Design and use of surface modifiers as tools for understanding and controlling interfaces in organic electronics
Smith, O'neil Lohanica
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This thesis focuses on the use of surface modifiers as tools for probing and/or controlling interfaces. Surface modification of transparent conducting oxides (TCOs) with organic and organometallic modifiers can be used as a tool for mediating interfacial energetics as well as probing the kinetics of charge-transfer at the metal oxide/organic interface. The synthetic tunability of these modifiers allows us to design molecules based on various parameters, which include the nature of the binding, spacer, and terminal groups. Based on this framework, several modifiers were synthesized and used to investigate surface energy tuning as well as charge injection kinetics as a function of molecular structure. More specifically, we use XPS/UPS to examine the evolution of the chemical structure and frontier orbital levels of the TCO/organic interface as a function of the chosen surface modifier. In addition, we investigate the impact that various molecular binding groups have on mediating the kinetics of charge-transfer. In the last section of this body of work we examine the development of dielectric nanocomposite films for capacitor applications. More specifically, we examine the use of phosphonic acid modifiers to functionalize barium titanate nanoparticles in order to provide miscibility with a suitable polymer host. The effect of various modifiers on the dielectric properties not nanocomposite thin films was examined.