NSF-Collaborative Research: Charge Transport In Confined Molecular Assemblies
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In this collaborative project, funded by the Macromolecular, Supramolecular and Nanochemistry Program of the Chemistry Division, James D. Batteas at Texas A & M University and Charles Michael Drain at Hunter College of the City University of New York will design, synthesize and evaluate the conductive properties of porphyrinoids assembled on surfaces. Using directed assembly approaches to position molecules on surfaces, the team will examine: 1) how molecular connectivity and local molecular interactions (i.e. environment, nearest neighbor interactions) can be used to influence electron transport behavior and 2) how spatial confinement influences the assembly of molecules on surfaces in nanoscopic junctions. The overarching goal of this research is to develop a clear understanding of the role each part of the electroactive porphyrinoid, the substrate, and the environment, plays in the electronic properties of molecular based electronic devices. Furthering the understanding of these synergistic effects will enable the rational design of potential More-than-Moore devices, including enhanced photovoltaics, chemical sensors and molecular electronics. This work addresses a key intermediate of nanoscale molecular assemblies whose properties may show unique electrical behavior due to spatial confinement. Importantly, this work bridges the gap between single molecule and monolayer measurements where little research has been conducted. Students participating in this project will receive multidisciplinary training in materials science, nanoscience, surface chemistry and physics from both a theoretical and experimental perspective, allowing them to develop proficiency in multiple arenas. The outcomes of this work will be widely disseminated to a broad audience through a range of scientific publications and presentations made at informal public science events and research conferences. Aspects of the work will also be incorporated as demonstrations for elementary school students, with more advanced topics being brought right into the classrooms at Texas A & M University and Hunter College.