Current Applied Physics, Vol.21, 107-115, 2021
Crystal growth of small-molecule organic semiconductors with nucleation additive
In this study, we employ a nucleation additive 4-octylbenzoic acid (OBA) with an optimized solvent evaporation method to regulate crystal orientation and grain width of small-molecule organic semiconductors. When 6,13-bis(triisopropylsilylethynyl) pentacene (TIPS pentacene) was utilized as a benchmark material to mix with the additive, a self-assembled OBA interfacial layer was formed and promoted uniform deposition of nucleation seeds. As a result, the TIPS pentacene/OBA blend crystalline film exhibited crystal alignment in long range order, attributing to a 11-fold reduction of the crystal misorientation angle and a 4-fold increase of the grain width. We further discussed the important correlation between the effective hole mobility, grain boundaries, grain width and length, and nucleation sites. Organic thin film transistors were fabricated to test charge transport, yielding a hole mobility of up to 0.17 cm(2)/V. This work provides a new pathway to modulate the nucleation and crystallization events of organic semiconductors, and can potentially be applied to optimize the thin film morphology and electrical performance of organic semiconducting materials in general.