Engineering Single-Walled Carbon Nanotube Hybrid Assemblies For Chiro-optic Applications
Francesco Mastrocinque, Ph.D. Candidate
Michael Therien, Ph.D., Advisor
Abstract: Chiral, molecular and nanoscale assemblies are promising candidates for the development of spintronic-based devices, characterized by information processing using both electronic charge and spin, and are poised to give rise to superior computational efficiency relative to modern electronic architectures that only operate using processing of electronic charge. Essential to realizing such spintronic assemblies is the ability to isolate and engineer enantiopure, chiral nanoscale materials that feature highly-tunable and unique electronic structures. Congruent with such requirements, this work focuses on engineering molecular and nanoscale organic matter that interface with single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs), and are capable of: i) generating concentrated, enantioenriched SWNT-based chiral inks from racemic mixtures that aim to be amenable with current ink-jet printing designs for electronic device fabrication, or ii) inducing SWNT lattice handedness in achiral SWNT platforms that depend on conjugated polymer electronic structure and polymer pitch length. Specifically, this work explores: i) experimental and computational investigation of engineered chiral, binaphthalene-based surfactant frameworks that are able to disperse and resolve enantiomers of SWNTs via enthalpic and entropic differences in surfactant-SWNT interactions in aqueous solutions, and ii) chiral, semiconducting aryleneethynylene-based polymers that helically wrap metallic single-walled carbon nanotubes (m-SWNTs) and give rise to m-SWNT band gap opening and a metallic to semiconducting phase transition in such assemblies. Exploitation of such unique designs will enable opportunities to develop exceptional chiro-optic and spintronic materials, and help elucidate critical structure-function relationships that broadly inform material design for such applications.