Syntheses, phase behavior, supramolecular chirality, and field-effect carrier mobility of asymmetrically end-capped mesogenic oligothiophenes

Qingwei Meng, Xiao Hua Sun, Zhengyu Lu, Ping Fang Xia, Zehua Shi, Dongzhong Chen*, Ricky M S WONG, Salem Wakim, Jianping Lu, Jean Marc Baribeau, Ye Tao

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


A novel series of asymmetrically end-capped mesogenic oligothiophenes, with various oligothiophene core lengths, alkoxy tail lengths, and molecular polarities through introducing alkylsulfanyl or alkylsulfonyl functionalities as the terminal group, have been synthesized by palladium-catalyzed Suzuki cross-coupling and Kumada cross-coupling reactions as key steps. For the single end-capped oligothiophenes, CmO-Ar-OT(4)-H in which m = 10, 12, 14, 16, and 18, all of these oligomers exhibited a broad temperature range of highly ordered smectic E and enantiotropic nematic phases, apart from the one with the longest octadecyloxy tail. For the double end-capped series C 10O-Ar-OT(n)-R, R = Ph-SC6 or Ph-SO2C 6 in which n = 1, 2, 3, and 4, oligomers with more than one thiophene ring exhibited smectic A and smectic C phases, various crystal polymorphs and/or unusual low-temperature condensed phases. In the nonpolar, alkylsulfanylphenyl-substituted oligothiophene series, both the crystal/solid melting point and mesogenic clear point increased significantly with an increasing oligothiophene conjugation length. In the polar, alkylsulfonylphenyl- substituted oligothiophene series, all the oligomers showed increased melting points, but decreased mesogenic temperature intervals than those of their corresponding alkylsulfanyl counterparts. Remarkably, two different helical structures showing distinct striated textures or striped patterns were observed with a pitch of several to tens of micrometers under a polarized optical microscope upon cooling from their preceding fluidic smectic phases. The unusual twisted smectic layer structures in the thin solid films exhibiting distinct supramolecular chirality of both handednesses, revealed by circular dichroism measurements, were further confirmed by XRD analyses characterized by a sharp layer reflection together with its higher orders and diffuse wide-angle scatterings. In addition, initial studies showed that the highly ordered smectic phase of the single end-capped oligothiophenes can be utilized to improve field-effect charge mobility. C10O-Ar-OT(4)-H showed a hole mobility of 0.07 Cm2V-1 s-1 when deposited on octyltrichlorosilane-treated substrates at 140°C and the on/off current ratios reached 5 × 105; on the other hand, its mobility was only 8 × 10-3 Cm2V-1S-1 on the same substrate when deposited at room temperature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3474-3487
Number of pages14
JournalChemistry - A European Journal
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 23 Mar 2009

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Catalysis
  • Organic Chemistry

User-Defined Keywords

  • Liquid crystals
  • Materials science
  • Oligothiophenes
  • Semiconductors
  • Supramolecular chirality


Dive into the research topics of 'Syntheses, phase behavior, supramolecular chirality, and field-effect carrier mobility of asymmetrically end-capped mesogenic oligothiophenes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this