Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Organic electronics have become much of the forefront of scientific research due to their advantages over tradition electronics as well as their applications in consumer devices, medical devices, and harnessing renewable sources of energy. Despite their appeal, two major obstacles are responsible for poor performance and limited applications. These problems occur at the interface between the two main components of the devices, the organic semiconductor and the metal electrodes. The first, high electrical resistance, is a result of the misalignment between the metal’s free electrons and the organic semiconductor’s conduction band. We seek to capitalize on this misalignment using light-responsive molecular switches in the effort to create “smart” electronics. However, in order to use these molecular switches, we study how the switches interact with the metal surface, via surface infrared spectroscopy, so that a better understanding of how the system works can be obtained. This also allows for the elucidation of the criteria needed in order to select the appropriate molecules. The second problem, poor adhesion between the components, is due to the poor interaction between metal atoms and the organic molecules. This problem results in delamination of the layers and can also short the circuit. In order to circumvent this issue, we implement self-assembled monolayers on the organic semiconductor and further react them in order to tune the terminal functional group. As a result of these secondary reactions, stronger interactions between the metal and organic semiconductor can be achieved via confirmation with x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.