Dialkoxybithiazole: a new building block for head-to-head polymer semiconductors

J Am Chem Soc. 2013 Feb 6;135(5):1986-96. doi: 10.1021/ja3120532. Epub 2013 Jan 29.


Polymer semiconductors have received great attention for organic electronics due to the low fabrication cost offered by solution-based printing techniques. To enable the desired solubility/processability and carrier mobility, polymers are functionalized with hydrocarbon chains by strategically manipulating the alkylation patterns. Note that head-to-head (HH) linkages have traditionally been avoided because the induced backbone torsion leads to poor π-π overlap and amorphous film microstructures, and hence to low carrier mobilities. We report here the synthesis of a new building block for HH linkages, 4,4'-dialkoxy-5,5'-bithiazole (BTzOR), and its incorporation into polymers for high performance organic thin-film transistors. The small oxygen van der Waals radius and intramolecular S(thiazolyl)···O(alkoxy) attraction promote HH macromolecular architectures with extensive π-conjugation, low bandgaps (1.40-1.63 eV), and high crystallinity. In comparison to previously reported 3,3'-dialkoxy-2,2'-bithiophene (BTOR), BTzOR is a promising building block in view of thiazole geometric and electronic properties: (a) replacing (thiophene)C-H with (thiazole)N reduces steric encumbrance in -BTzOR-Ar- dyads by eliminating repulsive C-H···H-C interactions with neighboring arene units, thereby enhancing π-π overlap and film crystallinity; and (b) thiazole electron-deficiency compensates alkoxy electron-donating characteristics, thereby lowering the BTzOR polymer HOMO versus that of the BTOR analogues. Thus, the new BTzOR polymers show substantial hole mobilities (0.06-0.25 cm(2)/(V s)) in organic thin-film transistors, as well as enhanced I(on):I(off) ratios and greater ambient stability than the BTOR analogues. These geometric and electronic properties make BTzOR a promising building block for new classes of polymer semiconductors, and the synthetic route to BTzOR reported here should be adaptable to many other bithiazole-based building blocks.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Alkylation
  • Molecular Structure
  • Polymers / chemical synthesis
  • Polymers / chemistry*
  • Quantum Theory
  • Semiconductors*
  • Solubility
  • Thiazoles / chemical synthesis
  • Thiazoles / chemistry*


  • Polymers
  • Thiazoles