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Toward Single Crystal Thin Films of Terthiophene by Directional Crystallization Using a Thermal Gradient

Guillaume Schweicher, Nicolas Paquay, Claire Amato, Roland Resel, Markus Koini, Samuel Talvy, Vincent Lemaur, Jérôme Cornil, Yves Geerts and Gabin Gbabode, Washington (2011)

A method for the preparation of uniaxially oriented thin films of terthiophene (2050 μm thick) is introduced. It relies on the crystal growth with a Bridgman-type process that decouples nucleation and growth phenomena. An effective thermal gradient of 611.6 C/mm has been used in which the sample (terthiophene powder deposited on either glass or fluorinated glass substrates) is displaced from a hot zone to a cold zone at a constant rate of 2.55 μm/s. The size and orientation of crystals have been investigated by polarized optical microscopy and X-ray diffraction measurements. A coexistence of two polymorphs of terthiophene has been observed, but optimal gradient conditions enabling the selective crystallization of only the room temperature stable polymorph have been found. Terthiophene films deposited on fluorinated glass substrates and crystallized using the thermal gradient technique show a stronger tendency to polymorphism and random orientation of crystallites for all gradient conditions tested. The monoclinic unit cell (a = 15.410 Å, b = 5.709 Å, c = 26.052 Å, β = 97.77) of the room temperature phase orients its ab plane parallel to the substrate. Pole figures demonstrate the growth of uniaxially aligned crystals with the [100] and [100] directions along the gradient axis. Finally, a tentative explanation for this peculiar in-plane orientation is given based on crystal morphology calculations.

Partners : ULB and UMons

Place of Publication : Washington

Date of Publication : 2011/06/27

Link to the online version of the article.