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Dynamic self-stabilisation in the electronic and nanomechanical properties of an organic polymer semiconductor

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Dobryden, Illia 
Korolkov, Vladimir 
Lemaur, Vincent 
Waldrip, Matthew 
Un, Hio-Ieng 


The field of organic electronics has profited from the discovery of new conjugated semiconducting polymers that have molecular backbones which exhibit resilience to conformational fluctuations, accompanied by charge carrier mobilities that routinely cross the 1 cm2/Vs benchmark. One such polymer is indacenodithiophene-co-benzothiadiazole. Previously understood to be lacking in microstructural order, we show here direct evidence of nanosized domains of high order in its thin films. We also demonstrate that its device-based high-performance electrical and thermoelectric properties are not intrinsic but undergo rapid stabilisation following a burst of ambient air exposure. The polymer’s nanomechanical properties equilibrate on longer timescales owing to an orthogonal mechanism; the gradual sweating-out of residual low molecular weight solvent molecules from its surface. We snapshot the quasistatic temporal evolution of the electrical, thermoelectric and nanomechanical properties of this prototypical organic semiconductor and investigate the subtleties which play on competing timescales. Our study documents the untold and often overlooked story of a polymer device’s dynamic evolution towards stability.



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Nature Communications

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Nature Research
Royal Society (URF\R1\201590)
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EP/L015889/1)
European Commission Horizon 2020 (H2020) Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) (964677)
Royal Society, National Science Foundation
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