Imide functionalization is one of the most effective approaches to develop electron-deficient building blocks for constructing n-type organic semiconductors. Driven by the attractive properties of imide-functionalized dithienylbenzodiimide (TBDI) and the promising device performance of TBDI-based polymers, a novel acceptor with increased electron affinity, fluorinated dithienylbenzodiimide (TFBDI), was designed with the hydrogen replaced by fluorine on the benzene core, and the synthetic challenges associated with this highly electron-deficient fluorinated imide building block are successfully overcome. TFBDI showed suppressed frontier molecular orbital energy levels as compared with TBDI. Copolymerizing this new electron-withdrawing TBDI with various donor co-units afforded a series of n-type polymer semiconductors TFBDI-T, TFBDI-Se, and TFBDI-BSe. All these TFBDI-based polymers exhibited a lower-lying lowest unoccupied molecular orbital (LUMO) energy level than the polymer analogue without fluorine. When applied in organic thin-film transistors, three polymers showed unipolar electron transport with large on-current/off-current ratios (Ion/Ioff) of 105-107. Among them, the selenophene-based polymer TFBDI-Se with the deepest-positioned LUMO and optimal chain stacking exhibited the highest electron mobility of 0.30 cm2 V-1 s-1. This result demonstrates that the new TFBDI is a highly attractive electron-deficient unit for enabling n-type polymer semiconductors, and the fluorination of imide-functionalized arenes offers an effective approach to develop more electron-deficient building blocks in organic electronics.
- imide functionalization
- n-type polymer semiconductors
- organic thin-film transistors
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)