Constructing thin polythiophene film composed of aligned lamellae via controlled solvent vapor treatment

  • Lu G
  • Li G
  • Li S
 et al. 
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Thin poly(3-butylthiophene) (P3BT) film composed of aligned lamellae attached to the edge of the original film has been achieved via a controlled solvent vapor treatment (C-SVT) method. The polarized optical microscopy operated at both single-polarization and cross-polarization modes has been used to investigate the alignment of the fiber-like lamellae. A numerical simulation method is used to quantitatively calculate angle distributions of the lamellae deviated from the film growth direction. Prepatterned P3BT film edge acts as nuclei which densely initialize subsequent crystal growth by exhausting the materials transported from the partially dissolved film. The growth of new film upon crystallization is actually a self-healing process where the two-dimensional geometric confinement is mainly responsible for this parallel alignment of P3BT crystals. The solvent vapor pressure should be carefully chosen so as to induce crystal growth but avoid liquid instability which will destroy the continuity of the film. The combination of microfabrication technique and C-SVT method provides a novel method to fabricate hierarchical structure within thin polymer film with multiscale morphology via utilizing both up-bottom and bottom-up approaches.

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