Nature excels at engineering materials by using the principles of chemical synthesis and molecular self-assembly with the help of noncovalent forces. Learning from these phenomena, scientists have been able to create a variety of self-assembled artificial materials of different size, shapes, and properties for wide ranging applications. An area of great interest in this regard is solvent-assisted gel formation with functional organic molecules, thus leading to one-dimensional fibers. Such fibers have improved electronic properties and are potential soft materials for organic electronic devices, particularly in bulk heterojunction solar cells. Described herein is how molecular self-assembly, which was originally proposed as a simple laboratory curiosity, has helped the evolution of a variety of soft functional materials useful for advanced electronic devices such as organic field-effect transistors and organic solar cells. Highlights on some of the recent developments are discussed.
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