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Macromolecular Chemistry I:

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Wenzel, F.A.; Welz, H.; van der Zwan, K.P.; Stäter, S.; Kreger, K.; Hildner, Richard; Senker, J.; Schmidt, H.-W.: Highly Efficient Supramolecular Nucleating Agents for Poly(3-hexylthiophene), Macromolecules, 55(7), 2861–2871 (2022) -- DOI: 10.1021/acs.macromol.1c02283
Controlling the solid-state morphology of semiconducting polymers is crucial for the function and performance of optoelectronic and photonic devices. Nucleation is a commonly used and straightforward approach to tailor the solid-state morphology of semi-crystalline polymers. However, efficient nucleating agents for semiconducting polymers are still rare. Here, we present a conceptual approach to tailor supramolecular nucleating agents for the semiconducting polymer, poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT). Using this approach, we developed a class of supramolecular nucleating agents, which can achieve outstanding nucleation efficiencies of more than 95% at concentrations as low as 0.1 wt %. Such efficiencies can be achieved by combining an exceptionally high epitaxial match with highly regularly arranged donor–acceptor interactions between the nucleating agent and the polymer. Notably, the supramolecular agents do not induce trap states in thin films of P3HT and are beneficial for the film stability by controlling the solid-state morphology. We anticipate that this approach can be transferred to other semi-crystalline conjugated polymers, resulting in defined solid-state morphologies.
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