Molecular self-assembly into crystallised films or wires on surfaces produces a big family of motifs exhibiting unique optoelectronic properties. However, little attention has been paid to the fundamental mechanism of molecular crystallisation. Here we report a biomimetic design of phosphonate engineered, amphiphilic organic semiconductors capable of self–assembly, which enables us to use real-time in-situ scanning probe microscopy to monitor the growth trajectories of such organic semiconducting films as they nucleate and crystallise from amorphous solid states. The single-crystal film grows through an evolutionary selection approach in a two-dimensional geometry, with five distinct steps: droplet flattening, film coalescence, spinodal decomposition, Ostwald ripening, and self-reorganised layer growth. These sophisticated processes afford ultralong high-density microwire arrays with high mobilities, thus promoting deep understanding of the mechanism as well as offering important insights into the design and development of functional high-performance organic optoelectronic materials and devices through molecular and crystal engineering.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Chemistry
- General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
- General Physics and Astronomy