalize the pyrene in order to advance research on luminescent materials for organic electronic applications. Further, this article demonstrates that the future direction of pyrene chemistry is asymmetric functionalization of pyrene for organic semiconductor applications and highlights some of the classical asymmetric pyrenes, as well as the latest breakthroughs. In addition, the photophysical properties of pyrene-based molecules are briefly reviewed. To give a current overview of the development of pyrene chemistry, the review selectively covers some of the latest reports and concepts from the period covering late 2011 to the present day.

Concepts: Transistor, Organic LED, Luminescence, Diode, Organic electronics, Light-emitting diodes, Molecular electronics, Conductive polymers


Understanding exciton behavior in organic semiconductor molecules is crucial for the development of organic semiconductor-based excitonic devices such as organic light-emitting diodes and organic solar cells, and the tightly bound electron-hole pair forming an exciton is normally assumed to be localized on an organic semiconducting molecule. We report the observation of long-range coupling of electron-hole pairs in spatially separated electron-donating and electron-accepting molecules across a 10-nanometers-thick spacer layer. We found that the exciton energy can be tuned over 100 megaelectron volts and the fraction of delayed fluorescence can be increased by adjusting the spacer-layer thickness. Furthermore, increasing the spacer-layer thickness produced an organic light-emitting diode with an electroluminescence efficiency nearly eight times higher than that of a device without a spacer layer. Our results demonstrate the first example of a long-range coupled charge-transfer state between electron-donating and electron-accepting molecules in a working device.

Concepts: Oxygen, Semiconductor, Solar cell, Light-emitting diode, Diode, Electron hole, Organic electronics, Carrier generation and recombination