Macromolecules, Vol.47, No.3, 1001-1007, 2014
A Rational Molecular Design of beta-Phase Polydiarylfluorenes: Synthesis, Morphology, and Organic Lasers
Rational molecular design allows for manipulating the chain conformations of polymer semiconductors by cooperative arrangement of bulky groups with steric hindrance effect and supramolecular groups with noncovalent attractions. Herein, a model polyfluorene with beta-phase, poly[4-(octyloxy)-9,9-diphenylfluoren-2,7-diyl]-co-[5-(octyloxy)-9,9-diphenyl-fluoren-2,7-diyl] (PODPF), has been synthesized successfully via key Baeyer-Villiger rearrangement reaction. Its thin film exhibited excellent spectral stability without green band emission after thermal annealing at 200 degrees C under air and nitrogen ambients. The beta-phases of PODPF in the concentrated toluene solution, organogels, and films have been characterized and confirmed by UV absorption and PL spectra as well as grazing-incidence X-ray scattering. The results suggest that the octyloxy substituents enable backbone planarization via van der Waals forces of the in-plane alkyl chains to overcome intrachain repulsion between fluorene monomers. Organic lasers using beta-phase PODPF exhibit lower threshold than those of poly(9,9-dioctylfluorene), suggesting promising optical gain media. This observation suggested that supramolecular steric hindrance (SSH) is a promising molecular design of polymer semiconductors, and supramolecular steric polymers are one kind of model to get insight into the structure-function relationships for electrically pumped organic lasers in organic electronic and photonics.