Issue 35, 2021

Metal phthalocyanines: thin-film formation, microstructure, and physical properties


Metal phthalocyanines (MPcs) are an abundant class of small molecules comprising of a highly conjugated cyclic structure with a central chelated metal ion. Due to their remarkable chemical, mechanical, and thermal stability MPcs have become popular for a multitude of applications since their discovery in 1907. The potential for peripheral and axial functionalization affords structural tailoring to create bespoke MPc complexes for various next generation applications. Specifically, thin-films of MPcs have found promising utility in medical and electronic applications where the need to understand the relationship between chemical structure and the resulting thin-film properties is an important ongoing field. This review aims to compile the fundamental principles of small molecule thin-film formation by physical vapour deposition and solution processing focusing on the nucleation and growth of crystallites, thermodynamic and kinetic considerations, and effects of deposition parameters on MPc thin-films. Additionally, the structure-property relationship of MPc thin-films is examined by film microstructure, morphology and physical properties. The topics discussed in this work will elucidate the foundations of MPc thin-films and emphasize the critical need for not only molecular design of new MPcs but the role of their processing in the formation of thin-films and how this ultimately governs the performance of the resulting application.

Graphical abstract: Metal phthalocyanines: thin-film formation, microstructure, and physical properties

Article information

Article type
Review Article
17 May 2021
11 Jun 2021
First published
18 Jun 2021
This article is Open Access
Creative Commons BY license

RSC Adv., 2021,11, 21716-21737

Metal phthalocyanines: thin-film formation, microstructure, and physical properties

R. R. Cranston and B. H. Lessard, RSC Adv., 2021, 11, 21716 DOI: 10.1039/D1RA03853B

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