The rational design of bulk nanoscale order in organic electro-optic materials, where the strong dipole-dipole interactions tend to dominate over the weaker forces exploited for self-assembly processes, remains an attractive yet elusive goal. Towards this end, a series of pseudo-discotic dipolar nonlinear optical chromophores have been synthesized and fully characterized. Theoretical guidance and an iterative molecular design process have succeeded in engineering long-range nanoscale order in organic electro-optic glasses. Small-angle thin-film X-ray diffraction experiments demonstrate a self-assembled lamellar morphology in a majority of these materials. Cryogenic crystallography, using a synchrotron X-ray source, afforded the structure of a representative system. This structure, in concert with thin-film X-ray diffraction, atomic force microscopy, UV-vis-NIR absorption spectroscopy, and refractive index experiments elucidated the nanoscale order in the films. Application of these materials in electro-optics is discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Chemistry