New Collaborative Research Centre at Heidelberg University using Chemistry of Organic Materials to Create Semi-Conductors

The German Research Foundation (DFG) recently awarded new funding to the Heidelberg University for its submission “N-Heteropolycycles as Functional Materials”. The successful evaluation means the university will will establish a new collaborative research centre in chemistry. The DFG is providing a total of nine million euros for a period of four years.

The underlying aim of the successful proposal is to develop new organic semiconductors and investigate the elementary charge transport processes that determine their properties. Research is scheduled to begin in January 2017.

According to Prof. Lutz Gade, the project spokesperson, the semiconductors will be developed on the basis of a large and flexibly variable class of compounds, the N-heteropolycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. The new electronic materials are not based on silicon or other inorganic semiconductors, but are organic hydrocarbon derivatives with ring structures that contain nitrogen atoms. Since these materials are “soft” and can be processed at low temperatures, flexible media such as plastic foil can be used as supports for electronic components.

“Even though there is already a flurry of research activity surrounding the development of organic semiconductor materials, targeted access to new substance classes with specific material properties remains a major challenge,” said Prof. Gade.

“The goal is to identify the essential structural elements determining the properties of these new substances, by way of close interplay of experiment and theory.”

In addition to the Heidelberg University, research groups from:

  • the institutes of chemistry,
  • the Interdisciplinary Centre for Scientific Computing,
  • the Centre for Advanced Materials and the Kirchhoff Institute for Physics,

and researchers from:

  • the Karlsruhe Institute for Technology, and
  • the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research in Stuttgart

will also participate in the new collaborative research centre.

Photo credit: Material used in the preparation of this article has been drawn from idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft.


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