Light-Emitting Polythiophenes


  • DFP acknowledges support from the National Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada. FW is indebted to the Office of Naval Research and the Air Force Office for Scientific Research for support.


Polythiophenes are one of the most important classes of conjugated polymers, with a wide range of applications, such as conducting films, electrochromics, and field-effect transistors, which have been the subject of a number of older and more recent reviews. Much less attention has been paid to the light-emitting properties of this class of materials, although their unique properties present a number of opportunities unavailable from more popular polymeric light emitters such as polyfluorene or poly(p-phenylene vinylene). This article reviews achievements to date in applications of thiophene-based polymers and oligomers as electroluminescent materials. We demonstrate the basic principles of controlling the optical properties of polythiophenes through structural modifications and review the most important light-emitting materials created from thiophene derivatives. Special attention is paid to consequences of structural variations on the performance of light-emitting diodes fabricated with these materials.