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Degradable Conjugated Polymers: Synthesis and Applications in Enrichment of Semiconducting Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes

Authors

  • Wei Zhi Wang,

    1. School of Chemical & Biomedical Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, 62 Nanyang Drive, Singapore 637459, Singapore
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  • Wei Feng Li,

    1. School of Biological Sciences, Nanyang Technological University, 60 Nanyang Drive, Singapore 637551, Singapore
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  • Xiao Yong Pan,

    1. School of Chemical & Biomedical Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, 62 Nanyang Drive, Singapore 637459, Singapore
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  • Chang Ming Li,

    1. School of Chemical & Biomedical Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, 62 Nanyang Drive, Singapore 637459, Singapore
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  • Lain-Jong Li,

    1. Research Center for Applied Science, Academia Sinica, Taipei 11529, Taiwan
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  • Yu Guang Mu,

    1. School of Biological Sciences, Nanyang Technological University, 60 Nanyang Drive, Singapore 637551, Singapore
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  • John A Rogers,

    1. Electrical and Computer Engineering, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Beckman Institute and Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Urbana, IL 61801, USA
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  • Mary B. Chan-Park

    Corresponding author
    1. School of Chemical & Biomedical Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, 62 Nanyang Drive, Singapore 637459, Singapore
    • School of Chemical & Biomedical Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, 62 Nanyang Drive, Singapore 637459, Singapore.
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Abstract

Polymers which enrich semiconducting single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) and are also removable after enrichment are highly desirable for achieving high-performance field-effect transistors (FETs). We have designed and synthesized a new class of alternating copolymers containing main-chain fluorene and hydrofluoric acid (HF) degradable disilane for sorting and preferentially suspending semiconducting nanotube species. The results of optical absorbance, photoluminescence emission, and resonant Raman scattering show that poly[(9,9-dioctylfluorenyl-2,7-diyl)-alt-co-1,1,2,2-tetramethyl-disilane] preferentially suspends semiconducting nanotubes with larger chiral angle (25°–28°) and larger diameter (1.03 nm–1.17 nm) (specifically (8,7), (9,7) and (9,8) species) present in HiPCO nanotube samples. Computer simulation shows that P1 preferentially interacts with (8,7) (semiconducting) over (7,7) (metallic) species, confirming that P1 selects larger diameter, larger chiral angle semiconducting tubes. P1 wrapped on the surface of SWNTs is easily washed off through degradation of the disilane bond of the alternating polymer main chain in HF, yielding “clean” purified SWNTs. We have applied the semiconducting species enriched SWNTs to prepare solution-processed FET devices with random nanotube network active channels. The devices exhibit stable p-type semiconductor behavior in air with very promising characteristics. The on/off current ratio reaches up to 15 000, with on-current level of around 10 μA and estimated hole mobility of 5.2 cm2 V−1 s−1.

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