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Keywords:

  • electronic transport;
  • field-effect transistors;
  • macromolecules;
  • perylene-diimide;
  • poly-isocyanides

Abstract

The electronic transport properties of stacks of perylene-bis(dicarboximide) (PDI) chromophores, covalently fixed to the side arms of rigid, helical polyisocyanopeptides, are studied using thin-film transistors. In device architectures where the transistor channel lengths are somewhat greater than the average polymer chain length, carrier mobilities of order 10−3 cm2 V−1 s−1 at 350 K are found, which are limited by inter-chain transport processes. The influence of π–π interactions on the material properties is studied by using PDIs with and without bulky substituents in the bay area. In order to attain a deeper understanding of both the electronic and the electronic-transport properties of these systems, studies of self-assembly on surfaces are combined with electronic characterization using Kelvin probe force microscopy, and also a theoretical study of electronic coupling. The use of a rigid polymer backbone as a scaffold to achieve a full control over the position and orientation of functional groups is of general applicability and interest in the design of building blocks for technologically important functional materials, as well as in more fundamental studies of chromophoric interactions.