Long, Atomically Precise Donor-Acceptor Cove-Edge Nanoribbons as Electron Acceptors

Thomas J. Sisto, Yu Zhong, Boyuan Zhang, M. Tuan Trinh, Kiyoshi Miyata, Xinjue Zhong, X. Y. Zhu, Michael L. Steigerwald, Fay Ng, Colin Nuckolls

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

134 Citations (Scopus)


This Communication describes a new molecular design for the efficient synthesis of donor-acceptor, cove-edge graphene nanoribbons and their properties in solar cells. These nanoribbons are long (∼5 nm), atomically precise, and soluble. The design is based on the fusion of electron deficient perylene diimide oligomers with an electron rich alkoxy pyrene subunit. This strategy of alternating electron rich and electron poor units facilitates a visible light fusion reaction in >95% yield, whereas the cove-edge nature of these nanoribbons results in a high degree of twisting along the long axis. The rigidity of the backbone yields a sharp longest wavelength absorption edge. These nanoribbons are exceptional electron acceptors, and organic photovoltaics fabricated with the ribbons show efficiencies of ∼8% without optimization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5648-5651
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - Apr 26 2017
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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