Variable-Temperature Resonance Raman Studies to Probe Interchain Ordering for Semiconducting Conjugated Polymers with Different Chain Curvature

Joshua J. Sutton, Thanh Luan Nguyen, Han Young Woo, Keith C. Gordon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The morphology and crystallinity of the polymers used to fabricate bulk heterojuction (BHJ) solar cells significantly influences the efficiency of the cells. We have used variable-temperature (VT) spectroscopy techniques, namely VT emission and VT resonance Raman spectroscopy (VT-RRS), to examine how the backbone linearity of a conducting polymer affects its electronic response to temperature and variations in solution behavior. We have studied two types of donor–acceptor polymers used in BHJ cells with differing backbone structures; they are poly-{5,6-bis(tetradecyloxy)-4-(thiophen-2-yl)benzo[c]-1,2,5-thiadiazole} (PTBT) which has a curved backbone and poly-{5,6-bis(tetradecyloxy)-4-(thieno[3,2-b]-thiophen-2-yl)benzo[c]-1,2,5-thiadiazole} (PTTBT) which has a linear chain structure. Time-dependent density functional theory (TD-DFT) calculations and resonance Raman spectra (RRS) of PTTBT revealed the presence of three electronic transitions, with character that varies between π to π*, mixed π to π*/charge transfer and pure charge transfer in nature. Emission spectra of PTTBT showed spectral changes at 650 and 710 nm with varied temperature (−10 to 60 °C). Variable-temperature RRS was measured in resonance with the lowest and highest energy electronic transitions. The changes were interpreted using two-dimensional correlation spectroscopy (2DCOS) analysis. PTTBT showed gradual shifts to lower wavenumbers of modes at around 1425, 1450 and 1500 cm −1 . For PTBT larger and more rapid spectral changes are observed at 1440 and 1460 cm −1 consistent with greater variation in the electronic nature upon heating. Further study into the influence of polymer linearity on crystallinity and long range order was carried out using low-frequency Raman (LFR) to examine drop cast films under a variety of different conditions. LFR spectra showed that PTTBT has a band at 73 cm −1 . This is observed under a variety of film-forming conditions. PTBT does not show distinct low frequency modes, consistent with its low crystallinity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1175-1183
Number of pages9
JournalChemistry - An Asian Journal
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Apr 15


  • conducting polymers
  • long range order
  • low-frequency Raman
  • resonance Raman spectroscopy
  • variable temperature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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