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Nature's Abstract Art
Anna Hiszpanski (GS) and Yueh-Lin (Lynn) Loo (fac)
Dept. of Chemical and Biological Engineering
Pictured is a crystalline thin film of contorted hexabenzocoronene (HBC), a semiconducting small molecule. Given the molecule’s highly conjugated nature, HBC tends to self-assemble into micron diameter-sized wires when the molecules are afforded some mobility. Originally, this ~120 nm thick film was amorphous and uniformly bright pink. This film crystallized when it was dabbed with a small amount of silicone oligomers, which diffused through the film and enabled the HBC molecules to self-organize into the beautiful and colorful crystals seen in the image. Learning to manipulate and control this natural self-assembly in order to improve charge transport in HBC electronic devices is the aim of our work.