Non-food applications of industrially accessible low-molecular-weight carbohydrates are examined. Available from, for example, sucrose, starch, or cellulose, the carbohydrates are shown to form the basis of conducting charge-transfer salts or materials with nonlinear optical properties. The compound shown in the figure, for example, which is based on a furan unit obtainable from glucose, is shown to form a stable charge-transfer salt with TCNQ exhibiting a powder conductivity of 10−2 S/cm at room temperature.
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