Influence of Molecular Shape on the Thermal Stability and Molecular Orientation of Vapor-Deposited Organic Semiconductors

DM Walters and L Antony and JJ de Pablo and MD Ediger, JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY LETTERS, 8, 3380-3386 (2017).

DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpclett.7b01097

High thermal stability and anisotropic molecular orientation enhance the performance of vapor-deposited organic semiconductors, but controlling these properties is a challenge in amorphous materials. To understand the influence of molecular shape on these properties, vapor-deposited glasses of three disk-shaped molecules were prepared. For all three systems, enhanced thermal stability is observed for glasses prepared over a wide range of substrate temperatures and anisotropic molecular orientation is observed at lower substrate temperatures. For two of the disk-shaped molecules, atomistic simulations of thin films were also performed and anisotropic molecular orientation was observed at the equilibrium liquid surface. We find that the structure and thermal stability of these vapor-deposited glasses results from high surface mobility and partial equilibration toward the structure of the equilibrium liquid surface during the deposition process. For the three molecules studied, molecular shape is a dominant factor in determining the anisotropy of vapor-deposited glasses.

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