Microstructure Formation in Molecular and Polymer Semiconductors Assisted by Nucleation Agents

Neil D. Treat, Jennifer A. Nekuda Malik, Obadiah Reid, Liyang Yu, Christopher G. Shuttle, Garry Rumbles, Craig J. Hawker, Michael L. Chabinyc, Paul Smith, Natalie Stingelin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

132 Scopus Citations


Additives, including nucleating agents, have been used to regulate the solidification process of (semi-)crystalline polymer solids and thus control both their crystallite dimensions and shape. Here, we demonstrate that minute amounts (0.1-1 wt%) of commercially available nucleating agents can be used to efficiently manipulate the solidification kinetics of a wide range of organic semiconductors - including poly(3-alkylthiophene)s, the fullerene derivative [6,6]-phenyl-C 61 -butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM) and 6,13-bis(triisopropyl- silylethynyl) (TIPS) pentacene - when processed from the melt, solution or solid state, without adversely affecting the semiconductors' electronic properties. Heterogeneous nucleation increases the temperature of and rate of crystallization of poly(3-alkylthiophene)s, permits patterning of crystallites at pre-defined locations in PCBM, and minimizes dewetting of films of TIPS-pentacene formed by inkjet printing. Nucleating agents thus make possible the fabrication of thin-film transistors with uniform electrical characteristics at high yield.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)628-633
Number of pages6
JournalNature Materials
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2013

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5900-59135


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