Repository logo

Hexylation Stabilises Twisted Backbone Configurations in the Prototypical Low-Bandgap Copolymer PCDTBT.

Published version

Repository DOI

Change log


Stäter, Sebastian 
Woering, Erik F 
Lombeck, Florian 
Sommer, Michael 


Conjugated donor-acceptor copolymers hold great potential as materials for high-performance organic photovoltaics, organic transistors and organic thermoelectric devices. Their low optical bandgap is achieved by alternation of donor and acceptor moieties along the polymer chain, leading to a pronounced charge-transfer character of electronic excitations. However, the influence of appended side chains and of chemical defects of the backbone on their photophysical and conformational properties remains largely unexplored on the level of individual chains. Here, we employ room temperature single-molecule photoluminescence spectroscopy on four compounds based on the prototypical copolymer PCDTBT with systematically changed chemical structure. Our results show that an increasing density of statistically added hexyl chains to the TBT comonomer distorts the molecular conformation, likely through the increase of average dihedral angles along the backbone. We find that, although the conformation becomes more twisted with high hexyl density, the side chains appear to stabilize the backbone in this twisted conformation. In addition, we demonstrate that homocoupling defects along the backbone barely influence the PL spectra of single chains, and thus intra-chain electronic properties.


Publication status: Published


dihedral angles, donor-acceptor copolymers, homocoupling defects, side-chain engineering, single-molecule spectroscopy

Journal Title


Conference Name

Journal ISSN


Volume Title


Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (NWO) (OCENW.KLEIN.500)