Understanding the Role of Bulky Side Chains on Polymorphism of BTBT-Based Organic Semiconductors

Hyunjoong Chung, Shanwen Chen, Bijal Patel, Guillaume Garbay, Yves H. Geerts, Ying Diao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Polymorphism plays a major role in organic electronics, since even the slightest change in packing can modulate electronic properties. Controlling and accessing polymorphs of organic semiconductors are critical, but they are usually discovered by serendipity. A clear understanding of the molecular origin of polymorphism is essential, but system-specific studies are largely prevalent, each system presenting a unique challenge. In this work, we conduct a systematic study of five organic semiconductors with the absence or presence of various bulky side chains. We discover polymorphs only in three out of five systems in their bulk single-crystal forms. The three systems that exhibit polymorphism all contain side chains on both ends of the core. We resolve the crystal structures and analyze key parameters for changes in the packing environment such as density, intermolecular distance, and short contacts. These parameters indicate that the added bulky side chains loosen the molecular packing and that, as the side chains get bulkier, the effect is stronger. Thus, the bulky side chains create a packing environment more favorable for polymorphism. This proposes a generalizable molecular design rule for triggering polymorphs in organic semiconductors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1646-1654
Number of pages9
JournalCrystal Growth and Design
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 4 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Understanding the Role of Bulky Side Chains on Polymorphism of BTBT-Based Organic Semiconductors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this