Date of Award


Degree Type

Honors College Thesis

Academic Program

Polymer Science and Engineering BS


Polymers and High Performance Materials

First Advisor

Xiaodan Gu, Ph.D.

Advisor Department

Polymers and High Performance Materials


Conjugated polymers offer the potential for the development of robust, low-cost electronics, but achieving high mechanical deformability and high charge transport simultaneously in polymer semiconductors remains a significant challenge. In this work, blends of conjugated polymers were investigated to elucidate the influence of compatible conjugated blends on polymer morphology, mechanics, and electrical properties (using a partially conjugated polymer as the soft matrix and a fully conjugated polymer as the electrically active component). This work achieves a fundamental understanding of blend morphology for these similar components by establishing the framework for how they deform with strain. Grazing-incidence wide-angle X-ray scattering (GIWAXS) was employed to investigate the crystalline morphology, atomic force microscopy (AFM) was used to monitor surface morphology, and organic thin film transistor devices were fabricated to understand the electrical properties. Additionally, blends of the conjugated polymers and polystyrene were compared to determine if the partially conjugated polymer is ultimately advantageous as the ductile component, i.e., promoting desired morphology for enhanced mechanics and electrical properties. The overall result of this work clarifies the use of flexible partially conjugated polymers as the matrix in blend systems and demonstrates a fundamental understanding of blend morphology for similar components.