Novel scanning probe methods to manipulate and characterise molecular semiconductors for advanced applications

Lead Research Organisation: Imperial College London
Department Name: Materials


This project focuses on the use of advanced scanning probe microscopy (SPM) techniques to address the two main challenges of molecular electronics and spintronics. The first challenge is the need to control the orientation of semiconductor molecules on substrates, since their properties are highly anisotropic. This can be notoriously difficult as it relies on balancing intermolecular and molecule-substrate interactions, but we have recently found that surface dipoles can induce 90- degree rotation. In this project, ferroelectric substrates will be poled (on large areas and at the nanoscale, see placement), assessed using piezo-force microscopy, and used to template the growth of molecular semiconductors, whose functional properties will be assessed using Kelvin probe force microscopy. The second challenge is the understanding of fundamental properties such as charge and exciton transport in molecular materials at the nanoscale. This will be achieved by precisely defining insulating barriers of varying depths between semiconducting

domains in molecular single crystals via local anodic oxidation, and assessing charge, excitons and spin transport around the barriers.
Addressing both challenges in parallel will result in high efficiency molecule-based devices being developed.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/S023259/1 30/09/2019 30/03/2028
2619715 Studentship EP/S023259/1 30/09/2021 29/09/2025 Emma Grace Bryan