Engineering Halogen Bond-based Materials
The operational efficiency of organic electronic devices such as OFETs and OPVs depends not only on the molecular components but also on the supramolecular structure formed by the π-conjugated molecules. Recent studies have incorporated solubilizing groups and acceptors as well as noncovalent interactions such as hydrogen bonding as means to induce nanoscale architectures and enhance performance. However, many of these devices still exhibit low-to-marginal performance due to poor manipulation (i.e., selection of bonding partners and positioning within the molecular framework) of the self-assembling motif. Here we utilize our expertise in supramolecular chemistry to exploit σ-hole interactions (e.g., halogen bonding, XB) between novel organic small molecules and generate architectures needed to enhance optoelectronic properties. Unlike hydrogen bonding and π-stacking, σ-hole interactions have been scarcely investigated—rarely progressing beyond crystal engineering towards device fabrication. In turn, we seek transform the field of organic and supramolecular chemistry as well as engineering by pioneering new avenues towards functional materials based in halogen bonding.
Key words: solid-state chemistry, halogen bonding, sigma hole, supramolecular polymers
Representative work publication: Hierarchical Assembly of a Low Energy Gap pi-Conjugated Oligomer via Synergetic Halogen and Hydrogen Bonding