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Issue 6, 2013
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Solvent quality-induced nucleation and growth of parallelepiped nanorods in dilute poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) solution and the impact on the crystalline morphology of solution-cast thin film

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Abstract

Understanding the chain conformation of conjugated polymers in casting solutions and its impact on the crystalline morphology of solution-cast thin films is crucial for many electronic applications. Using small-angle neutron scattering, we show that well-dissolved poly(3-hexyl thiophene) (P3HT) chains in good solvent (chloroform) form long rectangular parallelepipeds (RPs) via nucleation and growth processes upon increasing the volume fraction of poor solvent (hexane) above a certain critical point. The growth of the RPs is due to the π–π stacking of the P3HT main backbone occurring along the long axis of the RPs. P3HT solutions prepared with different poor solvent volume fractions were drop-cast onto Si-wafers to prepare thin films, which were examined using 2D grazing-incidence X-ray scattering and 1D X-ray diffraction. The results indicate that the RPs grown in solution preferentially orient on the substrate with their two longer axes parallel to the surface after solvent evaporation, and give rise to much improved crystallinity and crystal orientation compared to the disordered chains.

Graphical abstract: Solvent quality-induced nucleation and growth of parallelepiped nanorods in dilute poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) solution and the impact on the crystalline morphology of solution-cast thin film

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Publication details

The article was received on 11 Oct 2012, accepted on 19 Nov 2012, published on 19 Nov 2012 and first published online on 19 Nov 2012


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C2CE26666K
Citation: CrystEngComm, 2013,15, 1114-1124
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    Solvent quality-induced nucleation and growth of parallelepiped nanorods in dilute poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) solution and the impact on the crystalline morphology of solution-cast thin film

    J. K. Keum, K. Xiao, I. N. Ivanov, K. Hong, J. F. Browning, G. S. Smith, M. Shao, K. C. Littrell, A. J. Rondinone, E. Andrew Payzant, J. Chen and D. K. Hensley, CrystEngComm, 2013, 15, 1114
    DOI: 10.1039/C2CE26666K

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