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Focus Areas & Doctoral Projects

Focus Area A - Molecular Building Blocks

Focus area A addresses the synthesis of pi-conjugated molecular building blocks (MBB) with varying templating capabilities. In TIDE, the rationale for the selection of the materials used for templating is guided by the necessity to use (semi-)rigid, anisotropic MBBs to reduce their degrees of freedom in conformation, having in mind the naïve concept of building a brick wall. At the same time, the molecules should provide the desired optoelectronic functionalities, e.g. absorption and/or emission in the solid state (thin film).

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Focus Area B - Functional Templates

Focus Area B comprises the on-surface and solution synthesis of templates. TIDE proposes to use graphene, blue phosphorus (blueP), and hBN as templating substrates. These 2D materials share a three-fold rotational symmetry, but vary in conductivity and optical bandgap, synonymous for the strength of electronic interaction with the Molecular Building Blocks from Focus Area A, which can be varied this way. Due to their ultrathin nature, transport or tunneling of charge carriers across the templates is possible, making them ideal candidates for our purpose of investigating molecular templating in OE devices.

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Focus Area C - Surfaces & Interfaces

In TIDE, the Focus Area C concerns the detailed study of the templated growth of MBB synthesized in Focus Area A onto the templates prepared in Focus Area B. In addition, we will use highly-oriented pyrolytic graphite (HOPG) as low-cost model for graphene. The structure and order in molecular thin films will be investigated using the synergistic set of experimental tools available from the Principle Investigators' laboratories.

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Focus Area D - Transport & Function

Focus Area D investigates charge and exciton transport in functional (pre-)devices. Optoelectronic devices are powerful analytical tools for measuring the macroscopic transport parameters in templated molecular layers. Influencing the order of molecular building blocks will allow us to obtain a further understanding of the underlying transport mechanisms and the optimization of device properties. Therefore, our focus is on investigating the impact of molecular order (amorphous vs. crystalline) on the intrinsic transport properties as well as on the eventual device functionality.

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Focus Area E - Theory & Modeling

Focus Area E addresses method development and its application to templating. Theoretical approaches play an important role for the molecular design of organic electronic devices. Considering the scope of TIDE, we have distinguished three areas. In Templating process, we start with the clean surface of the template, followed by a subsequent filling of this surface with Molecular Building Blocks. In Bulk properties, we address thin-film properties related to variations in the nano-morphology, taking into account the possible dimerization of pi-conjugated molecules, and the formation of H- or J-aggregates. In Charge carrier and energy transfer dynamics, we want to compute steady-state charge and excitonic transport as a function of the order parameter.

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