Solution-Phase Conformation and Dynamics of Conjugated Isoindigo-Based Donor-Acceptor Polymer Single Chains

J Phys Chem Lett. 2017 Nov 16;8(22):5479-5486. doi: 10.1021/acs.jpclett.7b02360. Epub 2017 Oct 30.


Conjugated polymers are the key material in thin-film organic optoelectronic devices due to the versatility of these molecules combined with their semiconducting properties. A molecular-scale understanding of conjugated polymers is important to the optimization of the thin-film morphology. We examine the solution-phase behavior of conjugated isoindigo-based donor-acceptor polymer single chains of various chain lengths using atomistic molecular dynamics simulations. Our simulations elucidate the transition from a rod-like to a coil-like conformation from an analysis of normal modes and persistence length. In addition, we find another transition based on the solvent environment, contrasting the coil-like conformation in a good solvent with a globule-like conformation in a poor solvent. Overall, our results provide valuable insights into the transition between conformational regimes for conjugated polymers as a function of both the chain length and the solvent environment, which will help to accurately parametrize higher level models.