Single molecule spectroscopy of polyfluorene chains reveals β-phase content and phase reversibility in organic solvents

Brenlla, A., Tenopala-Carmona, F., Kanibolotsky, A. L., Skabara, P. J. , Samuel, I. D.W. and Penedo, J. C. (2019) Single molecule spectroscopy of polyfluorene chains reveals β-phase content and phase reversibility in organic solvents. Matter, 1(5), pp. 1399-1410. (doi: 10.1016/j.matt.2019.07.020)

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Abstract

Conjugated polymers are an important class of organic semiconductors that can be deposited from solution to make optoelectronic devices. Among them, poly(9,9′-dioctylfluorene) (PFO) has distinctive optical properties arising from its ability to adopt an ordered planar conformation (β phase) from a disordered glassy phase (α phase). The β phase has attractive optical properties, but the precise mechanism of its formation in solution remains unknown. Here, we have combined specifically tailored polymer synthesis and surface-passivation strategies to provide the first spectroscopic characterization of single PFO chains in solution at room temperature. By anchoring PFO molecules at one end on an anti-adherent surface, we show that isolated chains can adopt the β-phase conformation in a solvent-dependent manner. Furthermore, we find that individual PFO chains can reversibly switch multiple times between phases in response to solvent-exchange events. The methodology presented here for polymer synthesis and immobilization is widely applicable to investigate other luminescent polymers.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Skabara, Professor Peter and Kanibolotskyy, Mr Oleksandr
Authors: Brenlla, A., Tenopala-Carmona, F., Kanibolotsky, A. L., Skabara, P. J., Samuel, I. D.W., and Penedo, J. C.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Chemistry
Journal Name:Matter
Publisher:Elsevier (Cell Press)
ISSN:2590-2393
ISSN (Online):2590-2385
Published Online:09 October 2019
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Inc.
First Published:First published in Matter 1(5): 1399-1410
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy
Data DOI:10.17630/f5836bdf-36a2-48e6-a538-4d03255431bd

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