Solution-stable palladium molecular wires
One-dimensional metal wires are valuable materials because they exhibit drastically different electrical and optical properties from their bulk counterparts. Specifically, 1-D palladium molecular wires have potential utility in devices such as photovoltaic cells and molecular sensors.
Innovations and Advantages
In the December 2011 issue of Nature Chemistry, Prof. Tobias Ritter’s group described a rapid, high-yield, scalable, solution-phase synthesis of 1D palladium molecular wires by the self-assembly of Pd complexes on oxidation. These wires consist of single chains of palladium atoms that are infinite in the solid state and are up to 750 nm in solution.
Solution stability enables thin film coating and easy device fabrication. The thin-film conductive properties of these wires can be altered by controlled molecular changes. Wires based on Pd(III) give semiconducting films with a modifiable bandgap, whereas wires based on Pd(2.5) give films that display metallic conductivity above 200 K: a metallic state has not been reported previously for any polymer composed of 1D metal wires. A modifiable bandgap is an attractive property in photovoltaic applications.
As molecular sensors, these wires have the potential to be very sensitive. Because the wires are made of single chains of palladium atoms, the wire conductivity can be dramatically modified by the binding of a few molecules.
Campbell MG, Powers DC, Raynaud J, Graham MJ, Xie P, Lee E, Ritter T. 2011. Synthesis and structure of solution-stable one-dimensional palladium wires. Nature Chemistry 3(12):949-53. doi: 10.1038/nchem.1197.
Campbell, Michael G.
Raynaud, Jean Bertrand
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Reference Harvard Case #3973