Molecular materials and devices: an interdisciplinary field of research

Daoben Zhu
CAS Key Laboratory of Organic Solids, Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China. E-mail:

Received 6th November 2017 , Accepted 6th November 2017
First of all, I would like to thank Professor Benzhong Tang, the Editor-in-Chief of Materials Chemistry Frontiers, for inviting me to organize this themed issue on Molecular Materials and Devices, which is one of the frontier areas of Molecular Science. It is also a very interdisciplinary area involving chemistry, materials science, physics and electronics. Initially, this area focused on molecular conducting materials. However, it has been expanded greatly during the past decades. Currently, the research topics in this area include the design and preparation of new conjugated molecules and macromolecules, the electronic processes and relevant phenomena in molecular materials, the correlations between molecular structures/condensed state structures and optoelectronic properties, development of molecular materials with high-performance optoelectronic properties, applications of molecular materials in optoelectronic devices, molecular electronics, 2D materials, and applications of molecular materials for bioscience and bioelectronics.

The past decades have witnessed significant progress on Molecular Materials and Devices. The practical applications of organic light emitting diodes and organic field effect transistors have been successfully demonstrated. Organic photovoltaic devices have shown great potential as alternative solar cells with high power conversion efficiencies. New areas such as printing and flexible electronics, bioelectronics and organic thermoelectronic materials have emerged thanks to the advancement of nanotechnology and biotechnology. In fact, this frontier and interdisciplinary area has received ever increasing attention globally in recent years. Not only do research institutions and universities continue to strengthen their research activities in this area, but also more and more industrial companies are showing interest in this area and collaborating with academic partners with the aim of developing a strategic emerging industry.

This themed issue collects 23 papers which include 3 Reviews and 20 Research Articles. The topics cover organic semiconductors, organic photovoltaic materials and devices, perovskite solar cells, graphdiyne, light emitting materials and devices, thermoelectric devices, organic–inorganic hybrid materials, and application of molecular materials for sensing and imaging.

Finally, I would like to express thanks to all the authors who accepted my invitations and contributed to this themed issue. I also extend my gratitude to Associate Editor Professor Dan Wang for his work in launching the issue, and to Dr. Wenjun Liu as the Deputy Editor of the journal, as well as all the staff at Materials Chemistry Frontiers, for their efforts dedicated to this themed issue.

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