The construction of soft and processable organic material able to display metallic conduction properties—a large density of freely moving charges—is a major challenge for electronics. Films of doped conjugated polymers are widely used as semiconductor devices, but metallic-type transport in the bulk of such materials remains extremely rare. On the other hand, single-walled carbon nanotubes can exhibit remarkably low contact resistances with related large currents, but are intrinsically very difficult to isolate and process. Here, we describe the self-assembly of supramolecular organic nanowires between two metallic electrodes, from a solution of triarylamine derivative, under the simultaneous action of light and electric field triggers. They exhibit a combination of large conductivity values (more than5 × 10^3 S m−1) and a low interface resistance (less than 2 × 10^−4 Ω m). Moreover, the resistance of nanowires in series with metal interfaces systematically decreases when the temperature is lowered to 1.5 K, revealing an intrinsic metallic behaviour.
Patterned electrodes. a, Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) image of the nanotrench electrodes. b, SEM zoom indicating the pseudo-four points connections, limiting the series resistance of the interconnects at less than 2 Ω. c, SEM zoom of the nanotrench (marked by the red square in (b)) showing a typical gap of length at less than 100 nm. d, Atomic force microscopy (AFM) topography large scale image of a nanotrench electrode. e, AFM medium scale topography image of the region defined by the red square in (b). f, AFM medium scale phase image of the region defined by the red square in (b).
Triggered self-construction process for STANWs in a nanotrench geometry together with corresponding AFM imaging.