We demonstrate that local and long range orders of poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) semicrystalline films can be synergistically improved by combining chemical functionalization of the dielectric surface with solution-state disentanglement and pre-aggregation of P3HT in a theta solvent, leading to a very significant enhancement of the field effect carrier mobility. The pre-aggregation and surface functionalization effects combine to enhance the carrier mobility nearly 100-fold as compared with standard film preparation by spin-coating, and nearly 10-fold increase over the benefits of pre-aggregation alone. In situ quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation (QCM-D) experiments reveal enhanced deposition of pre-aggregates on surfaces modified with an alkyl-terminated self-assembled monolayer (SAM) in comparison to un-aggregated polymer chains. Additional investigations reveal the combined pre-aggregation and surface functionalization significantly enhances local order of the conjugated polymer through planarization and extension of the conjugated backbone of the polymer which clearly translate to significant improvements of carrier transport at the semiconductor-dielectric interface in organic thin film transistors. This study points to opportunities in combining complementary routes, such as well-known pre-aggregation with substrate chemical functionalization, to enhance the polymer self-assembly and improve its interfacial order with benefits for transport properties.
Bibliographical noteKAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: Part of this work was supported by the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology
(KAUST). CHESS is supported by NSF & NIH/NIGMS via NSF award DMR-1332208. AA is
grateful to SABIC for the Career Development SABIC Chair.