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Title: Materials Design via Optimized Intramolecular Noncovalent Interactions for High-Performance Organic Semiconductors

We report the design, synthesis, and implemention in semiconducting polymers of a novel head-to-head linkage containing the TRTOR (3-alkyl-3'-alkoxy-2,2'-bithiophene) donor subunit having a single strategically optimized, planarizing noncovalent S···O interaction. Diverse complementary thermal, optical, electrochemical, X-ray scattering, electrical, photovoltaic, and electron microscopic characterization techniques are applied to establish structure-property correlations in a TRTOR-based polymer series. In comparison to monomers having double S···O interactions, replacing one alkoxy substituent with a less electron-donating alkyl one yields TRTOR-based polymers with significantly depressed (0.2-0.3 eV) HOMOs. Furthermore, the weaker single S···O interaction and greater TRTOR steric encumberance enhances materials processability without sacrificing backbone planarity. From another perspective, TRTOR has comparable electronic properties to ring-fused 5Hdithieno[ 3,2-b:2',3'-d]pyran (DTP) subunits, but a centrosymmetric geometry which promotes a more compact and ordered structure than bulkier, axisymmetric DTP. Compared to monosubstituted TTOR (3-alkoxy-2,2'-bithiophene), alkylation at the TRTOR bithiophene 3-position enhances conjugation and polymer crystallinity with contracted π-π stacking. Grazing incidence wide-angle X-ray scattering (GIWAXS) data reveal that the greater steric hindrance and the weaker single S···O interaction are not detrimental to close packing and high crystallinity. As a proof of materials design, copolymerizing TRTOR with phthalimides yields copolymers with promising thin-film transistor mobility as high as 0.42 cm2/(V·s)more » and 6.3% power conversion efficiency in polymer solar cells, the highest of any phthalimide copolymers reported to date. The depressed TRTOR HOMOs imbue these polymers with substantially increased Ion/Ioff ratios and Voc’s versus analogous subunits with multiple electron donating, planarizing alkoxy substituents. Implementing a head-to-head linkage with an alkyl/alkoxy substitution pattern and a single S···O interaction is a promising strategy for organic electronics materials design.« less
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Publication Date:
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DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Chemistry of Materials; Journal Volume: 28; Journal Issue: 7
American Chemical Society (ACS)
Research Org:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States