Erfan Mohammadi, Chuankai Zhao, Y. Meng, Fengjiao Zhang, Ge Qu, X. Zhao, Jianguo Mei, J. M. Zuo, Diwakar Shukla, Ying Diao.
Nature Communications, Vol. 8, Article number: 16070, 2017. doi:10.1038/ncomms16070
Publication year: 2017


Solution processable semiconducting polymers have been under intense investigations due to their diverse applications from printed electronics to biomedical devices. However, controlling the macromolecular assembly across length scales during solution coating remains a key challenge, largely due to the disparity in time scales of polymer assembly and high-throughput printing/coating. Herein, we propose the concept of dynamic templating to expedite polymer nucleation and the ensuing assembly process, inspired by biomineralization templates capable of surface reconfiguration. Molecular dynamic simulations reveal that surface reconfigurability is key to promoting template-polymer interactions, thereby lowering polymer nucleation barrier. Employing ionic-liquid-based dynamic template during meniscus-guided coating results in highly aligned, highly crystalline donor-acceptor polymer thin films over large area (>1cm2), and promoted charge transport along both the polymer backbone and the π-π stacking direction in field-effect transistors. We further demonstrate that the charge transport anisotropy can be reversed by tuning the degree of polymer backbone alignment.