Tailored materials for Sustainable Technologies: programming functional molecular components through Boron-Nitrogen doping

The scientific goal of the STiBNite Research Training Network is to develop and apply a bottom-up covalent synthesis and assembly approach to produce advanced organic semiconductors with precisely controllable properties, achieved by perfect positional control of dopant atoms. We plan to produce boron-nitrogen-carbon (BNC) macromolecular materials, either in solution or on surface, starting from programmed polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons precursors substituted in given positions with BN-doping units (i.e., borazine rings, B3N3). Each will be encoded with a specific BN-doping pattern and concentration to control its optoelectronic and thermal properties. In particular, insertion of borazine rings, which have an insulating, polar character, will disrupt the π-conjugation of the host carbon framework hence tuning its bandgap. These BN-doped PAHs will be developed into either covalent or non-covalent bidimensional materials (2DMs), or transformed into nanoparticles (BNCNPs), characterized by fully reproducible properties.

These innovative engineered BNC macromolecular materials will be thoroughly characterized using several microscopic and spectroscopic techniques, and tested for implementation in lighting and display optoelectronic devices (OPVs, LECs, ECDs) and as thermal management coatings, paving the way for disruptive technological developments in the field. Training is at the core of STiBNite’s plan. We will integrate the traditional training and research schemes of chemistry with modern topical themes and methods imported from engineering and physics. STiBNite’s multidisciplinary training programme of individual projects and interdisciplinary secondments will guide 15 Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) towards attractive early-stage career opportunities in materials science e.g., as organic, process, and physical chemists, device engineer, etc. This will be made possible by the coordinated effort of a focused and motivated consortium of academics, research centers and EU-based enterprises.