Molecular Electronics

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An important breakthrough in polymer electronics was realized in 1977 when the first highly conducting organic polymer, chemically doped polyacetylene, was reported. A major advantage of using conjugated polymers for electronics has been considered the fact that they can be processed from solution. However, even today the performance of polymer based devices is limited by defects. Our aim is to exploit the real potential of intrinsic semiconducting polymers that will push the field strongly forwards. Furthermore, a nearly unexploited property of functional polymers is their ability to form controllable structures when blended with other polymers. By doing so, their functionality can be altered or even new properties can be created, depending on what extend the polymers will phase separate. This is not possible with any other class of materials. Besides being highly suitable for structuring via guided phase separation, another advantage of conjugated polymers is that they can be patterned and structured via soft-lithography, for example by using a stamp. The combination of top-down patterning with soft-lithography and bottom up self-assembly will enable us to realize well-defined polymer based nanostructures. The combination of intrinsic electronic polymer properties with well-defined nanostructures as being developed at MPIP will provide unique properties that will open a bright future to new applications in electronics and biology.