Surface-induced enantiomorphic crystallization of achiral fullerene derivatives in thin films†
The chirality of organic semiconductors is important for various applications in optoelectronics and spintronics. Here, we propose a new strategy to induce structural chirality in achiral organic semiconductors in thin films. Enantiomeric fullerene derivatives (S)-pSi and (R)-pSi, which have oligo(dimethylsiloxane) as a low-surface-energy moiety, were synthesized and used as surface-segregated monolayers (SSMs) in spin-coated films of several achiral fullerene derivatives. Upon thermal annealing, the presence of the chiral SSMs led to the crystallization of the fullerenes in the films as an SSM-induced crystal phase at lower temperatures. The crystallized films showed circular dichroism ascribed to the fullerene absorption, the sign and the intensity of which depended on the handedness of the SSM molecules and the film thickness, respectively. These results indicate that the achiral fullerene derivatives in the films were induced by the SSMs to crystallize into enantiomorphic crystals. Our approach to inducing chirality in organic thin films is compatible with many device applications.