Polymer-solvent compound formation, occurring via co-crystallization of polymer chains and selected small-molecular species, is demonstrated for the conjugated polymer poly(9,9-dioctylfluorene) (PFO) and a range of organic solvents. The resulting crystallization and gelation processes in PFO solutions are studied by differential scanning calorimetry, with X-ray diffraction providing additional information on the resulting microstructure. It is shown that PFO-solvent compounds comprise an ultra-regular molecular-level arrangement of the semiconducting polymer host and small-molecular solvent guest. Crystals form following adoption of the planar-zigzag β-phase chain conformation, which, due to its geometry, creates periodic cavities that accommodate the ordered inclusion of solvent molecules of matching volume. The findings are formalized in terms of nonequilibrium temperature-composition phase diagrams. The potential applications of these compounds and the new functionalities that they might enable are also discussed.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||Journal of Polymer Science, Part B: Polymer Physics|
|State||Published - Nov 1 2015|