Advanced Functional Materials

Cover image for Vol. 27 Issue 20

Cover Picture: A Novel Method to Orient Semiconducting Polymer Films (Adv. Funct. Mater. 7/2005)

15_07/2005A new technique for orienting thin polymer semiconductor films is reported by Österbacka and co-workers on p. 1095. The technique uses the mechanical force of a shrinking polymer transferred through a polymer multilayer structure. The orientation is obtained using three polymer layers, where the uppermost layer shrinks resulting in orientation of the semiconductor film beneath the intermediate layer. The topmost and intermediate polymer films are removed to reveal the oriented surface. The cover shows a crossed-polarizer microscopy image of an oriented regio-regular poly(3-hexylthiophene) film.

We present a new technique for orienting polymer semiconductor thin films. In our technique, polymer chains are rigorously oriented without using any mechanical tools and with minimal risk of film contamination. The technique is based on the mechanical force resulting from the in-plane shrinkage exerted by a shrinker (top layer) that is used to orient the semiconductor beneath an intermediate layer; the latter acting as a force mediator. The chain orientation is demonstrated by several techniques such as crossed-polarizer microscopy, atomic force microscopy, grazing-incidence X-ray diffraction, and polarized absorption. The orientation geometry is controlled by the shrinking process and the shrinker area. The semiconductivity of the film only stems from the transistor device structures under study, and the method can therefore be generalized.

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