Epitaxial Growth of Highly Oriented Fibers of Semiconducting Polymers with a Shish-Kebab-Like Superstructure

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Abstract

Highly oriented fibers of regioregular poly(3-alkylthiophene)s (P3ATs) showing a “shish-kebab” morphology are prepared by oriented epitaxial crystallization in a mixture of 1,3,5-trichlorobenzene (TCB) and pyridine. The superstructure of the P3AT fibers consists of an oriented thread-like core several hundreds of micrometers long, the “shish”, onto which lateral crystalline fibrils made of folded polymer chains, the “kebabs”, are connected in a periodic way with a periodicity in the range 18–30 nm. The P3AT-chain axis is oriented parallel to the fiber axis whereas the π-stacking direction is oriented perpendicular to it. The oriented character of the shish-kebab fibers results in polarized optical absorption and photoluminescence. The formation of oriented precursors by epitaxial orientation of polymer chains onto long needles of a molecular crystal—TCB in the present case—appears to be an original alternative to the crystallization usually performed under external flow conditions.

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