The importance of intramolecular conductivity in three dimensional molecular solids†
Recent years have seen tremendous progress towards understanding the relation between the molecular structure and function of organic field effect transistors. The metrics for organic field effect transistors, which are characterized by mobility and the on/off ratio, are known to be enhanced when the intermolecular interaction is strong and the intramolecular reorganization energy is low. While these requirements are adequate when describing organic field effect transistors with simple and planar aromatic molecular components, they are insufficient for complex building blocks, which have the potential to localize a carrier on the molecule. Here, we show that intramolecular conductivity can play a role in controlling device characteristics of organic field effect transistors made with macrocycle building blocks. We use two isomeric macrocyclic semiconductors that consist of perylene diimides linked with bithiophenes and find that the trans-linked macrocycle has a higher mobility than the cis-based device. Through a combination of single molecule junction conductance measurements of the components of the macrocycles, control experiments with acyclic counterparts to the macrocycles, and analyses of each of the materials using spectroscopy, electrochemistry, and density functional theory, we attribute the difference in electron mobility of the OFETs created with the two isomers to the difference in intramolecular conductivity of the two macrocycles.