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.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
X.G. thanks the National Science Foundation of China (51573076), the Shenzhen Basic Research Fund (JCYJ20170817105905899), and the Shenzhen Peacock Plan Project (KQTD20140630110339343). H.Y.W. is grateful for the financial support from the National Research Foundation of Korea (2016M1A2A2940911 and 2015M1A2A2057506).
© 2019 American Chemical Society.
- imide functionalization
- n-type polymer semiconductors
- organic thin-film transistors
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)