Processable High Electron Mobility π-Copolymers via Mesoscale Backbone Conformational Ordering

Brian J. Eckstein, Ferdinand S. Melkonyan*, Gang Wang, Binghao Wang, Eric F. Manley, Simone Fabiano, Alexandra Harbuzaru, Rocio Ponce Ortiz, Lin X. Chen, Antonio Facchetti, Tobin J. Marks

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The synthesis and experimental/theoretical characterization of a new series of electron-transporting copolymers based on the naphthalene bis(4,8-diamino-1,5-dicarboxyl)amide (NBA) building block are reported. Comonomers are designed to test the emergent effects of manipulating backbone torsional characteristics, and density functional theory (DFT) analysis reveals the key role of backbone conformation in optimizing electronic delocalization and transport. The NBA copolymer conformational and electronic properties are characterized using a broad array of molecular/macromolecular, thermal, optical, electrochemical, and charge transport techniques. All NBA copolymers exhibit strongly aggregated morphologies with significant nanoscale order. Copolymer charge transport properties are investigated in thin-film transistors and exhibit excellent electron mobilities ranging from 0.4 to 4.5 cm2 V−1 s−1. Importantly, the electron transport efficiency correlates with the film mesoscale order, which emerges from comonomer-dependent backbone planarity and extension. These results illuminate the key NBA building block structure–morphology–bulk property design relationships essential for processable, electronics-applicable high-performance polymeric semiconductors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2009359
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number15
StatePublished - Apr 8 2021


  • n-type transport
  • organic transistors
  • polymer semiconductors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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