Cyano-Functionalized Fused Bithiophene Imide Dimer-Based n-Type Polymers for High-Performance Organic Thermoelectrics

Kui Feng, Wanli Yang, Sang Young Jeong, Suxiang Ma, Yongchun Li, Junwei Wang, Yimei Wang, Han Young Woo, Paddy Kwok Leung Chan, Gang Wang, Xugang Guo, Meifang Zhu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Doped n-type polymers usually exhibit low electrical conductivities and thermoelectric power factors (PFs), restricting the development of high-performance p–n-junction-based organic thermoelectrics (OTEs). Herein, the design and synthesis of a new cyano-functionalized fused bithiophene imide dimer (f-BTI2), CNI2, is reported, which synergistically combines the advantages of both cyano and imide functionalities, thus leading to substantially higher electron deficiency than the parent f-BTI2. On the basis of this novel building block, a series of n-type donor–acceptor and acceptor–acceptor polymers are successfully synthesized, all of which show good solubility, deep-lying frontier molecular orbital levels, and favorable polymer chain orientation. Among them, the acceptor–acceptor polymer PCNI2-BTI delivers an excellent electrical conductivity up to 150.2 S cm−1 and a highest PF of 110.3 µW m−1 K−2 in n-type OTEs, attributed to the optimized polymer electronic properties and film morphology with improved molecular packing and higher crystallinity assisted by solution-shearing technology. The PF value is the record of n-type polymers for OTEs to date. This work demonstrates a facile approach to designing high-performance n-type polymers and fabricating high-quality films for OTE applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2210847
JournalAdvanced Materials
Issue number31
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Aug 3

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Wiley-VCH GmbH.


  • conductivity
  • cyano functionalization
  • morphology optimization
  • n-type polymer semiconductors
  • organic thermoelectrics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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