Well-defined ultrathin nanoribbons have been fabricated from an amphiphilic electron donor-acceptor (D-A) supramolecule comprising perylene tetracarboxylic diimide as the backbone scaffold to enforce the one-dimensional intermolecular assembly via strong π-stacking. These nanoribbons demonstrated high photoconductivity upon illumination with white light. The high photoconductivity thus obtained is likely due to the optimal molecular design that enables a good kinetic balance between the two competitive processes, the intramolecular charge recombination (between D and A) and the intermolecular charge transport along the nanoribbon. The photoconduction response has also proven to be prompt and reproducible with the light turning on and off. The photogenerated electrons within the nanoribbon can be efficiently trapped by the adsorbed oxygen molecules or other oxidizing species, leading to depletion of the charge carriers (and thus the electrical conductivity) of the nanoribbon, as typically observed for n-type semiconductor materials as applied in chemiresistors. Combination of this sensitive modulation of conductivity with the unique features intrinsic to the nanoribbon morphology (large surface area and continuous nanoporosity when deposited on a substrate to form a fibril film) enables efficient vapor sensing of nitro-based explosives.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry