Supramolecular chemistry uses non-covalent interactions to coax molecules into forming ordered assemblies. The construction of ordered materials with these reversible bonds has led to dramatic innovations in organic electronics, polymer science and biomaterials. Here, we review how supramolecular strategies can advance the burgeoning field of organic ferroelectricity. Ferroelectrics-materials with a spontaneous and electrically reversible polarization-are touted for use in non-volatile computer memories, sensors and optics. Historically, this physical phenomenon has been studied in inorganic materials, although some organic examples are known and strong interest exists to extend the search for ferroelectric molecular systems. Other undiscovered applications outside this regime could also emerge. We describe the key features necessary for molecular and supramolecular dipoles in organic ferroelectrics and their incorporation into ordered systems, such as porous frameworks and liquid crystals. The goal of this Review is to motivate the development of innovative supramolecular ferroelectrics that exceed the performance and usefulness of known systems.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Chemical Engineering(all)