For centuries, mariners navigated vast, uncharted territory using the stars. Scientists in the EU-funded project Hesperus – 'evening star' or planet Venus - continued the quest, but on a much smaller scale, the nanoscale. The goal: to develop new ways to engineer and even 'grow' reliable next-generation transistors that can carry a charge through different media, from metallic to organic. By its nature, this branch of science is cross-disciplinary, involving research that takes in electrical engineering, (supra) molecular chemistry, nano- and materials science and physics. So the goal of the Hesperus initiative, funded by the Marie Curie action 'Intra-European fellowships for career development', was to generate new scientific and technological knowledge in this complex, multidisciplinary field. More specifically, Hesperus looked into supramolecularly engineered nanostructures (SENs). Taking organic semiconductors the researchers tailored them to fabricate new types of field-effect transistors (FETs), known to function well even with weaker electrical signals. Partners in the project investigated novel materials and methods for engineering FETs from the ground up with significantly better electrical connectivity which can effectively carry more charge. According to the project partners, the core technique they developed 'allows the bridging of semiconducting crystals, without the formation of injection barriers at the connection points.' Results from the two-year project, which ended mid-2010, could feed into wider efforts to develop faster, smaller, low-power transistors for the burgeoning microchip and electronics sector.
Hierarchical self-assembly of electroactive supramolecular systems on pRe-patterned surfaces: multifunctional architectures for organic FETs
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