Tuning Conjugated Polymer Chain Packing for Stretchable Semiconductors

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Polymer Science and Engineering


In order to apply polymer semiconductors to stretchable electronics, they need to be easily deformed under strain without being damaged. A small number of conjugated polymers, typically with semicrystalline packing structures, have been reported to exhibit mechanical stretchability. Herein, a method is reported to modify polymer semiconductor packing-structure using a molecular additive, dioctyl phthalate (DOP), which is found to act as a molecular spacer, to be inserted between the amorphous chain networks and disrupt the crystalline packing. As a result, large-crystal growth is suppressed while short-range aggregations of conjugated polymers are promoted, which leads to an improved mechanical stretchability without affecting charge-carrier transport. Due to the reduced conjugated polymer intermolecular interactions, strain-induced chain alignment and crystallization are observed. By adding DOP to a well-known conjugated polymer, poly[2,5-bis(4-decyltetradecyl)pyrrolo[3,4-c]pyrrole-1,4-(2H,5H)-dione-(E)-1,2-di(2,2′-bithiophen-5-yl)ethene] (DPPTVT), stretchable transistors are obtained with anisotropic charge-carrier mobilities under strain, and stable current output under strain up to 100%.

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Advanced Materials

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