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Synthesis of Insulating and Semiconducting Polymer Films via Initiated Chemical Vapor Deposition

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We use initiated chemical vapor deposition (iCVD) to demonstrate solvent-free polymerization of diethynyl monomers, wherein the position of the acetylene bonds in the monomer determines whether the resulting polymer film is insulating or semiconducting. Meta-diethynylbenzene (MDEB) polymerizes randomly forming an irregular network with a poor degree of conjugation, resulting in an insulating (σ = 10–10 S/cm) film. In contrast, para-diethynylbenzene (PDEB) polymerizes to form an ordered network leading to semiconducting (σ = 10–3 S/cm) behavior. Solution synthesis of these monomers typically generates loose powders of these polymers which must be subsequently cast into films. In iCVD, polymerization and film growth occurs simultaneously in a single step, enabling the growth of ultra-smooth and ultra-thin (10–250 nm) polymer films on a variety of surfaces including nanoscale features. In addition to tuning the electrical functionality, we show that iCVD can co-polymerize monomers and pattern the films in situ during the deposition process, potentially enabling applications of these polymer films as current collecting electrodes or passive anti-reflecting coatings in thin film devices like solar cells.
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Document Type: Short Communication

Publication date: 01 January 2015

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  • Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Letters (NNL) is a multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal consolidating nanoscale research activities in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine into a single and unique reference source. NNL provides the means for scientists, engineers, medical experts and technocrats to publish original short research articles as communications/letters of important new scientific and technological findings, encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of the physical sciences, engineering and medicine.
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