Issue 4, 2022

Semi-paracrystallinity in semi-conducting polymers


Precise determination of structural organization of semi-conducting polymers is of paramount importance for the further development of these materials in organic electronic technologies. Yet, prior characterization of some of the best-performing materials for transistor and photovoltaic applications, which are based on polymers with rigid backbones, often resulted in conundrums in which X-ray scattering and microscopy yielded seemingly contradicting results. Here we solve the paradox by introducing a new structural model, i.e., semi-paracrystalline organization. The model establishes that the microstructure of these materials relies on a dense array of small paracrystalline domains embedded in a more disordered matrix. Thus, the overall structural order relies on two parameters: the novel concept of degree of paracrystallinity (i.e., paracrystalline volume/mass fraction, introduced here for the first time) and the lattice distortion parameter of paracrystalline domains (g-parameter from X-ray scattering). Structural parameters of the model are correlated with long-range charge carrier transport, revealing that charge transport in semi-paracrystalline materials is particularly sensitive to the interconnection of paracrystalline domains.

Graphical abstract: Semi-paracrystallinity in semi-conducting polymers

Supplementary files

Article information

Article type
20 Aug 2021
14 Dec 2021
First published
15 Dec 2021

Mater. Horiz., 2022,9, 1196-1206

Semi-paracrystallinity in semi-conducting polymers

S. Marina, E. Gutierrez-Fernandez, J. Gutierrez, M. Gobbi, N. Ramos, E. Solano, J. Rech, W. You, L. Hueso, A. Tercjak, H. Ade and J. Martin, Mater. Horiz., 2022, 9, 1196 DOI: 10.1039/D1MH01349A

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