Thieno[3,4- c ]pyrrole-4,6-dione-based polymer semiconductors: Toward high-performance, air-stable organic thin-film transistors

Xugang Guo, Rocio Ponce Ortiz, Yan Zheng, Myung Gil Kim, Shiming Zhang, Yan Hu, Gang Lu, Antonio Facchetti*, Tobin J. Marks

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

215 Scopus citations


We report a new p-type semiconducting polymer family based on the thieno[3,4-c]pyrrole-4,6-dione (TPD) building block, which exhibits good processability as well as good mobility and lifetime stability in thin-film transistors (TFTs). TPD homopolymer P1 was synthesized via Yamamoto coupling, whereas copolymers P2-P8 were synthesized via Stille coupling. All of these polymers were characterized by chemical analysis as well as thermal analysis, optical spectroscopy, and cyclic voltammetry. P2-P7 have lower-lying HOMOs than does P3HT by 0.24-0.57 eV, depending on the donor counits, and exhibit large oscillator strengths in the visible region with similar optical band gaps throughout the series (∼1.80 eV). The electron-rich character of the dialkoxybithiophene counits in P8 greatly compresses the band gap, resulting in the lowest Egopt in the series (1.66 eV), but also raising the HOMO energy to -5.11 eV. Organic thin-film transistor (OTFT) electrical characterization indicates that device performance is very sensitive to the oligothiophene conjugation length, but also to the solubilizing side chain substituents (length, positional pattern). The corresponding thin-film microstructures and morphologies were investigated by XRD and AFM to correlate with the OTFT performance. By strategically varying the oligothiophene donor conjugation length and optimizing the solubilizing side chains, a maximum OTFT hole mobility of ∼0.6 cm2 V-1 s-1 is achieved for P4-based devices. OTFT environmental (storage) and operational (bias) stability in ambient was investigated, and enhanced performance is observed due to the low-lying HOMOs. These results indicate that the TPD is an excellent building block for constructing high-performance polymers for p-type transistor applications due to the excellent processability, substantial hole mobility, and good device stability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13685-13697
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number34
StatePublished - Aug 31 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Catalysis
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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