Electrochemically switchable bistable main-chain poly[n]rotaxanes have been synthesised using a threading-followed-by-stoppering approach and were incorporated into solid-state, molecular switch tunnel junction devices. In contrast to single-station poly[n]rotaxanes of similar structure, the bistable polymers do not fold into compact conformations held together by donor-acceptor interactions between alternating stacked π-electron rich and π-electron deficient aromatic systems. Films of the poly[n]rotaxane were incorporated into the devices by spin-coating, and their thickness was easily controlled. The switching functionality was characterised both (1) in solution by cyclic voltammetry and (2) in devices containing either two metal electrodes or one metal and one silicon electrode. Devices with one silicon electrode displayed hysteretic responses with applied voltage, allowing the devices to be switched between two conductance states, whereas devices containing two metal electrodes did not exhibit switching behaviour. The electrochemically switchable bistable poly[n]rotaxanes offer significant advantages in synthetic efficiency and ease of device fabrication as compared to bistable small-molecule rotaxanes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Chemistry