A novel method of strain-aligning polymer films is introduced and applied to regioregular poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT), showing several important features of charge transport. The polymer backbone is shown to align in the direction of applied strain resulting in a large charge-mobility anisotropy, where the in-plane mobility increases in the applied strain direction and decreases in the perpendicular direction. In the aligned film, the hole mobility is successfully represented by a two-dimensional tensor, suggesting that charge transport parallel to the polymer backbone within a P3HT crystal is strongly favored over the other crystallographic directions. Hole mobility parallel to the backbone is shown to be high for a mixture of plane-on and edge-on packing configurations, as the strain alignment is found to induce a significant face-on orientation of the originally highly edge-on oriented crystalline regions of the film. This alignment approach can achieve an optical dichroic ratio of 4.8 and a charge-mobility anisotropy of 9, providing a simple and effective method to investigate charge-transport mechanisms in polymer semiconductors.
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