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Formation of Mono-layer-based Electrooptic Devices


There is much current academic and industrial interest in the development of organic films able to recognize ppm-levels of chemical reagents. For instance, the large design flexibility of porphyrins and metallo-porphyrins has been exploited to assemble a variety of functional materials capable to detect chemicals in ppm levels, including NO, NO2, CO2, NH3. The unique spectroscopy, electrochemistry and coordination chemistry of metal-based chromophores enable to follow directly the details and steps involved in the function of the metal-redox centre.

Modification of the metal's electronic environment by ligand association and dissociation is considered fundamental to their ability to be utilized as a reporter system for a wide range of ligand molecules. However, device quality monolayers are relative rare. Practical organic materials for sensing of chemical reagents must meet a combination of many criteria, leading often to a trade-off between function and material stability. The conditions at which the devices operate and which are induced in processing require materials with long-term chemical, photochemical, mechanical, and thermal stability.

Our recently reported siloxane-based polypyridyl osmium and ruthenium materials are chemically and thermally robust (up to ~240 degrees Celsius) and can be covalently attached to conducting, semiconducting, and isolating substrate surfaces, allowing optical (i.e. UV/vis, fluorescence, second-harmonic generation), electrochemical and/or electrooptical reading out of the system (A. D. Shukla, A. Das, M. E. van der Boom, Angew. Chem., Int. Ed., 2005, 44, 3237). The here proposed study explores the use of our novel metal-complex films for the bottom-up formation of a monolayer-based device platform. The main objective is to develop an optical, electrooptical and/or electrochemical organic sensor system capable to detect low levels of water in organic solvents and in the gas phase.

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