Topological Design of Highly Anisotropic Aligned Hole Transporting Molecular Bottlebrushes for Solution-Processed OLEDs. Academic Article uri icon


  • Polyvinyl polymers bearing pendant hole transport functionalities have been extensively explored for solution-processed hole transport layer (HTL) technologies, yet there are only rare examples of high anisotropic packing of the HT moieties of these polymers into substrate-parallel orientations within HTL films. For small molecules, substrate-parallel alignment of HT moieties is a well-established approach to improve overall device performance. To address the longstanding challenge of extension from vapor-deposited small molecules to solution-processable polymer systems, a fundamental chemistry tactic is reported here, involving the positioning of HT side chains within macromolecular frameworks by the construction of HT polymers having bottlebrush topologies. Applying state-of-the-art polymer synthetic techniques, various functional subunits, including triphenylamine (TPA) for hole transport and adhesion to the substrate, and perfluoro alkyl-substituted benzyloxy styrene for migration to the air interface, were organized with exquisite control over the composition and placement throughout the bottlebrush topology. Upon assembling the HT bottlebrush (HTB) polymers into monolayered HTL films on various substrates through spin-casting and thermal annealing, the backbones of HTBs were vertically aligned while the grafts with pendant TPAs were extended parallel to the substrate. The overall design realized high TPA -stacking along the out-of-plane direction of the substrate in the HTLs, which doubled the efficiency of organic light-emitting diodes compared with linear poly(vinyl triphenylamine)s.

published proceedings

  • J Am Chem Soc

author list (cited authors)

  • Kang, N., Cho, S., Leonhardt, E. E., Liu, C., Verkhoturov, S. V., Woodward, W., ... Wooley, K. L.

complete list of authors

  • Kang, Nari||Cho, Sangho||Leonhardt, Eric E||Liu, Chun||Verkhoturov, Stanislav V||Woodward, William Henry Hunter||Eller, Michael J||Yuan, Tianyu||Fitzgibbons, Thomas C||Borguet, Yannick P||Jahnke, Ashlee A||Sokolov, Anatoliy N||McIntire, Travis||Reinhardt, Carl||Fang, Lei||Schweikert, Emile A||Spencer, Liam Patrick||Sun, Guorong||Xie, Guohua||Trefonas, Peter||Wooley, Karen L

publication date

  • May 2022