Project TitleLock-Arm Supramolecular Ordering (LASO): A Modular Supramolecular Strategy for Expedient Co-Crystallization of Donors and Acceptors into Ordered Networks
Track Code2011-028, 2011-081, 2011-082
Short Description

An innovative design motif to improve growth of high quality crystals for organic electronic devices.

#materials #electronics #sensor #optical


Organic charge-transfer co-crystals are modular, inexpensive, and solution-processable materials that can be designed to exhibit properties such as ferroelectricity, conductance, magnetism, and optical nonlinearity. A primary challenge to incorporating these materials into organic electronic devices is devising an approach that allows for the growth of high-quality crystals more efficiently.

Northwestern University researchers solved that problem with an innovative design motif that amplifies the donor-acceptor self-assembly and enhances significantly the preparation of charge-transfer co-crystals. The strategy employs the use of complimentary rigid and flexible appendages with hydrogen bonding recognition sites to amplify co-crystallization of electron donors and acceptors into lattices. Several co-crystals have been shown to exhibit polarization hysteresis—at ambient temperatures and pressures—a distinct indicator of ferroelectric bistability. Ferroelectricity in multi-component organic systems is quite rare and we have shown that this platform is successful at producing functional materials, like ferroelectrics, that are quite valuable for applications in emerging technologies. Other co-crystals made with the LASO approach have birefringent axes where the absorbance and rotation of the crystal changes with the polarization of the incident light. The pleochroism happens in the visible and infrared spectrum—a first for any supramolecular, solid-state material.

TagsSENSOR: optical, MATERIALS: electronic
Posted DateFeb 19, 2013 5:06 PM


Sir. J. Fraser Stoddart
Samuel I. Stupp
Alex K. Shveyd
Andrew C.H. Sue

Alok S. Tavi


  • Organic electronics
  • Sensors
  • Optical filters


  • Modular design control
  • Inexpensive
  • Solution processable


IP Status

Patent protection has been sought for these inventions.

Contact Information

 Sarah Kamper, PhD

 Invention Associate

(p) 847-491-5095