pi-Conjugated polymers represent a unique class of optoelectronic materials. Being polymers, they are solution processable and inherently "soft" materials. This makes them attractive candidates for the production of roll-to-roll printed electronic devices on flexible substrates. The optical and electronic properties of pi-conjugated polymers are synthetically tunable allowing material sets to be tailored to specific applications. Two of the most heavily researched applications are the thin film transistor, the building block of electronic circuits, and the bulk heterojunction solar cell, which holds great potential as a renewable energy source. Key to developing commercially feasible pi-conjugated polymer devices is a thorough understanding of the electronic structure and charge transport behavior of these materials in relationship with polymer structure. Here this structure property relationship has been investigated through electrical and electrochemical means in concert with a variety of other characterization techniques and device test beds. The tunability of polymer optical band gap and frontier molecular orbital energy level was investigated in systems of vinyl incorporating statistical copolymers. Energy levels and band gaps are crucial parameters in developing efficient photovoltaic devices, with control of these parameters being highly desirable. Additionally, charge transport and density of electronic states were investigated in pi-conjugated polymers at extremely high electrochemically induced charge density. Finally, the effects of molecular weight on pi-conjugated polymer optical properties, energy levels, charge transport, morphology, and photovoltaic device performance was examined.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. December 2012. Major: Material Science and Engineering. Advisor: C. Daniel Frisbie. 1 computer file (PDF); vii, 208 pages, appendix p. 206-208.
Paulsen, Bryan D..
Characterization of pi-conjugated polymers for transistor and photovoltaic applications.
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