Self-sorted photoconductive xerogels†
We show that a perylene bisimide (PBI)-based gelator forms self-sorted mixtures with a stilbene-based gelator. To form the self-sorted gels, we use a slow pH change induced by the hydrolysis of glucono-δ-lactone (GdL) to gluconic acid. We prove that self-sorting occurs using NMR spectroscopy, UV-Vis spectroscopy, rheology, and viscometry. The corresponding xerogels are photoconductive. Importantly, the wavelength dependence of the photoconductive films is different to that of the films formed from the perylene bisimide alone. Transient absorption spectroscopy of the xerogels reveals changes in the spectrum of the PBI on the picosecond timescale in the presence of stilbene with a PBI radical anion being formed within 10 ps when the stilbene is present. The ability to form the PBI radical anion under visible light leads to the enhanced spectral response of the multicomponent gels. These systems therefore have potential as useful visible-active optoelectronics.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Celebrating the 2017 RSC Prize and Award Winners