Preparation of metal-TCNQ charge-transfer complexes on conducting and insulating surfaces by photocrystallization

Anthony Peter O'Mullane, Nigel Fay, Ayman Nafady A Abdellah, Alan Maxwell Bond

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86 Citations (Scopus)


A generic method for the synthesis of metal-7,7,8,8-tetracyanoquinodimethane (TCNQ) charge-transfer complexes on both conducting and nonconducting substrates is achieved by photoexcitation of TCNQ in acetonitrile in the presence of a sacrificial electron donor and the relevant metal cation. The photochemical reaction leads to reduction of TCNQ to the TCNQ(-) monoanion. In the presence of M-(MeCN)(x+), reaction with TCNQ((MeCN))(-) leads to deposition of Mx+[TCNQ](x) crystals onto a solid substrate with morphologies that are dependent on the metal cation. Thus, CuTCNQ phase I photocrystallizes as uniform microrods, KTCNQ as microrods with a random size distribution, AgTCNQ as very long nanowires up to 30 mu m in length and with diameters of less than 180 nm, and Co[TCNQ](2)(H2O)(2) as nanorods and wires. The described charge-transfer complexes have been characterized by optical and scanning electron microscopy and IR and Raman spectroscopy. The CuTCNQ and AgTCNQ complexes are of particular interest for use in memory storage and switching devices. In principle, this simple technique can be employed to generate all classes of metal-TCNQ complexes and opens up the possibility to pattern them in a controlled manner on any type of substrate.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2066 - 2073
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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