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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Dodecaborane-Based Dopants Designed to Shield Anion Electrostatics Lead to Increased Carrier Mobility in a Doped Conjugated Polymer.

  • Author(s): Aubry, Taylor J
  • Axtell, Jonathan C
  • Basile, Victoria M
  • Winchell, KJ
  • Lindemuth, Jeffrey R
  • Porter, Tyler M
  • Liu, Ji-Yuan
  • Alexandrova, Anastassia N
  • Kubiak, Clifford P
  • Tolbert, Sarah H
  • Spokoyny, Alexander M
  • Schwartz, Benjamin J
  • et al.

One of the most effective ways to tune the electronic properties of conjugated polymers is to dope them with small-molecule oxidizing agents, creating holes on the polymer and molecular anions. Undesirably, strong electrostatic attraction from the anions of most dopants localizes the holes created on the polymer, reducing their mobility. Here, a new strategy utilizing a substituted boron cluster as a molecular dopant for conjugated polymers is employed. By designing the cluster to have a high redox potential and steric protection of the core-localized electron density, highly delocalized polarons with mobilities equivalent to films doped with no anions present are obtained. AC Hall effect measurements show that P3HT films doped with these boron clusters have conductivities and polaron mobilities roughly an order of magnitude higher than films doped with F4 TCNQ, even though the boron-cluster-doped films have poor crystallinity. Moreover, the number of free carriers approximately matches the number of boron clusters, yielding a doping efficiency of ≈100%. These results suggest that shielding the polaron from the anion is a critically important aspect for producing high carrier mobility, and that the high polymer crystallinity required with dopants such as F4 TCNQ is primarily to keep the counterions far from the polymer backbone.

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