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Synthesis, Thermal Processing, and Thin Film Morphology of Poly(3-hexylthiophene)–Poly(styrenesulfonate) Block Copolymers

DOI: 10.1021/acs.macromol.5b00213 DOI Help

Authors: Harikrishna Erothu (Aston University) , Joanna Kolomanska (Aston University) , Priscilla Johnston (Aston University) , Stefan Schumann (Heraeus Deutschland GmbH & Co.) , Dargie Deribew (Belectric OPV GmbH) , Daniel Toolan (University of Sheffield) , Alberto Gregori (Université de Pau et des Pays de l’Adour) , Christine Dagron-lartigau (Université de Pau et des Pays de l’Adour) , Giuseppe Portale (Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research) , Wim Bras (Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research) , Tom Arnold (Diamond Light Source) , Andreas Distler (Belectric OPV GmbH) , Roger C. Hiorns (CNRS) , Parvaneh Mokarian-tabari (University College Cork and Tyndall National Institute) , Timothy W. Collins (University College Cork and Tyndall National Institute) , Jon Howse (University of Sheffield) , Paul Topham (Aston University)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Macromolecules , VOL 48 (7)

State: Published (Approved)
Published: March 2015
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 8536

Abstract: A series of novel block copolymers, processable from single organic solvents and subsequently rendered amphiphilic by thermolysis, have been synthesized using Grignard metathesis (GRIM) and reversible addition–fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerizations and azide–alkyne click chemistry. This chemistry is simple and allows the fabrication of well-defined block copolymers with controllable block lengths. The block copolymers, designed for use as interfacial adhesive layers in organic photovoltaics to enhance contact between the photoactive and hole transport layers, comprise printable poly(3-hexylthiophene)-block-poly(neopentyl p-styrenesulfonate), P3HT-b-PNSS. Subsequently, they are converted to P3HT-b-poly(p-styrenesulfonate), P3HT-b-PSS, following deposition and thermal treatment at 150 °C. Grazing incidence small- and wide-angle X-ray scattering (GISAXS/GIWAXS) revealed that thin films of the amphiphilic block copolymers comprise lamellar nanodomains of P3HT crystallites that can be pushed further apart by increasing the PSS block lengths. The approach of using a thermally modifiable block allows deposition of this copolymer from a single organic solvent and subsequent conversion to an amphiphilic layer by nonchemical means, particularly attractive to large scale roll-to-roll industrial printing processes.

Subject Areas: Chemistry, Physics, Materials

Instruments: I07-Surface & interface diffraction

Other Facilities: ESRF