Chain conformations and phase behavior of conjugated polymers
Conjugated polymers may play an important role in various emerging optoelectronic applications because they combine the chemical versatility of organic molecules and the flexibility, stretchability and toughness of polymers with semiconducting properties. Nevertheless, in order to achieve the full potential of conjugated polymers, a clear description of how their structure, morphology, and macroscopic properties are interrelated is needed. We propose that the starting point for understanding conjugated polymers includes understanding chain conformations and phase behavior. Efforts to predict and measure the persistence length have significantly refined our intuition of the chain stiffness, and have led to predictions of nematic-to-isotropic transitions. Exploring mixing between conjugated polymers and small molecules or other polymers has demonstrated tremendous advancements in attaining the needed properties for various optoelectronic devices. Current efforts continue to refine our knowledge of chain conformations and phase behavior and the factors that influence these properties, thereby providing opportunities for the development of novel optoelectronic materials based on conjugated polymers.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Soft Matter Emerging Investigators