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Thin film morphology of organic electronic materials



Xinran Zhang, Steven Hudson, Dean DeLongchamp, David J. Gundlach


Organic electronic materials are desired for low-cost printed circuits. As expected, the microstructure of these materials is crucial for their performance, such as charge-carrier mobility. These materials typically comprise anisotropic molecules, and the molecular packing, crystallization, texture (orientation), interfacial structure and grain boundaries all may play a role. As part of an effort to develop and use measurement methods to relate microstructure with chemical structure, processing and performance, we report here transmission electron microscopy (TEM) analyses of the crystal orientation and morphology of two high-performance organic semiconductors. In the first instance, of an analog of pentacene, we use diffraction and imaging to evaluate the crystallization process, illustrating how crystal growth modes govern the orientation and dramatically influence device performance. In the second, we explore an image analysis method coupled with dark-field microscopy to generate nanoscale two-dimensional maps of crystal orientation and grain boundaries of a polythiophene. The device performance in this instance however does not depend on grain size, indicating that internal characteristics of the semicrystalline grains are responsible for this behavior; the grains comprise nanocrystals ( 20 nm) with distributed orientations.
Proceedings Title
PMSE Preprints
Conference Dates
March 21-25, 2010
Conference Location
San Francisco, FL, US
Conference Title
American Chemical Scoiety, Spring 2010 National Meeting & Exposition


organic semiconductor electronics, microstructure, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), charge carrier mobility


Zhang, X. , Hudson, S. , DeLongchamp, D. and Gundlach, D. (2010), Thin film morphology of organic electronic materials, PMSE Preprints, San Francisco, FL, US, [online], (Accessed May 23, 2024)


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Created February 28, 2010, Updated October 12, 2021