Approaching disorder-tolerant semiconducting polymers

Xinwen Yan, Miao Xiong, Xin Yu Deng, Kai Kai Liu, Jia Tong Li, Xue Qing Wang, Song Zhang, Nathaniel Prine, Zhuoqiong Zhang, Wanying Huang, Yishan Wang, Jie Yu Wang, Xiaodan Gu, Shu Kong So, Jia Zhu, Ting Lei*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)


Doping has been widely used to control the charge carrier concentration in organic semiconductors. However, in conjugated polymers, n-doping is often limited by the tradeoff between doping efficiency and charge carrier mobilities, since dopants often randomly distribute within polymers, leading to significant structural and energetic disorder. Here, we screen a large number of polymer building block combinations and explore the possibility of designing n-type conjugated polymers with good tolerance to dopant-induced disorder. We show that a carefully designed conjugated polymer with a single dominant planar backbone conformation, high torsional barrier at each dihedral angle, and zigzag backbone curvature is highly dopable and can tolerate dopant-induced disorder. With these features, the designed diketopyrrolopyrrole (DPP)-based polymer can be efficiently n-doped and exhibit high n-type electrical conductivities over 120 S cm−1, much higher than the reference polymers with similar chemical structures. This work provides a polymer design concept for highly dopable and highly conductive polymeric semiconductors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5723
Number of pages9
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 29 Sept 2021

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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