N° 380 décembre 2013

Nanochemistry: from single molecules to functional supramolecular nanomaterials and devices

Pagination : I-XII
Rubrique : Le dossier
Sous-rubrique : Médaille d'argent du CNRS

The recognition of a di-uracyl module by melamine through three hydrogen bonds leads to the formation of a 2D porous network as visualized by STM at the graphite-solution interface.
Image reproduced from Palma et al., Chem. Commun., 2008, p. 5289, with permission from the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Molecular self-assembly is a very powerful strategy to develop functional supramolecular nanostructures whose properties can be explored across multiple length scales by means of scanning probe microscopies. This paper highlights five examples from our laboratory on the formation, exploration and exploitation of ordered multicomponent organic and polymeric nanostructures of interest for opto-electronics applications.

In the first example, the development of new processing and post-processing methods to form highly ordered supramolecular nanostructures at surfaces starting from electroactive building blocks is described with a particular focus on the unveiling of the mechanism of self-assembly.

In the second example, scanning tunneling microscopy is exploited to study the kinetics and thermodynamics of multicomponent self-assembly at the solid-liquid interface.

The third example shows how self-recognition among nucleobases can be used to construct dynamic supramolecular scaffolds whose reversible assembly/reassembly process occurring at surfaces can be monitored on the sub-nanometric scale in real-time.

In the fourth example, the capability of different scanning probe techniques such as conducting-atomic force microscopy and Kelvin probe force microscopy to explore nanostructure’s properties in a quantitative way is described. Finally, by mastering controlled multicomponent self-assembly, two examples of supramolecularly engineered electronic devices are presented.

While the described examples provide a glimpse of different approaches towards the unravelling of the architecture vs. function relationship in supramolecularly engineered functional nanomaterials for organic electronics, one can foresee the extension of these strategies to the design of ever more complex multicomponent materials to fabricate devices that can express multiple yet independent complex functions.

Paolo Samori was attributed the CNRS Silver Medal in 2012.

Text in English.