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Issue 10, 2012
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Matter of minutes degradation of poly(3-hexylthiophene) under illumination in air

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Abstract

Films of regioregular poly(3-hexylthiophene) [P3HT] were monitored for degradation by means of in situ fluorescence quenching measurements. The films were found to be stable under UV or VIS energy illumination in vacuo and stable to the air when kept in the dark. Under illumination in air however, degradation products were formed immediately as seen by the fluorescence quenching. The quantum yield for defect product formation was calculated to be around 3 × 10−6 per incident photon of above band-gap energy, a relatively rapid reaction that could create over 1016 defects per cm3 in optically thin films of P3HT in less than a second under sunlight, or in only a matter of minutes under room lighting. The degradation pathway is thought to involve attack of ground state molecular oxygen on the P3HT excited state. The reaction itself is self-inhibiting, as the P3HT excited state is thought to be effectively quenched by the increasing formation of defects, leading to slower and slower defect formation until the film enters a ‘quasi-stable’ state where no further degradation by this mechanism will occur. The upper limit to the number of defects to be found in films of P3HT formed by this mechanism is estimated to be around 2 × 1017 cm−3.

Graphical abstract: Matter of minutes degradation of poly(3-hexylthiophene) under illumination in air

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Publication details

The article was received on 01 Oct 2011, accepted on 17 Nov 2011 and first published on 22 Dec 2011


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C1JM14925C
Citation: J. Mater. Chem., 2012,22, 4282-4289
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    Matter of minutes degradation of poly(3-hexylthiophene) under illumination in air

    S. Cook, A. Furube and R. Katoh, J. Mater. Chem., 2012, 22, 4282
    DOI: 10.1039/C1JM14925C

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