Technical: The overarching goal of this research project is to grow single crystals of binary compounds formed from organic or inorganic donors and acceptors, to explore their physical properties, and to identify the most promising candidate materials for potential applications for electronics and optoelectronics. The project brings together a unified group of scientists, from several campuses, with extensive knowledge and experience in the materials growth, materials characterization, device behavior, and theory of organic semiconductors. The team will concentrate its efforts on organic binary charge-transfer compounds composed of two different organic molecules in which one molecule acts as a donor and the other as an acceptor. A transition from research on single-component materials to that of binary- and multi-component materials offers the prospect of the discovery of unexpected material properties and new phenomena, as the intermolecular interactions between donor and acceptor molecules (with electron transfer playing the critical role) allow for novel functionalities.
The project addresses basic research issues in a topical area of materials science. The study of new binary organic compounds has the potential to move the field of organic semiconductors forward in a significant way, by opening up a large range of functionalities not manifest in monomolecular solids and creating new applications for electronics and optoelectronics. The graduate students who participate in this project will gain broad experience in a range of physical characterization techniques, device fabrication and characterization, quantum-chemical computational methods, and crystal growth. Undergraduates will experience exciting collaborative and interdisciplinary topics of research and a stimulating environment for training. The research results will be integrated into courses taught by the co-PIs at the undergraduate and graduate level, including special-topics courses on organic electronic materials and devices. They will also be used in public outreach activities sponsored by local science museums.