The control over aggregation pathways is a key requirement for present and future technologies, as it can provide access to a variety of sophisticated structures with unique functional properties. In this work, we demonstrate an unprecedented control over the supramolecular self-assembly of a semiconductive material, based on a naphthalenediimide core functionalized with phenyl-thiophene moieties at the imide termini, by trapping the molecules into different arrangements depending on the crystallization conditions. The control of the solvent evaporation rate enables the growth of highly elaborated hierarchical self-assembled structures: either in an energy-minimum thermodynamic state when the solvent is slowly evaporated forming needle-shaped crystals (polymorph α) or in a local energy-minimum state when the solvent is rapidly evaporated leading to the formation of nanofibers (polymorph β). The exceptional persistence of the kinetically trapped β form allowed the study and comparison of its characteristics with that of the stable α form, revealing the importance of molecular aggregation geometry in functional properties. Intriguingly, we found that compared to the thermodynamically stable α phase, characterized by a J-type aggregation, the β phase exhibits (i) an unusual strong blue shift of the emission from the charge-transfer state responsible for the solid-state luminescent enhancement, (ii) a higher work function with a "rigid shift" of the electronic levels, as shown by Kelvin probe force microscopy and cyclic voltammetry measurements, and (iii) a superior field-effect transistor mobility in agreement with an H-type aggregation as indicated by X-ray analysis and theoretical calculations.

Thermodynamically versus Kinetically Controlled Self-Assembly of a Naphthalenediimide-Thiophene Derivative: From Crystalline, Fluorescent, n-Type Semiconducting 1D Needles to Nanofibers

Zangoli, Mattia;Gazzano, Massimo;Monti, Filippo;Maini, Lucia;Gentili, Denis;Zanelli, Alberto;Salatelli, Elisabetta;Baroncini, Massimo
;
Di Maria, Francesca
2019

Abstract

The control over aggregation pathways is a key requirement for present and future technologies, as it can provide access to a variety of sophisticated structures with unique functional properties. In this work, we demonstrate an unprecedented control over the supramolecular self-assembly of a semiconductive material, based on a naphthalenediimide core functionalized with phenyl-thiophene moieties at the imide termini, by trapping the molecules into different arrangements depending on the crystallization conditions. The control of the solvent evaporation rate enables the growth of highly elaborated hierarchical self-assembled structures: either in an energy-minimum thermodynamic state when the solvent is slowly evaporated forming needle-shaped crystals (polymorph α) or in a local energy-minimum state when the solvent is rapidly evaporated leading to the formation of nanofibers (polymorph β). The exceptional persistence of the kinetically trapped β form allowed the study and comparison of its characteristics with that of the stable α form, revealing the importance of molecular aggregation geometry in functional properties. Intriguingly, we found that compared to the thermodynamically stable α phase, characterized by a J-type aggregation, the β phase exhibits (i) an unusual strong blue shift of the emission from the charge-transfer state responsible for the solid-state luminescent enhancement, (ii) a higher work function with a "rigid shift" of the electronic levels, as shown by Kelvin probe force microscopy and cyclic voltammetry measurements, and (iii) a superior field-effect transistor mobility in agreement with an H-type aggregation as indicated by X-ray analysis and theoretical calculations.
Zangoli, Mattia; Gazzano, Massimo; Monti, Filippo; Maini, Lucia; Gentili, Denis; Liscio, Andrea; Zanelli, Alberto; Salatelli, Elisabetta; Gigli, Giuseppe; Baroncini, Massimo; Di Maria, Francesca
File in questo prodotto:
Eventuali allegati, non sono esposti

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/686992
 Attenzione

Attenzione! I dati visualizzati non sono stati sottoposti a validazione da parte dell'ateneo

Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? 1
  • Scopus 12
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 13
social impact