All-in-one: a new approach toward robust and solution-processable copper halide hybrid semiconductors by integrating covalent, coordinate and ionic bonds in their structures
Conventional inorganic semiconductors are best known for their superior physical properties and chemical robustness, and their widespread use in optoelectronic devices. However, implementation of these materials in many other applications has been hindered by their poor solubility and/or solution-processability, a longstanding drawback that is largely responsible for issues such as high cost. While recent progress on hybrid perovskites, an important class of inorganic–organic hybrid materials, has shed light on the development of high-performance solution processable semiconductors, they rely heavily on toxic metals and generally suffer from framework instability. To address these issues, a new group of hybrid semiconductors based on anionic copper(I) halide and cationic organic ligands has been developed. These compounds are noted as All-In-One (AIO) structures as they consist of covalently bonded anionic CuX inorganic modules that form both coordinate and ionic bonds with cationic organic ligands. Studies demonstrate that framework stability and solution processibility of these materials are greatly enhanced as a result of such bonds. In the perspective, we highlight the development of this newly emerged type of materials including their crystal structures, chemical and physical properties and possible applications. The untapped potential that the AIO approach can offer for other hybrid families is also discussed.