Polarized Soft X-ray Scattering Reveals Chain Orientation within Nanoscale Polymer Domains

Joshua H. Litofsky, Youngmin Lee, Melissa P. Aplan, Brooke Kuei, Alexander Hexemer, Cheng Wang, Qing Wang, Enrique Daniel Gomez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Fully conjugated donor-acceptor block copolymers can serve as the active layer in organic photovoltaics and other organic electronic devices. Self-assembly into periodic domains and crystallization of the constituent blocks are crucial to enable control of the multiscale structure and consequently electronic properties. Resonant soft X-ray scattering (RSoXS) is an invaluable tool to characterize such materials, where tuning the X-ray energy and polarization reveals molecular orientation and domain spacing. Here, anisotropic soft X-ray scattering data reveal the type and degree of orientation within conjugated block copolymers composed of poly(3-hexylthiophene-2,5-diyl) and various push-pull copolymers. The maximum anisotropy is observed at the scattering vector corresponding to the spacing between block copolymer domains, which scales with the end-to-end distance of the blocks, as expected. Furthermore, the anisotropy in RSoXS data reveals that the crystalline P3HT blocks orient, on average, parallel or nearly parallel to the block copolymer interface; the average tilt angle between P3HT chains and domain interfaces can be extracted from the dependence of the anisotropy with polar angle. We interpret this angle to correspond to the average tilt of rings in the unit cell, potentially within a chiral mesostructure. Results are corroborated with scattering calculations based on simple model structures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2803-2813
Number of pages11
JournalMacromolecules
Volume52
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 9 2019

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X ray scattering
Block copolymers
Polymers
Anisotropy
Scattering
Molecular orientation
Model structures
Crystallization
Electronic properties
Self assembly
Copolymers
Tuning
Polarization
Crystalline materials
X rays

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry

Cite this

Litofsky, Joshua H. ; Lee, Youngmin ; Aplan, Melissa P. ; Kuei, Brooke ; Hexemer, Alexander ; Wang, Cheng ; Wang, Qing ; Gomez, Enrique Daniel. / Polarized Soft X-ray Scattering Reveals Chain Orientation within Nanoscale Polymer Domains. In: Macromolecules. 2019 ; Vol. 52, No. 7. pp. 2803-2813.
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Polarized Soft X-ray Scattering Reveals Chain Orientation within Nanoscale Polymer Domains. / Litofsky, Joshua H.; Lee, Youngmin; Aplan, Melissa P.; Kuei, Brooke; Hexemer, Alexander; Wang, Cheng; Wang, Qing; Gomez, Enrique Daniel.

In: Macromolecules, Vol. 52, No. 7, 09.04.2019, p. 2803-2813.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Lee, Youngmin

AU - Aplan, Melissa P.

AU - Kuei, Brooke

AU - Hexemer, Alexander

AU - Wang, Cheng

AU - Wang, Qing

AU - Gomez, Enrique Daniel

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