Impact of process parameter modification on poly(3-hexylthiophene) film morphology and charge transport

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Lee, Jiho
Reichmanis, Elsa
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Organic electronics based on π-conjugated semi-conductor raises new technology, such as organic film transistors, e-paper, and organic photovoltaic cells that can be implemented cost-effectively on large-area applications. Currently, the device performance is limited by low charge carrier mobility. Poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) and organic field effect transistors (OFET) is used as a model to investigate morphology of the organic film and corresponding electronic properties. In this thesis, processing parameters such as boiling points and solubility are controlled to impact the micro- and macro-morphology of the film to enhance the charge transport of the device. Alternative approach to improve ordering of polymer chains and increase in charge transport without post-treatment of P3HT solution is studied. The addition of high boiling good solvent to the relatively low boiling main solvent forms ordered packing of π-conjugated polymers during the deposition process. We show that addition of 1% of dichlorobenzene (DCB) to the chloroform based P3HT solution was sufficient to improve wetting and molecular structures of the film to increase carrier mobility. Systematic study of solvent-assisted re-annealing technique, which has potential application in OFET encapsulation and fabrication of top-contact OFET, is conducted to improve mobility of OFET, and, to suggest a cost-effective processing condition suitable for industrial application. Three process parameters: boiling point, polarity, and solubility are investigated to further understand the trend of film response to the solvent-assisted technique. We report the high boiling non-polar solvents with relatively high RED values promote highest improvement in molecular packing and formulate crystalline structure of the thin film, which increases the device performance.
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