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Nat Mater. 2008 May;7(5):376-80. doi: 10.1038/nmat2165. Epub 2008 Apr 13.

Simultaneous optimization of charge-carrier mobility and optical gain in semiconducting polymer films.

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  • 1The Blackett Laboratory, Imperial College London, Prince Consort Road, London SW7 2AZ, UK.


The combination of efficient light emission and high charge-carrier mobility has thus far proved elusive for polymer semiconductors, with high mobility typically achieved by cofacial pi-electron system to pi-electron system interactions that quench exciton luminescence. We report a new strategy, comprising the introduction of a limited number of more effective hopping sites between otherwise relatively isolated, and thus highly luminescent, polyfluorene chains. Our approach results in polymer films with large mobility (mu approximately 3-6 x 10(-2) cm2 V-1 s-1) and simultaneously excellent light-emission characteristics. These materials are expected to be of interest for light-emitting transistors, light-emitting diode sources for optical communications and may offer renewed hope for electrically pumped laser action. In the last context, optically pumped distributed feedback lasers comprising one-dimensional etched silica grating structures coated with polymer have state-of-the-art excitation thresholds (as low as 30 W cm(-2) (0.1 nJ per pulse or 0.3 microJ cm-2) for 10 Hz, 12 ns, 390 nm excitation) and slope efficiencies (up to 11%).

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