Published Research - Department of Chemistry

 

Date of this Version

November 2006

Comments

Published in Advanced Functional Materials 16 (2006), pp. 2387–2392; doi 10.1002/adfm.200500902 Copyright © 2006 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim. Used by permission.

Abstract

While thioacetate-terminated oligo(phenylene vinylene)s (OPVs) have been synthesized and employed in applications involving the formation of metal–molecule–metal junctions, the synthesis and application of potentially more versatile α,ω-dithiol OPVs have not previously been described. Here, a thiomethyl-precursor route to the synthesis of α,ω-dithiol OPVs is reported and their ability to form well-ordered self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) without the addition of exogenous deprotection reagents is described. α,ω-Dithiol OPV monolayers exhibit thicknesses consistent with molecular length and are nearly defect-free, as assayed by electrochemical measurements. To demonstrate the ease with which SAMs containing these bifunctional OPVs can, in contrast to thioacetate functionalized OPVs, be further functionalized with materials other than gold, we have modified them in a single step with a sub-monolayer of cadmium selenide nanocrystals (NCs). Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) confirm that these NC-modified films are both smooth and uniform over the largest areas investigated (> 10 μm2) and no evidence of NC aggregation is observed. To evaluate the electrochemical response of these metal–molecule– semiconductor assemblies we have fabricated NC-modified OPV SAMs with ferrocene-coated NCs. Variable-frequency alternating current voltammetry indicates that electron transfer in these assemblies is much more rapid than in analogous structures formed using simple alkane dithiols. It thus appears that α,ω-dithiol OPVs are well suited for the formation of high-quality conducting SAMs for the functionalization of gold and other surfaces.

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