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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 11, 2023
  2. Abstract Organic semiconductors with high-spin ground states are fascinating because they could enable fundamental understanding on the spin-related phenomenon in light element and provide opportunities for organic magnetic and quantum materials. Although high-spin ground states have been observed in some quinoidal type small molecules or doped organic semiconductors, semiconducting polymers with high-spin at their neutral ground state are rarely reported. Here we report three high-mobility semiconducting polymers with different spin ground states. We show that polymer building blocks with small singlet-triplet energy gap (Δ E S-T ) could enable small Δ E S-T gap and increase the diradical character in copolymers. We demonstrate that the electronic structure, spin density, and solid-state interchain interactions in the high-spin polymers are crucial for their ground states. Polymers with a triplet ground state ( S  = 1) could exhibit doublet ( S  = 1/2) behavior due to different spin distributions and solid-state interchain spin-spin interactions. Besides, these polymers showed outstanding charge transport properties with high hole/electron mobilities and can be both n- and p-doped with superior conductivities. Our results demonstrate a rational approach to obtain high-mobility semiconducting polymers with different spin ground states.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2023
  3. Abstract

    Semiconductors with both high stretchability and self‐healing capability are highly desirable for various wearable devices. Much progress has been achieved in designing highly stretchable semiconductive polymers or composites. The demonstration of self‐healable semiconductive composite is still rare. Here, an extremely soft, highly stretchable, and self‐healable hydrogen bonding cross‐linked elastomer, amide functionalized‐polyisobutylene (PIB‐amide) is developed, to enable a self‐healable semiconductive composite through compounding with a high‐performance conjugated diketopyrrolopyrrole (DPP‐T) polymer. The composite, consisting of 20% DPP‐T and 80% PIB‐amide, shows record high crack‐onset strain (COS ≈1500%), extremely low elastic modulus (E≈1.6 MPa), and unique ability to spontaneously self‐heal atroom temperature within 5 min. Unlike previous works, these unique composite materials also show strain‐independent charge mobility. An in‐depth morphological study based on multi‐model techniques indicate that all composites show blending ratio‐ and stretching‐independent fibril‐like aggregation due to the strong hydrogen bond in elastomer to enable the unique stable charge mobility. This study provides a new direction to develop highly healable and electronically stable semiconductive composite and will enable new applications of stretchable electronics.

    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 20, 2024
  4. Abstract

    Polymer semiconductors (PSCs) are essential active materials in mechanically stretchable electronic devices. However, many exhibit low fracture strain due to their rigid chain conformation and the presence of large crystalline domains. Here, a PSC/elastomer blend, poly[((2,6‐bis(thiophen‐2‐yl)‐3,7‐bis(9‐octylnonadecyl)thieno[3,2‐b]thieno[2′,3′:4,5]thieno[2,3‐d]thiophene)‐5,5′‐diyl)(2,5‐bis(8‐octyloctadecyl)‐3,6‐di(thiophen‐2‐yl)pyrrolo[3,4‐c]pyrrole‐1,4‐dione)‐5,5′‐diyl]] (P2TDPP2TFT4) and polystyrene‐block‐poly(ethylene‐ran‐butylene)‐block‐polystyrene (SEBS) are systematically investigated. Specifically, the effects of molecular weight of both SEBS and P2TDPP2TFT4 on the resulting blend morphology, mechanical, and electrical properties are explored. In addition to commonly used techniques, atomic force microscopy‐based nanomechanical images are used to provide additional insights into the blend film morphology. Opposing trends in SEBS‐induced aggregation are observed for the different P2TDPP2TFT4 molecular weights upon increasing the SEBS molecular weight from 87 to 276 kDa. Furthermore, these trends are seen in device performance trends for both molecular weights of P2TDPP2TFT4. SEBS molecular weight also has a substantial influence on the mesoscale phase separation. Strain at fracture increases dramatically upon blending, reaching a maximum value of 640% ± 20% in the blended films measured with film‐on‐water method. These results highlight the importance of molecular weight for electronic devices. In addition, this study provides valuable insights into appropriate polymer selections for stretchable semiconducting thin films that simultaneously possess excellent mechanical and electrical properties.