Design and development of dimeric sandwich compounds as n-dopants for organic electronics
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Electrical doping of organic semiconductors with molecular oxidants (p-type) or reductants (n-type) can greatly improve charge injection and conductivity in devices. Simple one electron reductants that are capable of reducing most electron-transport materials will inevitably also be sensitive to reaction with oxygen. Coupling electron transfer step with bond breaking/ making processes in principle can address this problem. The rhodocene dimer and related ruthenium and iridium dimeric sandwich compounds have been discussed as example of such n-dopants, reducing a variety of organic semiconductors to the corresponding radical anions, while forming monomeric cations. This class of n-dopants can be used in both vapor- and solution-processed devices, and the dopant monomer cations are large and, therefore, fairly stable with respect to diffusion. This thesis focused on increasing the utility of these and related electrical dopants. In order to reduce various electron-transport materials with lower electron affinities, which are frequently used in OLEDs, strategies and limitations to develop stronger n-dopants is discussed. Controlling the kinetics of the dopant / semiconductor reactions to allow film processing in ambient conditions, with activation of the dopants being carried out thermally or photochemically in subsequent steps is presented. An approach to covalently tether monomeric cations with themselves, surfaces or electron-transport materials is described. Electrochemical studies that further our understanding of dopant kinetics and thermodynamics is described. The dimer dopant chemistry is also compared to the corresponding hydride-reduced complexes of the cations and manganese tricarbonyl benzene dimer. The directions for future dopant design with improved properties is discussed.