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IRG-III Nugget

Molecular organic/inorganic nanocrystal layered heterostructures

Atomic Force Microscopy images show the creation of layered organic/nanocrystal structures with a one step process. Islands of nanocrystals on top of a nanometer thin organic film are shown in (a), with a close-up where a single nanocrystal (QD) is imaged shown in (b). By increasing the concentration, a single continuous layer of nanocrystals rides on top of the organic thin film as shown in (c). A third layer, this time organic, can be deposited on top of the nanocrystals, shown in (d) first as droplets, which then merge together as in (e) to form a continuous organic layer shown in (f).

Electronic devices made from thin films of organic molecules can be extremely thin and flexible. This offers many new applications not possible using traditional inorganic electronics. Ultrathin light-emitting displays based on organic films, for example, can cover large areas, creating many new display applications. Hybrid structures that combine the unique electronic properties of semiconductor nanocrystals with the advantages of organic molecules can further broaden the range of opportunities in flexible, low cost electronic devices. These devices invariable rely on the placement of the different components in nanometer thin layers with nanometer precision. Bulovic and Bawendi (IRG-III) have developed a method where, in one step, a layered structure is created that consists of a nanometer thin film of organic molecules with a single layer of semiconductor nanocrystals on top (see figures below). We have used this discovery to create new nanocrystal based light emitting devices that have high efficiency and high color saturation. The discovery of this simple, one-step layering process will be useful in creating new electronic memory elements and ultrathin photodectors.

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