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1.  Cell Type-Specific Separation of Subicular Principal Neurons during Network Activities 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(4):e0123636.
The hippocampal output structure, the subiculum, expresses two major memory relevant network rhythms, sharp wave ripple and gamma frequency oscillations. To this date, it remains unclear how the two distinct types of subicular principal cells, intrinsically bursting and regular spiking neurons, participate in these two network rhythms. Using concomitant local field potential and intracellular recordings in an in vitro mouse model that allows the investigation of both network rhythms, we found a cell type-specific segregation of principal neurons into participating intrinsically bursting and non-participating regular spiking cells. However, if regular spiking cells were kept at a more depolarized level, they did participate in a specific manner, suggesting a potential bimodal working model dependent on the level of excitation. Furthermore, intrinsically bursting and regular spiking cells exhibited divergent intrinsic membrane and synaptic properties in the active network. Thus, our results suggest a cell-type-specific segregation of principal cells into two separate groups during network activities, supporting the idea of two parallel streams of information processing within the subiculum.
PMCID: PMC4396839  PMID: 25874555
2.  Optimization of solution-processed oligothiophene:fullerene based organic solar cells by using solvent additives 
The optimization of solution-processed organic bulk-heterojunction solar cells with the acceptor-substituted quinquethiophene DCV5T-Bu 4 as donor in conjunction with PC61BM as acceptor is described. Power conversion efficiencies up to 3.0% and external quantum efficiencies up to 40% were obtained through the use of 1-chloronaphthalene as solvent additive in the fabrication of the photovoltaic devices. Furthermore, atomic force microscopy investigations of the photoactive layer gave insight into the distribution of donor and acceptor within the blend. The unique combination of solubility and thermal stability of DCV5T-Bu 4 also allows for fabrication of organic solar cells by vacuum deposition. Thus, we were able to perform a rare comparison of the device characteristics of the solution-processed DCV5T-Bu 4:PC61BM solar cell with its vacuum-processed DCV5T-Bu 4:C60 counterpart. Interestingly in this case, the efficiencies of the small-molecule organic solar cells prepared by using solution techniques are approaching those fabricated by using vacuum technology. This result is significant as vacuum-processed devices typically display much better performances in photovoltaic cells.
PMCID: PMC3817626  PMID: 24205464
active layer morphology; comparison vacuum-processed solar cells; maximum solubility; oligothiophene; solar cells; solution-processed bulk heterojunction; solvent additives
3.  STM study on the self-assembly of oligothiophene-based organic semiconductors 
The self-assembly properties of a series of functionalized regioregular oligo(3-alkylthiophenes) were investigated by using scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) at the liquid–solid interface under ambient conditions. The characteristics of the 2-D crystals formed on the (0001) plane of highly ordered pyrolitic graphite (HOPG) strongly depend on the length of the π-conjugated oligomer backbone, on the functional groups attached to it, and on the alkyl substitution pattern on the individual thiophene units. Theoretical calculations were performed to analyze the geometry and electronic density of the molecular orbitals as well as to analyze the intermolecular interactions, in order to obtain models of the 2-D molecular ordering on the substrate.
PMCID: PMC3257505  PMID: 22259763
2-D crystals; functionalized oligothiophenes; H-bonding; intermolecular interaction; scanning tunneling microscopy
4.  Optical properties of fully conjugated cyclo[n]thiophenes – An experimental and theoretical approach 
Optical properties of two series of fully conjugated cyclo[n]thiophenes were analyzed experimentally and theoretically. The absorption spectra reveal a shift to higher wavelengths with increasing size of the cycles, which can be successfully described by an excitonic approach based on a Frenkel exciton Hamiltonian. Furthermore, intriguing new bands in the absorption and fluorescence spectra of the smaller macrocycles disclose the dominance of their ring strain.
PMCID: PMC3257495  PMID: 22259753
conjugated macrocycles; Frenkel exciton model; oligothiophene; photophysical properties
5.  Terthiophene on Au(111): A scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy study 
Terthiophene (3T) molecules adsorbed on herringbone (HB) reconstructed Au(111) surfaces in the low coverage regime were investigated by means of low-temperature scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) and spectroscopy (STS) under ultra-high vacuum conditions. The 3T molecules adsorb preferentially in fcc regions of the HB reconstruction with their longer axis oriented perpendicular to the soliton walls of the HB and at maximum mutual separation. The latter observation points to a repulsive interaction between molecules probably due to parallel electrical dipoles formed during adsorption. Constant-separation (I-V) and constant-current (z-V) STS clearly reveal the highest occupied (HOMO) and lowest unoccupied (LUMO) molecular orbitals, which are found at −1.2 eV and +2.3 eV, respectively. The HOMO–LUMO gap corresponds to that of a free molecule, indicating a rather weak interaction between 3T and Au(111). According to conductivity maps, the HOMO and LUMO are inhomogeneously distributed over the adsorbed 3T, with the HOMO being located at the ends of the linear molecule, and the LUMO symmetrically with respect to the longer axis of the molecule at the center of its flanks. Analysis of spectroscopic data reveals details of the contrast mechanism of 3T/Au(111) in STM. For that, the Shockley-like surface state of Au(111) plays an essential role and appears shifted outwards from the surface in the presence of the molecule. As a consequence, the molecule can be imaged even at a tunneling bias within its HOMO–LUMO gap. A more quantitative analysis of this detail resolves a previous discrepancy between the fairly small apparent STM height of 3T molecules (1.4–2.0 nm, depending on tunneling bias) and a corresponding larger value of 3.5 nm based on X-ray standing wave analysis. An additionally observed linear decrease of the differential tunneling barrier at positive bias when determined on top of a 3T molecule is compared to the bias independent barrier obtained on bare Au(111) surfaces. This striking difference of the barrier behavior with and without adsorbed molecules is interpreted as indicating an adsorption-induced dimensionality transition of the involved tunneling processes.
PMCID: PMC3190626  PMID: 22003462
Au(111); electronic density of states; STM; STS; terthiophene
6.  Self-organizing bioinspired oligothiophene–oligopeptide hybrids 
In this minireview, we survey recent advances in the synthesis, characterization, and modeling of new oligothiophene–oligopeptide hybrids capable of forming nanostructured fibrillar aggregates in solution and on solid substrates. Compounds of this class are promising for applications because their self-assembly and stimuli-responsive properties, provided by the peptide moieties combined with the semiconducting properties of the thiophene blocks, can result in novel opportunities for the design of advanced smart materials. These bio-inspired molecular hybrids are experimentally shown to form stable fibrils as visualized by AFM and TEM. While the experimental evidence alone is not sufficient to reveal the exact molecular organization of the fibrils, theoretical approaches based on quantum chemistry calculations and large-scale atomistic molecular dynamics simulations are attempted in an effort to reveal the structure of the fibrils at the nanoscale. Based on the combined theoretical and experimental analysis, the most likely models of fibril formation and aggregation are suggested.
PMCID: PMC3190623  PMID: 22003459
amyloid-like fibrils; bioinspired conjugates; molecular dynamics simulations; oligopeptides; oligothiophenes; self-assembly

Results 1-6 (6)