Low-bandgap semiconducting polymers based on sulfur-containing phenacene-type molecules for transistor and solar cell applications

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Abstract

The incorporation of a highly extended π-electron system into a polymer backbone is an effective strategy to develop high-performance donor–acceptor (D–A) polymers suitable for organic electronics because this strategy can facilitate a dense π-π stacking structure, leading to efficient carrier transport. With this in mind, we developed phenanthro[1,2-b:8,7-b′]dithiophene (PDT) because this new phenacene-type molecule has a highly crystalline nature, deep HOMO level, and high hole mobility, which are characteristics known to be suitable for a donor unit in high-performance D–A polymers. In this focus review, we report recent progress in PDT-containing D-A polymers combined with various strong acceptor units. Incorporation of PDT into a polymer backbone results in deep HOMO energy levels of −5.4~−5.5 eV, strong aggregation, and a dense packing structure with a short π-stacking distance of 3.5~3.6 Å. PDT-based polymers with appropriate alkyl side chains exhibit high hole mobilities of up to 0.18 cm2 V−1 s−1 in organic field-effect transistor (OFET) devices due to their tendency to form highly ordered edge-on structures. Furthermore, we can adjust their level of molecular orientation from edge-on to face-on by increasing their molecular weight, leading to a high power conversion efficiency of over 6% in polymer solar cell (PSC) applications. These results demonstrate that PDT is a good candidate as a high-performance building block in D-A polymers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalPolymer Journal
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - May 23 2018

Fingerprint

Semiconducting polymers
Sulfur
Solar cells
Polymers
Transistors
Energy gap
Molecules
Hole mobility
Organic field effect transistors
Carrier transport
Molecular orientation
Electron energy levels
Conversion efficiency
Electronic equipment
Agglomeration
Molecular weight
1-phenyl-3,3-dimethyltriazene
Crystalline materials
Electrons

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry

Cite this

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title = "Low-bandgap semiconducting polymers based on sulfur-containing phenacene-type molecules for transistor and solar cell applications",
abstract = "The incorporation of a highly extended π-electron system into a polymer backbone is an effective strategy to develop high-performance donor–acceptor (D–A) polymers suitable for organic electronics because this strategy can facilitate a dense π-π stacking structure, leading to efficient carrier transport. With this in mind, we developed phenanthro[1,2-b:8,7-b′]dithiophene (PDT) because this new phenacene-type molecule has a highly crystalline nature, deep HOMO level, and high hole mobility, which are characteristics known to be suitable for a donor unit in high-performance D–A polymers. In this focus review, we report recent progress in PDT-containing D-A polymers combined with various strong acceptor units. Incorporation of PDT into a polymer backbone results in deep HOMO energy levels of −5.4~−5.5 eV, strong aggregation, and a dense packing structure with a short π-stacking distance of 3.5~3.6 {\AA}. PDT-based polymers with appropriate alkyl side chains exhibit high hole mobilities of up to 0.18 cm2 V−1 s−1 in organic field-effect transistor (OFET) devices due to their tendency to form highly ordered edge-on structures. Furthermore, we can adjust their level of molecular orientation from edge-on to face-on by increasing their molecular weight, leading to a high power conversion efficiency of over 6{\%} in polymer solar cell (PSC) applications. These results demonstrate that PDT is a good candidate as a high-performance building block in D-A polymers.",
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