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Identifying Atomic Scale Structure in Undoped/Doped Semicrystalline P3HT Using Inelastic Neutron Scattering

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posted on 2017-03-07, 19:23 authored by Thomas F. Harrelson, Yongqiang Q. Cheng, Jun Li, Ian E. Jacobs, Anibal J. Ramirez-Cuesta, Roland Faller, Adam J. Moulé
The greatest advantage of organic materials is the ability to synthetically tune desired properties. However, structural heterogeneity often obfuscates the relationship between chemical structure and functional properties. Inelastic neutron scattering (INS) is sensitive to both local structure and chemical environment and provides atomic level details that cannot be obtained through other spectroscopic or diffraction methods. INS data are composed of a density of vibrational states with no selection rules, which means that every structural configuration is equally weighted in the spectrum. This allows the INS spectrum to be quantitatively decomposed into different structural motifs. We present INS measurements of the semiconducting polymer P3HT doped with F4TCNQ supported by density functional theory calculations to identify two dominant families of undoped crystalline structures and one dominant doped structural motif, in spite of considerable heterogeneity. The differences between the undoped and doped structures indicate that P3HT side chains flatten upon doping.