To understand how disorder within conjugated polymer aggregates influences the polaron generation process, we investigated poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) and a congeneric random copolymer incorporating 33 mol % substituent-free thiophene units (RP33). Steady-state absorption and fluorescence spectra showed that increasing the intrachain torsional disorder in aggregates increases the energy and breadth of the density of states (DOS). By extracting polaron dynamics in the transient absorption spectra, we found that an activation energy barrier of 0.05 eV is imposed on the charge separation process in P3HT, whereas that in RP33 is essentially barrierless. We also found that a significant amount of excitons in P3HT are deactivated by traps, while no trapped excitons are generated in RP33. This efficient polaron generation in RP33 was attributed to the excess energy and enhanced interchain delocalization of precursor states provided by the intrachain torsional disorder and the close-packing structure in the absence of hexyl substituents.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The work at Yonsei University was supported the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MEST) (2016R1E1A1A01943379). The quantum calculations were supported by the National Institute of Supercomputing and Network (NISN)/Korea Institute of Science and Technology Information (KISTI) with supercomputing resources including technical support. The work at Pohang University of Science and Technology was supported by grants from the Center for Advanced Soft Electronics under the Global Frontier Research Program (Code No. NRF-2012M3A6A5055225).
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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry