Molecular weight effects of PBT-6 polymeric semiconductor on charge carrier mobility
Ravi Sankar, Ashwin
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Organic π-conjugated Donor-Acceptor copolymers are emerging as potential candidate materials for organic field effect transistor (OFET) and organic photovoltaic (OPV) applications. The electron-deficient benzothiadiazole group coupled with an electron-rich oligothiophene to form donor-acceptor copolymers has attracted significant attention. These low optical band gap materials absorb photons in the range of 400-800 nm and exhibit good thermal stability. In particular, poly(benzothiadiazole-sexithiophene) (PBT6) exhibits excellent performance in optoelectronic devices and high thermal stability. Here, we present the chemical synthesis and characterization of the polymer, PBT6. Three samples of PBT-6 with differing molecular weights in the range of Mn 18000-45000 Da were synthesized. Each polymer was characterized with respect to its photophysical, thermal properties and field-effected mobility was determined. Devices were prepared by drop-casting polymer solutions in 1,2-dichlorobenzene (DCB) onto an OFET (bottom gate/bottom contact) substrate and the devices were used to examine the charge transport properties of each polymer system. The optimal solvent to be used for processing technique was determined and surface techniques using OTS-8 and OTS-18 were compared through contact angle measurements. The measured charge carrier mobilities were in the range of 0.45-0.6 cm² / V.s. Polymer films prepared via drop-casting and which were thermal annealed exhibit mobilities as high as 0.825 cm² / V.s. This work examines the effect of molecular weight on the charge carrier transport properties and demonstrates the correlation of performance with molecular ordering. Drop-casted films of PBT-6 exhibit highly ordered crystalline lamellar structure with high degree of π- π stacking with edge-on orientation on the substrate. The longer conjugation lengths promote intrachain charge transfer. This high degree of molecular ordering in high MW samples of PBT6 improves the interchain and intrachain charge transfer leading to enhanced mobilities. The increased molecular weight (MW) facilitates in forming more uniform thin films which is vital in processing and application of polymer thin film technologies. These results and observations clearly demonstrate the potential of PBT-6 as a semiconducting material for Optoelectronic devices.