N-type Rigid Semiconducting Polymers Bearing Oligo(Ethylene Glycol) Side Chains for High Performance Organic Electrochemical Transistors

Xingxing Chen, Adam Marks, Bryan D. Paulsen, Ruiheng Wu, Reem B. Rashid, Hu Chen, Maryam Alsufyani, Jonathan Rivnay, Iain McCulloch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


N-type conjugated polymers as the semiconducting component of organic electrochemical transistors (OECTs) are still undeveloped with respect to the p-type counterparts. Herein, we first report two rigid n-type conjugated polymers bearing oligo(ethylene glycol) (OEG) side chains, PgNaN and PgNgN, which demonstrated an essentially torsion-free π-conjugated backbone. The planarity and electron-deficient rigid structures enable the resulting polymers to achieve high electron mobility in an OECT device of up to 10 -3 cm 2 V -1 s -1 range, with a deep-lying lowest unoccupied molecular orbital (LUMO) energy level lower than -4.0 eV. Prominently, the polymers exhibited a high device performance with a maximum dimensionally normalized transconductance of 0.212 S cm -1 and the product of charge carrier mobility µ and volumetric capacitance C* of 0.662 ± 0.113 F cm -1 V -1 s -1 , which are among the highest in n-type conjugated polymers reported to date. Moreover, the polymers are synthesized via a metal-free aldol condensation polymerization, which is beneficial to their application in bioelectronics. Our work proves a new way for designing glycolated n-type conjugated polymers with low-lying LUMO and conformation-locked backbones for high performance OECTs.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAngewandte Chemie
StatePublished - Dec 24 2020

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-12-30
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): OSR2018-CARF/CCF-3079, OSR-2015-CRG4-2572, OSR2019-CRG8-4086
Acknowledgements: The research reported in this publication was supported by funding from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology Office of Sponsored Research (OSR) under awards no. OSR2018-CARF/CCF-3079, no. OSR-2015-CRG4-2572 and OSR2019-CRG8-4086. We acknowledge EC FP7 Project SC2 (610115), EC H2020 (643791), and EPSRC Projects EP/G037515/1, EP/M005143/1, and EP/L016702/1. B.D.P., R.W.,and J.R. gratefully acknowledge support from the National Science Foundation grant no. NSF DMR-1751308. Special thanks to Joseph Strzalka and Qingteng Zhang for beam line assistance. This research used resources of the Advanced Photon Source, a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science User Facility operated for the DOE Office of Science by Argonne National Laboratory under Contract No. DE-AC02- 06CH11357. This work utilized Keck-II facility of Northwestern University’s NUANCE Center and Northwestern University Micro/Nano Fabrication Facility (NUFAB), which are both partially supported by Soft and Hybrid Nanotechnology Experimental (SHyNE) Resource (NSF ECCS-1542205), the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (NSF DMR-1720139), the State of Illinois, and Northwestern University. Additionally, the Keck-II facility is partially supported by the International Institute for Nanotechnology (IIN); the Keck Foundation; and the State of Illinois, through the IIN.


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