The use of organic semiconductors combines the values of plastic, it can be easily shaped, with that of semiconductors which are the basis of numerous electronics. Organic semiconductors can also be made smaller than current metal conductors, which can aid in the progressive shrinking of circuits within MP3 players, laptops and the like.
This research focused on the synthesis of a variation of the compound rubrene, which has been used as an organic semiconductor in organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs). Ideally a semiconductor involving rubrene (a p-type compound) would have a companion molecule of similar shape to help carry the current (as in an n-type compound). It has been demonstrated previously that the replacement of the hydrogen atoms of a p-type organic semiconductor with fluorine atoms generates the corresponding n-type. Due to the similarity in size of the fluorine and hydrogen atom, the two compounds are likely to form similar crystals as well, which would give us similar physical properties in the conductor sought after.