Development of novel p-conjugated building blocks that can be integrated into molecular or macromolecular systems is key to the evolution of new superior organic semiconductors utilized as the active materials in organic electronics devices such as organic field-effect transistors (OFETs), organic photovoltaics (OPVs), and organic thermoelectric (TE) devices. This review affords a brief overview of thiophene-fused naphthalene diimide (NDI), namely naphtho[2,3-b:6,7-b]dithiophene diimide (NDTI) and naphtho[2,3-b]thiophene diimide (NTI), recently developed as novel electron deficient building blocks for n-type and ambipolar organic semiconductors. These thiophene-fused NDI building blocks had not been known until 2013 owing to their synthetic difficulty; more precisely, the difficulty in attaching fused-thiophene ring(s) on the NDI core. We have successfully established a thiophene-annulation reaction on ethyne-substituted NDI derivatives, which allows us to elaborate various NDTI and NTI derivatives. The key features of these building blocks are low-lying energy levels of lowest unoccupied molecular orbitals (LUMO, 3.84.1 eV below the vacuum level) and easy functionalizability of the thiophene positions, which allows their derivatives and polymers to conjugate efficiently with additional p- and comonomer units. These features make the NDTI- and NTIderivatives and polymers promising n-type and ambipolar materials for OFETs and acceptors for OPVs. In fact, various useful materials have already been derived from the NDTI and NTI building blocks: air-stable n-type small molecules and polymers with high electron mobility (30.8 cm2V11 s11), ambipolar oligomers and polymers with well-balanced hole and electron mobilities, doped n-type semiconductors affording bulk conductors applicable to n-type TE materials, and electron acceptor molecules and polymers for OPVs showing promising power conversion efficiencies of up to 9%. These impressive and diversified device performances testify the usefulness of thiophene-fused NDI building blocks in the development of new electron deficient p-functional materials.
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