Emergent Properties of an Organic Semiconductor Driven by its Molecular Chirality

Hui Ying Yang, Beth Rice, Xingyuan Shi, Jochen R. Brandt, Rosenildo Correa Da Costa, Gordon J. Hedley, Detlef M. Smilgies, Jarvist M. Frost, Ifor D.W. Samuel, Alberto Otero-De-La-Roza, Erin R. Johnson, Kim E. Jelfs, Jenny Nelson, Alasdair J. Campbell, Matthew J. Fuchter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

123 Citations (SciVal)


Chiral molecules exist as pairs of nonsuperimposable mirror images; a fundamental symmetry property vastly underexplored in organic electronic devices. Here, we show that organic field-effect transistors (OFETs) made from the helically chiral molecule 1-aza[6]helicene can display up to an 80-fold difference in hole mobility, together with differences in thin-film photophysics and morphology, solely depending on whether a single handedness or a 1:1 mixture of left- and right-handed molecules is employed under analogous fabrication conditions. As the molecular properties of either mirror image isomer are identical, these changes must be a result of the different bulk packing induced by chiral composition. Such underlying structures are investigated using crystal structure prediction, a computational methodology rarely applied to molecular materials, and linked to the difference in charge transport. These results illustrate that chirality may be used as a key tuning parameter in future device applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8329-8338
Number of pages10
JournalACS Nano
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 22 Aug 2017


  • chirality
  • circular polarization
  • helicene
  • organic semiconductor
  • self-assembling
  • structure prediction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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