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Title: Interplay of processing, morphological order, and charge-carrier mobility in polythiophene thin films deposited by different methods: Comparison of spin-cast, drop-cast, and inkjet-printed films
Authors: Wong, L.-Y. 
Png, R.-Q. 
Silva, F.B.S.
Chua, L.-L. 
Repaka, D.V.M.
Gao, X.-Y. 
Ke, L.
Chua, S.-J.
Wee, A.T.S. 
Ho, P.K.H. 
Issue Date: 5-Oct-2010
Citation: Wong, L.-Y., Png, R.-Q., Silva, F.B.S., Chua, L.-L., Repaka, D.V.M., Shi-Chen, Gao, X.-Y., Ke, L., Chua, S.-J., Wee, A.T.S., Ho, P.K.H. (2010-10-05). Interplay of processing, morphological order, and charge-carrier mobility in polythiophene thin films deposited by different methods: Comparison of spin-cast, drop-cast, and inkjet-printed films. Langmuir 26 (19) : 15494-15507. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: The dependence of morphology and polymer-chain orientation of regioregular poly(3-hexylthiophene) (rrP3HT) thin films on processing conditions have been widely studied. However, their possible variation across the film thickness direction remains largely unknown. Wereport here a marked difference in the optical dielectric (n,k ) spectra between the top and bottom interfaces of spin-cast (sc ) rrP3HT films deposited from chlorobenzene solutions. These spectra were obtained from reflection variable-angle spectroscopic ellipsometry using a self-consistent graded optical model with selfimposed Kramers-Krönig consistency. The top interface shows a red-shifted absorption that is characteristic of better order than at the bottom, across a wide range of film thicknesses. This disparity diminishes in drop-cast (dc ) and multipass inkjet-printed (ijp ) films, and disappears in amorphous films such as those of polystyrene and of a greenemitting phenyl-substituted poly(p-phenylenevinylene). The (n,k ) spectra also reveal that crystallinity increases across sc < dc < ijp films. This is supported by cross section scanning electron microscopy of the cleaved edges and measurement of the microroughness of both the film interfaces. Furthermore, optical anisotropy decreases across sc>dc> ijp films. Finally, near-edge X-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopy also shows the frontier chains in ijp and dc films are more isotropically oriented than those in sc films. These results suggest that semicrystalline conjugated polymer films can be produced far from equilibrium. This explains the marked variation in their (opto)electronic properties between the top and bottom surfaces that has sometimes been found depending on the film deposition method. In particular, an unusually pronounced crystallization is induced by ijp. We label this marked ijp-induced crystallization the "ijp morphology", which appears to be general, as it is found also in single-inkjet-droplet films. It appears also to be responsible for the lower field-effect mobility measured for ijp films deposited on a variety of linear and circular electrode arrays. This however can fortuitously be reversed by annealing in solvent vapor. As all films were deposited in the low Peclet-number regime, we can rule out surface skin formation. We attribute the extensive crystallization to the nonuniform drying of picoliter droplets, further promoted by repeated film swelling-deswelling cycles in multipass-ijp films. © 2010 American Chemical Society.
Source Title: Langmuir
ISSN: 07437463
DOI: 10.1021/la1013494
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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