Forschungs- & Entwicklungsinformationsdienst der Gemeinschaft - CORDIS

Final Activity Report Summary - THREADMILL (THREADed Molecular wIres as supramoLecularly engineered muLtifunctional Materials)

THREADMILL has supported an intense programme of training and research enabling the achievement of several breakthroughs and a wealth of results of crucial importance for the wide community working on molecular wires and conjugated polymers in general, as demonstrated by a variety of publications in high profile international journals. All ERs have found employment at the end of their THREADMILL contracts either in industry or academia. ESRs whose courses ended before the end of THREADMILL have all passed their PhD exams, the others being completed with funds provided by the various nodes.

Over 100 original research contributions have been published, submitted, or are in the final stages of preparation, including 66 published papers (1 Nature, 1 Nanoletters, 5 JACS, 5 Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 1 Physical Review B, 9 Advanced Materials and 8 Advanced Functional Materials, with 4 cover pages, etc.). We also produced 6 contributions to edited books and 2 PIs (edited a book of > 1000 pages just published by Wiley (Functional Supramolecular Architecture). One more edited book is planned and another 30 contributions to major international journals submitted or in final stages of preparation. We also disseminated our results in 2 conference proceedings, 57 conferences presentations of which 33 invited/keynote, 64 poster presentations.

The importance of the fellows' results was recognised by 4 poster awards and 4 prizes to the fellows. Although no patent has been submitted yet, we have a draft resulting from work conducted in the last year of THREADMILL and we are currently exploring the possibility of intellectual property rights (IPR) protection with the help of UCL business unit. While it is not possible to give details of all 106 contributions, we give below a few more details on 2 of them.

Among the most exciting results we would like to mention the attainment of the largest (ultra-broad) gain band in an undiluted blend of conjugated polymers, which synergistically exploits the suppression of both energy transfer and polaron formation (and concomitant absorption) via combination of an organic-solvent soluble rotaxanes with another commercial polymer. This has enabled the attainment of multicolour simultaneously lasing with appeal to a host of photonic applications, but most importantly this result demonstrates a viable method for "spectral addition" of gain bands, and thus paves the way to accomplishing larger gain bands which will be of crucial importance for the next generation of organic photonic applications. (S. Brovelli, T. Virgili, M. M. Mroz, G. Sforazzini, A. Paleari, H. L. Anderson, G. Lanzani, and F. Cacialli,"Ultra-Broad Optical Amplification and Two-Colour Amplified Spontaneous Emission in Binary Blends of Insulated Molecular Wires," Advanced Materials, vol. 22, pp. 3690-3694, Sep 2010).

Suppression of energy transfer has also been used for white-emitting LEDs, as a result of non-covalent encapsulation of one constituent, ensured by threading of the conjugated strands into functionalized cyclodextrins. The macrocycles control the minimum intermolecular distance of chromophores with similar alignment, at the nanoscale, and therefore the relevant energy transfer rates, thus enabling fabrication of white-LEDs (CIE coordinates: x = 0.282, gamma = 0.336). Morphological and structural analyses by atomic force microscopy, fluorescence mapping, micro-Raman, and fluorescence lifetime microscopy were used to complement optical and electroluminescence characterisation, and to enable a deeper insight into the properties of the novel blend. (S. Brovelli, F. Meinardi, G. Winroth, O. Fenwick, G. Sforazzini, M. J. Frampton, L. Zalewski, J. A. Levitt, F. Marinello, P. Schiavuta, K. Suhling, H. L. Anderson, and F. Cacialli, "White Electroluminescence by Supramolecular Control of Energy Transfer in Blends of Organic-Soluble Encapsulated Polyfluorenes," Advanced Functional Materials, vol. 20, pp. 272-280, Jan 2010).

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