Two-dimensional charge transport in self-organized, high-mobility conjugated polymers

H. Sirringhaus, P. J. Brown, R. H. Friend, M. M. Nielsen, K. Bechgaard, B. M.W. Langeveld-Voss, A. J.H. Spiering, R.A.J. Janssen, E. W. Meijer, P. Herwig, D. M. De Leeuw

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Abstract

Self-organization in many solution-processed, semiconducting conjugated polymers results in complex microstructures, in which ordered microcrystalline domains are embedded in an amorphous matrix. This has important consequences for electrical properties of these materials: charge transport is usually limited by the most difficult hopping processes and is therefore dominated by the disordered matrix, resulting in low charge-carrier mobilities (≤10-5 cm2V-1s-1). Here we use thin-film, field-effect transistor structures to probe the transport properties of the ordered microcrystalline domains in the conjugated polymer poly(3-hexylthiophene), P3HT. Self-organization in P3HT results in a lamella structure with two- dimensional conjugated sheets formed by interchain stacking. We find that, depending on processing conditions, the lamellae can adopt two different orientations - parallel and normal to the substrate - the mobilities of which differ by more than a factor of 100, and can reach values as high as 0.1 cm2 V-1 s-1 (refs 3, 4). Optical spectroscopy of the field-induced charge, combined with the mobility anisotropy, reveals the two-dimensional interchain character of the polaronic charge carriers, which exhibit lower relaxation energies than the corresponding radical cations on isolated one-dimensional chains. The possibility of achieving high mobilities via two-dimensional transport in self-organized conjugated lamellae is important for applications of polymer transistors in logic circuits and active-matrix displays.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)685-688
Number of pages4
JournalNature
Volume401
Issue number6754
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Oct 1999

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    Sirringhaus, H., Brown, P. J., Friend, R. H., Nielsen, M. M., Bechgaard, K., Langeveld-Voss, B. M. W., Spiering, A. J. H., Janssen, R. A. J., Meijer, E. W., Herwig, P., & De Leeuw, D. M. (1999). Two-dimensional charge transport in self-organized, high-mobility conjugated polymers. Nature, 401(6754), 685-688. https://doi.org/10.1038/44359, https://doi.org/10.1038/44359