New Conducting and Electrically Switching Molecular Materials based on Main Group and Transition Metal Ions Bridged by TCNQ Derivatives
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The field of molecular electronics has been under investigation by materials scientists for the last two decades, activity that has increased in recent years as their potential to be components in modern quantum computing devices began to be discussed in a more sophisticated manner. In this field, the challenge is to obtain stable highly conducting materials and to manipulate their properties with external stimuli. As one of the most stable organic radicals, the singly reduced form of TCNQ (7,7,8,8-tetracyanoquinodimethane) has played a central role in the design of many unprecedented conducting materials including the first purely organic conductor (TTF)(TCNQ) (TTF = tetrathiafulvalene) which is nearly metallic and the electrically bistable switching material Cu(TCNQ). The research in this dissertation focused on the application of TCNQ and its derivatives in order to tune the structure and conductivity of these materials, with the overarching goal being to understand the mechanism of conductivity. This dissertation reports the details of the first main-group TCNQ binary compound, Tl(TCNQ). Two distinct polymorphs have been discovered and a remarkable water-induced phase transition from one to the other was observed. With different modes of TCNQ stacking (alternating or homogenous distances), the two polymorphs exhibit very different conductivities, namely 2.4×10^-4 S/cm and 5.4×10^-1 S/cm. With this inspiration, a series of semiconductors, Tl(TCNQX2) (X =Cl, Br, I) was prepared and structurally characterized. The steric effect of the halogen substituents leads to a variety of structures and a band structure simulation has suggested a clear structure-property relationship that involves perturbation of the Tl 6s orbital into the conduction band. Inspired by the switching material Ag(TCNQ), semiconducting frameworks Ag(TCNQCl2) and Ag(TCNQBr2) were prepared by electrocrystallization methods. Importantly, the former material exhibits a high room temperature conductivity of 0.25 S/cm and an unusual room temperature negative differential resistance (NDR) which is the source of intrinsic switching behaviors. The effect of solvent on the structure of these binary phases was also investigated. The series M(TCNQX2)(MeCN)n (M = Cu, Ag; X = Br, I; n =1, 2) was discovered and the interconversion of these solvated phases was studied. The effect of coordinated solvent molecules decreases the density of conducting stacks, consequently leading to a decrease of conductivity.
Zhang, Zhongyue (2013). New Conducting and Electrically Switching Molecular Materials based on Main Group and Transition Metal Ions Bridged by TCNQ Derivatives. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from