Graphene–organic composites for electronics: optical and electronic interactions in vacuum, liquids and thin solid films

DOI: 10.1039/C3TC32153C (Feature Article) J. Mater. Chem. C,2014, 2, 3129-3143

Graphene exhibits exceptional mechanical, optical and electrical properties that are unfortunately accompanied by poor processability and tunability of its properties. The controlled interaction of graphene with tailor-made organic semiconductors (OSs) can offer a solution to solve these two problems simultaneously. The use of well-chosen organic semiconducting molecules interacting with graphene enables optimal control over the molecular self-assembly process forming low-dimensional graphene–organic architectures. Moreover, OSs allow modulation of numerous physical and chemical properties of graphene, including controlled electrical doping, ultimately making it possible to boost the performance of conventional organic electronic devices. Significantly, the interaction of organic molecules with graphene is strong not only at short distances but it is relevant also at longer distances, up to 30 nm. This feature article reviews some of the most enlightening results in the field, giving an overview of the interaction between graphene and organic molecules, starting from the simplest systems at the molecular scale, single molecules on single layer graphene in UHV, up to mesoscopic, more complex systems i.e., thick interpenetrated layers of graphene–organic composites embedded in working electronic or photovoltaic devices.