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Investigation and Control of Charge Transport Anisotropy in Highly Oriented Friction-Transferred Polythiophene Thin Films

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journal contribution
posted on 28.02.2020, 19:37 by Nikita Kumari, Manish Pandey, Shuichi Nagamatsu, Masakazu Nakamura, Shyam S. Pandey
Highly oriented thin films of poly­[2,5-bis­(3-tetradecylthiophen-2-yl)­thieno­[3,2-b]­thiophene] (PBTTT) were prepared by friction-transfer technique followed by their characterization using polarized absorption spectroscopy, angle-dependent polarized Raman spectroscopy, and X-ray diffraction (XRD) techniques. Orientation in high-molecular-weight (MW) polymers is hampered by chain folding or entanglements, which limit their macromolecular orientation. Interestingly, utilizing high-molecular-weight PBTTT (MW > 50 kDa) and friction-transfer technique, successful fabrication of highly oriented thin films with very high dichroic ratio (∼30) was demonstrated. The role of the substrate’s surface energy and its impact on the field-effect mobility (μ) of the oriented thin films were comprehensively investigated. The influence of annealing the thin films as prepared on the bare and self-assembled monolayer (SAM)-treated SiO2 surfaces exhibiting differential trends of μ was systematically investigated. This was explained by partial and complete conformational transformation of macromolecules on bare and SAM-treated SiO2 surfaces, respectively, after annealing them beyond liquid crystalline phase transition temperature, as revealed by in-plane and out-of-plane XRD results. On bare SiO2, optimum μ up to 0.03 cm2 V–1 s–1 along the backbone orientation was obtained for the thin films annealed to 120 °C; whereas, it reached up to 0.36 cm2 V–1 s–1 on SAM-treated SiO2 after annealing at 200 °C. Finally, a charge transport mechanism was proposed taking evidence from the anisotropic optical and electrical characteristics of the friction-transferred PBTTT films into consideration.