Nature Materials, Vol.16, No.1, 109-114, 2017
Carrier generation and electronic properties of a single-component pure organic metal
Metallic conduction generally requires high carrier concentration and wide bandwidth derived from strong orbital interaction between atoms or molecules. These requisites are especially important in organic compounds because a molecule is fundamentally an insulator; only multi-component salts with strong intermolecular interaction namely, only charge transfer complexes and conducting polymers have demonstrated intrinsic metallic behaviour. Herein we report a single component electroactive molecule, zwitterionic tetrathiafulvalene(TTF)-extended dicarboxylate radical (TED), exhibiting metallic conduction even at low temperatures. TED exhibits d.c. conductivities of 530 S cm(-1) at 300 K and 1,000 S cm(-1) at 50 K with copper-like electronic properties. Spectroscopic and theoretical investigations of the carrier-generation mechanism and the electronic states of this single molecular species reveal a unique electronic structure with a spin-density gradient in the extended TTF moieties that becomes, in itself, a metallic state.