Eric Yu

On-surface synthesis of 2D covalent organic frameworks

A covalent organic framework is a crystalline structure consisting of covalently bonded organic molecules in a porous network. 2D COFs as thin as a single atomic layer are expected to have exotic electronic properties due to reduced dimensionality. My research is focused on several aspects of these novel nano-structures, including their synthesis on metallic substrate through bottom-up fabrication, atomic-scale visualization utilizing the variable temperature – scanning tunneling microscope (VT-STM), and electronic structure analyzed through spectroscopic techniques. Current methods of thermal evaporation of molecules has limitations when the precursor size is too large. Two systems of interest are carbon-bridged thiophene COF and pyrene-alkyne 2D COF, both of which cannot be deposited using traditional thermal evaporation methods. I will be exploring different methods on these precursors, including pulse injection and drop casting techniques. The ability to deposit heavy molecules efficiently would greatly diversify the types of molecules that we can design and make into 2D COFs.

Message to Sponsor

Thank you Rose Hills Foundation for providing me and funding this research opportunity! This experience has made me realize how incredibly deep the field of research can get, especially in solid state physics. For someone who may want to pursue a Ph.D. in the future, working full-time taught me how to use published information in the past and apply the knowledge to my projects for future goals. These projects have helped me gain more confidence in making mistakes and to be more persistent in getting the results that I want to achieve. I have grown as a researcher and person thanks to the SURF program and your funding.
  • Major: Chemistry
  • Sponsor: Rose Hills Experience
  • Mentor: Michael F. Crommie