Phenanthrolines For Semiconductors

The phenanthroline and its derivatives are a class of bidentate compounds that are widely studied and used. The most common structure is that two nitrogen atoms with higher electron cloud density are located at the 1 and 10 positions of the phenanthroline, respectively. The phenanthroline and its derivatives can form stable complexes with many metals. These complexes can be widely used in the field of organic electronic devices. The phenanthroline and its derivatives have an aromatic system composed of three six-membered rings containing 14 π electrons, and the whole molecular plane is stable, which makes the prepared materials have good stability. The phenanthroline can also be modified at multiple positions. These chemically modified phenanthroline derivatives exhibit different physicochemical properties, and the photophysical properties and transport capabilities are regulated, expanding the application field.

The molecular structure of phenanthrolineFigure 1. The molecular structure of phenanthroline


  • Luminous Material: The complexes formed by phenanthroline derivatives and rare earth metals can enhance their fluorescence intensity and can also control their photophysical and chemical properties. Therefore, phenanthroline derivatives are good light-emitting materials and are widely used in photoelectric conversion and OLED devices.
  • Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells (DSSCs): DSSCs are mainly composed of the following parts: FTO conductive substrate with light transmittance of more than 90%, porous nanocrystalline TiO2 film, dye photosensitizer, electrolyte and counter electrode, and the stacked structure is very similar to sandwich. Among them, dye photosensitizers play an important role. The phenanthroline and its derivatives can form complexes with ruthenium. The photoelectric conversion efficiency and stability of these complexes are high, enabling the device to work efficiently for a long time.
  • Organic Field Effect Transistor (OFET): OFET is a basic element in an integrated circuit and is often widely used as a switching device. High mobility active layer materials can improve the conduction efficiency of OFETs. The phenanthroline derivatives are a class of highly conjugated planar molecules, which can effectively reduce the molecular barrier and improve the field-effect mobility of OFET devices. Moreover, the phenanthroline derivatives are easy to crystallize to form self-assembled polycrystalline films, which can reduce lattice defects and facilitate the high-speed migration of carriers in OFET devices.


  1. Martin Ammann., Peter Bäuerle. Synthesis and electronic properties of series of oligothiophene-[1,10]phenanthrolines [J]. Org. Biomol. Chem., 2005, 3, 4143-4152.
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