Chloroform is a general solvent for poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) active layers in field-effect transistors. However, its low boiling point and rapid evaporation limit the time for crystallization during the spin-coating process, and field-effect mobilities achieved for P3HT films spin-coated from chloroform are typically on the order of 0.01 cm(2)/(V s). Here we investigate a range of solvents with higher boiling points. We find that 1,2,4-trichlorobenzene with good solubility and a high boiling point significantly improves the field-effect mobilities up to 0.12 cm(2)/(V s) with on:off ratios of 10(6). By controlling the microstructure through the choice of solvent while keeping the molecular weight fixed, we observe a clear correlation between the field-effect mobility and the degree of microcrystalline order as measured by X-ray diffraction, as well as the strength of polaronic relaxation of charge carriers in the accumulation layer as measured by optical spectroscopy of field-induced charge.
Chemistry of Materials, 2004, Vol 16, Issue 23, p. 4772-4776