Micro X-ray diffraction mapping of a fluorene copolymer fibre
Journal article, 2013
Using raster-scanning wide-angle X-ray scattering, we investigate oriented fibres of the low bandgap conjugated polymer, poly[2,7-(9,9-dioctylfluorene)-alt-5,5-(4′,7′-di-2-thienyl-2′,1′,3′-benzothiadiazole)] (F8TBT), that was developed in particular for polymer solar cells. For the first time, structural data are provided for F8TBT. Our results demonstrate that the nano-scale structure of this polymer is closely related to the externally observable features of the fibre, and thus emphasise the importance of having full control over the local molecular conformation. Liquid-crystalline phases are observed at elevated temperatures, and the molecular alignment in the drawn fibres yields scattering patterns that are dominated by broad peaks of equatorial diffuse scattering. The significant degree of preferred orientation facilitates the analysis, leading to estimates of (average) nearest-neighbour packing distances and coherence length of this macromolecule. In particular, we observe a pronounced broad signal assigned to packing of the conjugated backbone with an approximate spacing of 4.00–4.39 Å that is coherent over 5-6 polymer segments.
Conjugated polymer fibre
Synchrotron X-ray diffraction