Introduction to Organic Semiconductors Using Accessible Undergraduate Chemistry Concepts

Kevin L. Kohlstedt, Nicholas E. Jackson, Brett A. Savoie, Mark A Ratner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Organic semiconductors (OSCs) are making great progress as active components in alternative energy and flexible electronics technologies that are of interest to many undergraduates. However, in materials governed by the confluence of multiple length scales (molecular (Angstrom), intermolecular (nm), domain (100s nm)), providing a pedagogically accessible pathway to incorporating OSCs into undergraduate education can be difficult. Here, we provide a multiscale description of OSCs that relies only on concepts covered in typical undergraduate chemistry and chemical engineering curricula: a tight-binding description of molecular orbitals using Hückel theory, the miscibility of intermolecular domains using thermodynamic principles based on the Ising spin model, the incorporation of thermal disorder of both the electronic and molecular states using the Boltzmann distribution, and a simple description of charge percolation using low-level graph theory. We illustrate these topics on a small organic molecule, 1,3,5-hexatriene, simple enough to be utilized in an undergraduate course without resorting to opaque metrics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1500-1511
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Chemical Education
Volume95
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 11 2018

Fingerprint

Semiconducting organic compounds
chemistry
electronics
alternative energy
graph theory
Flexible electronics
Graph theory
Molecular orbitals
Chemical engineering
engineering
curriculum
Curricula
Solubility
Education
Thermodynamics
education
Molecules

Keywords

  • Analogies/Transfer
  • Conformational Analysis
  • Interdisciplinary
  • Molecular Modeling
  • Physical Chemistry
  • Polymer Chemistry
  • Transport Properties
  • Upper-Division Undergraduate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Education

Cite this

Introduction to Organic Semiconductors Using Accessible Undergraduate Chemistry Concepts. / Kohlstedt, Kevin L.; Jackson, Nicholas E.; Savoie, Brett A.; Ratner, Mark A.

In: Journal of Chemical Education, Vol. 95, No. 9, 11.09.2018, p. 1500-1511.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Kohlstedt, Kevin L. ; Jackson, Nicholas E. ; Savoie, Brett A. ; Ratner, Mark A. / Introduction to Organic Semiconductors Using Accessible Undergraduate Chemistry Concepts. In: Journal of Chemical Education. 2018 ; Vol. 95, No. 9. pp. 1500-1511.
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