Title

Precise Control of Noncovalent Interactions in Semiconducting Polymers for High-Performance Organic Field-Effect Transistors

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

10-1-2021

School

Polymer Science and Engineering

Abstract

Performed through side-chain engineering or by incorporating intramolecular locking units, the directionality and dynamic nature of noncovalent interactions are particularly attractive for the design of novel semiconducting materials in a wide variety of applications. This work investigates the nature and position of hydrogen bonding (intra- versus intermolecular), with the objective of developing a rational approach to the design of new semiconducting materials with improved properties in the solid state. To control the polymer chains’ self-assembly, a π-conjugated polymer incorporating a moiety capable of generating intramolecular hydrogen bonding is evaluated against a polymer that allows for intermolecular hydrogen bonding. Characterization through various techniques, optical spectroscopies, grazing incidence wide-angle x-ray scattering, and solution small-angle neutron scattering showed that intramolecular hydrogen bonds resulted in materials with improved crystallinity and higher effective conjugation in the solid state. Additionally, the effect of the noncovalent interaction configuration on the optoelectronic properties was analyzed in organic field-effect transistor fabrication. Devices prepared from the materials with intramolecular hydrogen bonds showed significantly higher performance, with three orders of magnitude higher charge mobility than their counterparts fabricated from polymers with intermolecular hydrogen bonds. These results confirm the importance of chemical design on polymer structures and offer a novel route for the design of high-efficiency semiconducting polymers for next-generation electronics.

Publication Title

Chemistry of Materials

Volume

33

Issue

21

First Page

8267

Last Page

8277

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