Correlations between mechanical and electrical properties of polythiophenes

Brendan O'Connor, Edwin P. Chan, Calvin Chan, Brad R. Conrad, Lee J. Richter, R. Joseph Kline, Martin Heeney, Iain McCulloch, Christopher L. Soles, Dean M. DeLongchamp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

212 Scopus citations


The elastic moduli of polythiophenes, regioregular poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) and poly-(2,5-bis(3-alkylthiophene-2-yl)thieno[3,2-b]thiophene) (pBTTT), are compared to their field effect mobility showing a proportional trend. The elastic moduli of the films are measured using a buckling-based metrology, and the mobility is determined from the electrical characteristics of bottom contact thin film transistors. Moreover, the crack onset strain of pBTTT films is shown to be less than 2.5%, whereas that of P3HT is greater than 150%. These results show that increased long-range order in polythiophene semiconductors, which is generally thought to be essential for improved charge mobility, can also stiffen and enbrittle the film. This work highlights the critical role of quantitative mechanical property measurements in guiding the development of flexible organic semiconductors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7538-7544
Number of pages7
JournalACS Nano
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 28 2010
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • General Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy


  • elastic modulus
  • flexible electronics
  • organic electronics
  • P3HT
  • pBTTT


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