One-Pot, Two-Step Synthesis For Organic Semiconductors

Scientists in Japan have discovered a simplified method to synthesize sulfur-based organic semiconductors more efficiently.

AsianScientist (Sep. 23, 2016) – Scientists in Japan have developed a short route to form various organic semiconductors by simply heating mono-functionalized polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) with sulfur. This method was described in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

Thiophene-fused PAHs are organic molecules composed of multiple aromatic rings including thiophene. Thiophene is a five-membered aromatic ring containing four carbon atoms and a sulfur atom. Thiophene-fused PAHs are known to be one of the most common organic semiconductors and are used in various electronic materials, such as in transistors, organic thin-film solar cells, organic electro-luminescent diodes and electronic devices.

A team led by Assistant Professor Yasutomo Segawa and Professor Kenichiro Itami of the Japan Science and Technology Agency-ERATO has succeeded in developing a simple and effective method for the formation of various thiophene-fused PAHs. The reactions can be carried out on a multigram scale and can be conducted in a one-pot, two-step reaction sequence starting from an unfunctionalized PAH.

“We coincidentally discovered this reaction when we were testing different chemical reactions to synthesize a new molecule for the Itami ERATO project,” said Segawa.

“The most difficult part of this research was to clarify the novelty of this reaction. We put in a significant amount of effort to investigate previous reports, including textbooks from more than 50 years ago as well as various Internet sources, to make sure that our reaction conditions had not been disclosed before.”

The researchers hope that ongoing advances in their method may lead to the development of new organic electronic devices, including semiconductor and luminescent materials.

The article can be found at: Meng et al. (2016) Thiophene-Fused π-Systems from Diarylacetylenes and Elemental Sulfur.


Source: Nagoya University.
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