On the Importance of Chemical Precision in Organic Electronics: Fullerene Intercalation in Perfectly Alternating Conjugated Polymers

Jochen Vanderspikken, Zhen Liu, Xiaocui Wu, Omar Beckers, Stefania Moro, Tyler James Quill, Quan Liu, Arwin Goossens, Adam Marks, Karrie Weaver, Mouna Hamid, Bart Goderis, Erik Nies, Vincent Lemaur, David Beljonne, Alberto Salleo, Laurence Lutsen, Koen Vandewal, Bruno Van Mele, Giovanni CostantiniNiko Van den Brande, Wouter Maes

Onderzoeksoutput: Articlepeer review

Samenvatting

The true structure of alternating conjugated polymers—the state-of-the-art materials for many organic electronics—often deviates from the idealized picture. Homocoupling defects are in fact inherent to the widely used cross-coupling polymerization methods. Nevertheless, many polymers still perform excellently in the envisaged applications, which raises the question if one should really care about these imperfections. This article looks at the relevance of chemical precision (and lack thereof) in conjugated polymers covering the entire spectrum from the molecular scale, to the micro and mesostructure, up to the device level. The different types of polymerization errors for the alkoxylated variant of the benchmark (semi)crystalline polymer poly[2,5-bis(3-tetradecylthiophen-2-yl)thieno[3,2-b]thiophene (PBTTT) are identified, visualized, and quantified and a general strategy to avoid homocoupling is introduced. Through a combination of experiments and supported by simulations, it is shown that these coupling defects hinder fullerene intercalation and limit device performance as compared to the homocoupling-free analog. This clearly demonstrates that structural defects do matter and should be generally avoided, in particular when the geometrical regularity of the polymer is essential. These insights likely go beyond the specific PBTTT derivatives studied here and are of general relevance for the wider organic electronics field.

Originele taal-2English
Artikelnummer2309403
Aantal pagina's11
TijdschriftAdvanced Functional Materials
Volume33
Nummer van het tijdschrift52
DOI's
StatusPublished - 22 dec 2023

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Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors. Advanced Functional Materials published by Wiley-VCH GmbH.

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