Triphenylamine- and triazine-containing hydrogen bonded complexes: liquid crystalline supramolecular semiconductors†
Despite the fact that triphenylamine derivatives have been widely explored as hole-transporting materials, studies on charge transport properties in the liquid crystal phase have been overlooked. Here, it is reported that triphenylamine liquid crystals can attain very high hole mobility values in a hexagonal columnar mesophase, up to μ ≈ 5 cm2 V−1 s−1. The columnar liquid crystalline phase was obtained by a proper design of a supramolecular mesogen, and this is unprecedented for triphenylamine liquid crystals. In fact, the supramolecules were formed by hydrogen-bonded 1 : 3 complexes of a star-shaped triazine core and three triphenylamine peripheral units. The resulting hexagonal columnar mesophase acts as a successful scaffold that confines TPA units at the periphery of columns. Challenging DFT theoretical investigations into a model based on such supramolecular systems involving a large number of atoms were undertaken to explore the stability and geometry of the complexes and their electronic properties.