Conjugated backbones play a fundamental role in determining the electronic properties of organic semiconductors. On the basis of two solution-processable dihydropyrrolo[3,4-c]pyrrole-1,4-diylidenebis(thieno[3,2-b]thiophene) derivatives with aromatic and quinoid structures, we have carried out a systematic study of the relationship between the conjugated-backbone structure and the thermoelectric properties. In particular, a combination of UV-vis-NIR spectra, photoemission spectroscopy, and doping optimization are utilized to probe the interplay between energy levels, chemical doping, and thermoelectric performance. We found that a moderate change in the conjugated backbone leads to varied doping mechanisms and contributes to dramatic changes in the thermoelectric performance. Notably, the chemically doped A-DCV-DPPTT, a small molecule with aromatic structure, exhibits an electrical conductivity of 5.3 S cm-1 and a high power factor (PF373 K) up to 236 μW m-1 K-2, which is 50 times higher than that of Q-DCM-DPPTT with a quinoid structure. More importantly, the low thermal conductivity enables A-DCV-DPPTT to possess a figure of merit (ZT) of 0.23 ± 0.03, which is the highest value reported to date for thermoelectric materials based on organic small molecules. These results demonstrate that the modulation of the conjugated backbone represents a powerful strategy for tuning the electronic structure and mobility of organic semiconductors toward a maximum thermoelectric performance.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry