Dependence of crystallite formation and preferential backbone orientations on the side chain pattern in PBDTTPD polymers.

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ACS applied materials & interfaces, ISSN: 1944-8252, Vol: 6, Issue: 22, Page: 19477-81

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El Labban, Abdulrahman; Warnan, Julien; Cabanetos, Clement; Ratel, Olivier; Tassone, Christopher J.; Toney, Michael F.; Beaujuge, Pierre
American Chemical Society (ACS); American Chemical Society
Materials Science; Backbone orientation; Benzo[1,2-b:4,5-b′]dithiophene; Polymer crystallite; Side chain; Thieno[3,4-c]pyrrole-4,6-dione; π-conjugated polymers
article description
Alkyl substituents appended to the π-conjugated main chain account for the solution-processability and film-forming properties of most π-conjugated polymers for organic electronic device applications, including field-effect transistors (FETs) and bulk-heterojunction (BHJ) solar cells. Beyond film-forming properties, recent work has emphasized the determining role that side-chain substituents play on polymer self-assembly and thin-film nanostructural order, and, in turn, on device performance. However, the factors that determine polymer crystallite orientation in thin-films, implying preferential backbone orientation relative to the device substrate, are a matter of some debate, and these structural changes remain difficult to anticipate. In this report, we show how systematic changes in the side-chain pattern of poly(benzo[1,2-b:4,5-b']dithiophene-alt-thieno[3,4-c]pyrrole-4,6-dione) (PBDTTPD) polymers can (i) influence the propensity of the polymer to order in the π-stacking direction, and (ii) direct the preferential orientation of the polymer crystallites in thin films (e.g., "face-on" vs "edge-on"). Oriented crystallites, specifically crystallites that are well-ordered in the π-stacking direction, are believed to be a key contributor to improved thin-film device performance in both FETs and BHJ solar cells.