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A “Kite” Shaped Styryl End-Capped Benzo[2,1-b:3,4-b#]dithiophene
with High Electrical Performances in Organic Thin Film Transistors
Yahia Didane, Georg H. Mehl, Atsufumi Kumagai, Noriyuki
Yoshimoto, Christine Videlot-Ackermann, and Hugues Brisset
J. Am. Chem. Soc., Article ASAP
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A “Kite” Shaped Styryl End-Capped Benzo[2,1-b:3,4-b′]dithiophene with High
Electrical Performances in Organic Thin Film Transistors
Yahia Didane,†Georg H. Mehl,‡Atsufumi Kumagai,§Noriyuki Yoshimoto,§
Christine Videlot-Ackermann,*,†and Hugues Brisset*,†
Inge ´nierie Mole ´culaire et Mate ´riaux Fonctionnels, Centre Interdisciplinaire de Nanoscience de Marseille (CINaM),
CNRS UPR 3118, Campus Luminy, Aix Marseille UniVersite ´, Marseille, France, Department of Chemistry,
UniVersity of Hull, Hull, U.K., and Graduate School of Engineering, Iwate UniVersity, Morioka, Japan
Received September 29, 2008; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
It is the generally held view that high electronic performances
of organic thin film transistors (OTFTs) requires strong π-orbital
overlap between adjacent organic molecules in the solid state, and
thus molecular design has focused on large planar systems.1In this
context linear unsubstituted acenes receive particular attention due
to their natural planarity induced by the fused benzene rings.2
However substantial deformations from planarity can be induced
simply by the attachment of bulky substituents to such molecules
which eliminate significant aryl-aryl close contacts in the crystal-
line phase, making them excellent candidates for organic light
emitting diodes (OLEDs).2In this case the end-to-end twist
characterizes the torsion angle made by phenyl rings at both
extremities of the molecule. Characteristic for such twistacenes is
that the whole conjugated system is a helical distortion to the long
axis of the molecule.3In the R-oligothiophene family the twist
deformation is due at first to free rotation bound to the presence of
σ-bonds between each ring and possibly stressed by substituents
grafted on the conjugated backbone. Fused oligothiophenes and
thiophene-acene oligomers are very attractive for maximizing the
π-orbital overlap by a reduction of the freedom of rotation in the
oligomer and possibly inducing a densely packed crystal structure
toward face-to-face π-stacking motifs.4Consequently coplanar
arrangement and face-to-face stacking rather than herringbone
arrangements in which edge-to-face interactions dominate are
expected to increase mobilities in OTFTs.5
Based on these considerations we decided to undertake the
synthesis and investigation of a simply bridged derivative of
distyryl-bithiophene (DS2T) for which we obtained very good
electrical performances (µ ) 0.02 cm2/V·s, Ion/Ioff≈ 105, S > 15
V/decade).6Contrary to our expectation, the new unsubstituted
distyryl-bisthienobenzene 1 obtained is not planar and the observed
deformation is, to our knowledge, new to the thiophene-acene
oligomer family. For the fused core we do not observe a twist
deformation as in acenes but a curvature such as in bowl shaped
systems.7As the semiconductor 1 is linear the naming “kite” twist
seems to be a more appropriate description. Initially perceived to
be undesirable, 1-based OTFTs exhibit rather surprisingly, in
contrast to the generally held view, excellent performance in air
(µ ) 0.1 cm2/V.s, Ion/Ioff> 106; S < 4 V/decade) higher by a factor
of 5 than the parent unbridged coplanar semiconductor DS2T.
The synthesis of 1 is shown schematically in Scheme 1.
Dilithiation of 3,3′-diformylacetal-2,2′-bithiophene 5 using n-BuLi
at -78 °C followed by the addition of DMF gave 4. The
Wittig-Horner olefination between 4 and benzylphosphonate lead
to the diacetal 3. Hydrolysis of acetal groups with acetic acid gave
the dialdehyde-distyryl-bithiophene 2 as a stable yellow solid.
Treatment of 2 with hydrazine resulted in the styryl end-capped
Single crystals of 1 were grown by slow evaporation of a
saturated methylene chloride solution, and the crystal structure was
determined by X-ray diffraction.8Figure 1a and 1b show the
molecular shape of 1 and a packing view of the 1 crystal,
respectively. It demonstrates that the fused core and moreover the
extended π-conjugated system are not planar.
The molecular shape and crystal organization differ significantly
from those of the unbridged analogue which is linear and coplanar
(Supporting Information, Figures S1-S3). Perepichka et al. reported
a fully planar geometry for tetrathienoanthracene with an intramo-
lecular distance between sulfur atoms of 3.533 Å, lower than the
sum of van der Waals radii.9For 1 the intramolecular distance
†Aix Marseille Universite ´.
‡University of Hull.
Scheme 1. Synthesis Pathway of 1 (Full Synthetic Details for 4, 3,
2, and 1 Are Provided in the Supporting Information)
Figure 1. (a) Model of “kite” shape of 1 based on XRD data. In red: plane
formed by the central phenyl ring. (b) Packing view of the 1 crystal.
10.1021/ja807504k CCC: $40.75 XXXX American Chemical Society
J. AM. CHEM. SOC. XXXX, xxx, 000 9 A
between sulfur atoms has an identical value (3.533 Å), but the
bisthienobenzene core of 1 exhibits a curvature angle of 7.36°
between the central phenyl and thiophene rings’ planes. The main
difference is the length of the bridge double bond, which decreases
from 1.441 to 1.354 Å, indicative of a compression and a weakly
aromatic character of the central plenyl ring of 1 (Figure 2a). In
this context the only possibility for the fused core to maintain the
S-S intramolecular interaction is to adopt a nonplanar geometry.
For the planes between thiophene rings and the double bond a
5.44° dihedral angle is measured. For 1 dihedral angles are observed
on the same side of the central phenyl plane in a symmetrical twisted
configuration of the fused bisthienobenzene core. This symmetrical
twist is associated with a substantial degree of torsion of 12.01°
between the central phenyl ring and the plane formed by the double
bonds. Finally a rotational angle of 13.88° between the planes made
up of the peripheral rings and the plane formed by thiophene ring,
double bond, and C7, C10 is formed. Additionally the end-to-end
molecular structure adopts a concave form. Therefore the overall
molecular shape of 1 can be approximated by a “kite” shape or
more precisely by that of a kitesurfing kite. 1 was found to
crystallize in the orthorhombic space group Pnam with four
equivalent molecules per unit cell.
The average molecular plane is perpendicular to the ac-plane.
A quasi face-to-face packing with a tilt angle of 11.27° is measured
between the average planes of the molecules, while for the related
material DS2T a herringbone arrangement with an angle up to 60°
was found.8Along the a-axis, molecules arrange in columns with
an antiparallel orientation. Each molecule has 12 intermolecular
contacts with 6 other molecules. In this structure 1 has four C-C
intermolecular contacts with distances of 3.377 Å, clearly shorter
than the sum of their van der Waals radii (C-C: 3.40 Å). The close
π-π stacking of 1 is due to the four C-C contacts between the
fused central phenyl rings of one molecule with its two neighboring
molecules (Figures 2b, S4-S8 and Table S1).
As expected for a rigid conjugated system UV-vis spectra of 1
in solution shows good resolution of the vibronic structure with
maxima at 374, 393, and 416 nm (Figures S9).10A comparison
with DS2T reveals a hypsochromic shift of 32 nm for 1 indicating
a reduction in the effective conjugation length attributing to the
shape of the bisthienobenzene core that penalizes the delocalization
of the π electrons which cannot form an extended conjugated
pathway with both of its neighboring coupled styryl units. The
chemical and thermal stability of 1 were investigated using UV-vis
absorption spectroscopy and differential scanning calorimetry
(DSC), and the results indicate that 1 can be heated repeatedly into
the isotropic phase without any change of the crystallization
behavior (Figures S10, S13).
θ/2θ X-ray diffraction spectra of 1-based thin films vacuum-
deposited at 30 and 80 °C, with a nominal thickness of 50 nm,
reveal that the films are characterized by sharp and strong reflections
(Figure 3). The peaks can be indexed from the (020) to (0140)
reflection, indicating that the ac-planes of the grains are oriented
parallel to the substrate surface. Thin films consist of highly oriented
polycrystals having an interplanar d(010)-spacing of 1.98 nm for
both substrate temperatures. The value 1.98 nm corresponds to the
molecular length determined by the single-crystal X-ray analysis,
indicating nearly perfect orthogonal orientation of molecules onto
the substrate. An interplanar d(020)-spacing of 3.96 nm corresponds
to the b-axis in the unit cell (39.68 Å) which is just twice that of
the monolayer thickness. Additionally, an exact agreement between
simulated XRD peaks of 1 powder and maxima peaks observed in
X-ray diffraction patterns of 1 thin films provides evidence that
the molecular assembly in the thin film is the same as that in bulk
crystal. Furthermore, similar XRD patterns of the thin film on
substrate for both Tsub ) 30 and 80 °C and for ultrathin films
indicate that the crystalline phase was not affected by these
parameters in the vacuum deposition (Figures S15-S16).
The thin-film morphology examined by AFM shows an apparent
dependence on the substrate temperature. While a terrace-like step
structure was observed for both Tsubvalues, small crystal grains
∼1.5-3 µm in size were observed in the AFM images of thin films
obtained at 30 °C (Figure 4a), and the grain size was increased at
Tsub) 80 °C to ∼3-7 µm as shown in Figure 4b and SEM pictures
1 shows well-defined linear and saturation-regime output char-
acteristics (Figure 5a). The negative gate and source-drain voltages
demonstrate that 1 is a p-channel material. The field effect mobilities
calculated in the saturation regime were found to increase with
substrate deposition temperature. This is due to an increased
influence of the substrate temperature on the film morphology,
where at higher temperatures better ordered thin films are formed.
Furthermore, the hole mobility of OTFTs based on silicon oxide
insulator layer coated with HDMS was significantly improved
Figure 2. (a) Label atoms and bond length of 1. (b) Close contacts between
molecules of 1 with intermolecular C-C distances.
Figure 3. θ/2θ mode of X-ray diffraction patterns of 1 thin film deposited
at Tsub) 30 and 80 °C on Si/SiO2with a nominal thickness of 50 nm
together with the simulated XRD peaks of 1 powder.
B J. AM. CHEM. SOC. 9 VOL. xxx, NO. xx, XXXX
relative to the bare SiO2 samples together with more negative Download full-text
threshold voltage ranges (Table 1). Hole mobilities as high as 0.1
cm2/V.s for OTFT devices prepared at 80 °C on HMDS SiO2are
achieved in the presence of air with a negative threshold voltage
(Vth) of ∼ -14 V. Figure 5b shows the current-voltage transfer
characteristics of a 1-based OTFT device. OTFTs exhibit a very
high Ion/Ioffratio (>106). The subthreshold swing (S), indicating
how sharply the device turns on, is in the 3 V/decade range, and
the turn-on voltage V0is -3 V.
In summary, a novel styryl end-capped benzo[2,1-b:3,4-
b′]dithiophene semiconductor was synthesized and investigated.
AFM imagery and XRD data reveal a preferential molecular
orientation with the long axes along the substrate normal, where
in-plane charge transport benefits from close π-π stacking.
This has the surprising consequence that, although apparently
being of a nonideal molecular shape, the molecular arrangement
in 1-based thin films is favorable for efficient charge transport across
the SiO2-semiconductor interface in an OTFT configuration. In
particular, the reduced molecular conjugation length and the
molecular shape are not limiting factors for the effective molecular
overlap between adjacent molecules in the crystal structure. The
highest mobility of 1 is 5 times higher than that of an unbridged
counterpart. These results and structure property relationships point
beyond this particular compound and highlight the need for a full
correlation between molecular architecture and the assembly in the
solid state to harness fully the potential of organic semiconductors.
Acknowledgment. The authors thank Prof. F. Fages from
CINaM-UPR 3118 for his critical reading and the “Agence
Nationale de la Recherche” for supporting this work (Grant ANR-
Supporting Information Available: Synthetic procedures for 1-4
with NMR; X-ray crystallographic analysis of DS2T and 1; UV-vis
data; cyclic voltammetry; DSC characterizations; DFT calculations;
device fabrications; XRD; AFM and MEB pictures of thin films. This
material is available free of charge via the Internet at http://pubs.acs.org.
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Figure 4. AFM pictures of 1 thin film deposited at Tsub) 30 °C (a) and
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Table 1. OTFT Data of the Semiconductors 1 Deposited at Different
Substrate Temperatures on Bare SiO2or HMDS-SiO2
30 bare SiO2
HMDS-SiO2 (1-8) × 10-3
80 bare SiO2
(1.4-1.7) × 10-4(-5)-(1.8)
(2-8) × 105
(0.5-3) × 105
(-14)-(-15) (1.8-2) × 105
(-12)-(-14) (1.5-3) × 106
J. AM. CHEM. SOC. 9 VOL. xxx, NO. xx, XXXX