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Wholly Aromatic Ether-Imides as n-Type SemiconductorsSome wholly aromatic ether-imides consisting of rod-shaped, relatively-low-mass molecules that can form liquid crystals have been investigated for potential utility as electron-donor-type (ntype) organic semiconductors. It is envisioned that after further research to improve understanding of their physical and chemical properties, compounds of this type would be used to make thin film semiconductor devices (e.g., photovoltaic cells and field-effect transistors) on flexible electronic-circuit substrates. This investigation was inspired by several prior developments: Poly(ether-imides) [PEIs] are a class of engineering plastics that have been used extensively in the form of films in a variety of electronic applications, including insulating layers, circuit boards, and low-permittivity coatings. Wholly aromatic PEIs containing naphthalene and perylene moieties have been shown to be useful as electrochromic polymers. More recently, low-molecular-weight imides comprising naphthalene-based molecules with terminal fluorinated tails were shown to be useful as n-type organic semiconductors in such devices as field-effect transistors and Schottky diodes. Poly(etherimide)s as structural resins have been extensively investigated at NASA Langley Research Center for over 30 years. More recently, the need for multi-functional materials has become increasingly important. This n-type semiconductor illustrates the scope of current work towards new families of PEIs that not only can be used as structural resins for carbon-fiber reinforced composites, but also can function as sensors. Such a multi-functional material would permit so-called in-situ health monitoring of composite structures during service. The work presented here demonstrates that parts of the PEI backbone can be used as an n-type semiconductor with such materials being sensitive to damage, temperature, stress, and pressure. In the near future, multi-functional or "smart" composite structures are envisioned to be able to communicate such important parameters to the flight crew and provide vital information with respect to the operational status of their aircraft.
Document ID
Document Type
Other - NASA Tech Brief
Weiser, Erik
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
St. Clair, Terry L.
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Dingemans, Theo J.
Samulski, Edward T.
(North Carolina Univ. Chapel Hill, NC, United States)
Irene, Gene
(North Carolina Univ. Chapel Hill, NC, United States)
Date Acquired
August 25, 2013
Publication Date
December 1, 2006
Publication Information
Publication: NASA Tech Briefs, December 2006
Subject Category
Man/System Technology And Life Support
Report/Patent Number
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
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