Title On the role of single regiodefects and polydispersity in regioregular poly(3-hexylthiophene): Defect distribution, synthesis of defect-free chains, and a simple model for the determination of crystallinity
Date 28.03.2012
Number 31505
Abstract Identifying structure formation in semicrystalline conjugated polymers is the fundamental basis to understand electronic processes in these materials. Although correlations between physical properties, structure formation, and device parameters of regioregular, semicrystalline poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) have been established, it has remained difficult to disentangle the influence of regioregularity, polydispersity, and molecular weight. Here we show that the most commonly used synthetic protocol for the synthesis of P3HT, the living Kumada catalyst transfer polycondensation (KCTP) with Ni(dppp)Cl2 as the catalyst, leads to regioregular chains with one single tail-to-tail (TT) defect distributed over the whole chain, in contrast to the hitherto assumed exclusive location at the chain end. NMR end-group analysis and simulations are used to quantify this effect. A series of entirely defect-free P3HT materials with different molecular weights is synthesized via new, soluble nickel initiators. Data on structure formation in defect-free P3HT, as elucidated by various calorimetric and scattering experiments, allow the development of a simple model for estimating the degree of crystallinity. We find very good agreement for predicted and experimentally determined degrees of crystallinities as high as 70%. For Ni(dppp)Cl2-initiated chains comprising one distributed TT unit, the comparison of simulated crystallinities with calorimetric and optical measurements strongly suggests incorporation of the TT unit into the crystal lattice, which is accompanied by an increase in backbone torsion. Polydispersity is identified as a major parameter determining crystallinity within the molecular weight range investigated. We believe that the presented approach and results not only contribute to understanding structure formation in P3HT but are generally applicable to other semicrystalline conjugated polymers as well.
Publisher Journal of the American Chemical Society
Citation Journal of the American Chemical Society 134 (2012) 4790-4805
Authors Kohn, P. ; Huettner, S. ; Komber, H. ; Senkovskyy, V. ; Tkachov, R. ; Kiriy, A. ; Friend, R. ; Steiner, U. ; Huck, W. T. S. ; Sommer, J.-U. ; Sommer, M.
Tags catalyst-transfer polycondensation structure-property relationships heterojunction solar-cells field-effect transistors molecular-weight charge-transport high-mobility conjugated copolymers photovoltaic cells performance

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