Asymmetry in supramolecular assembly

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Science  09 Sep 2016:
Vol. 353, Issue 6304, pp. 1098-1099
DOI: 10.1126/science.aah5571

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Like their inorganic counterparts, the optoelectronic properties of organic semiconductors (OSCs) can be tuned by confining charge carriers in nanoscale dimensions. In particular, one-dimensional (1D) nanowires made of conjugated molecules may be formed through supramolecular interactions based on π-stacking. To fully exploit their properties in devices, Zhang et al. (1) report supramolecular control of OSC nanowire growth. A nanoscale scaffold regulates assembly of nanowires across asymmetric electrodes (gold and silicon), creating p-n junctions that bias current flow. This architecture is then used to demonstrate high-performance photovoltaic device characteristics.