Journal of Materials Chemistry vol:17 issue:8 pages:728-735
Two conjugated oligomers, representing elementary segments of fluorene - thiophene copolymers, are compared in terms of the microscopic morphology and the optical properties of thin deposits. The atomic force microscopy morphological data and the solid-state absorption and emission spectra are interpreted in terms of the assembly of the conjugated molecules. The compound with a terthiophene central unit and fluorene end-groups shows well-defined monolayer-by-monolayer assembly into micrometer- long stripe-like structures, with a crystalline herringbone-type organization within the monolayers. Polarized confocal microscopy indicates a strong orientation of the crystalline domains within the stripes. In contrast, the compound with a terfluorene central unit and thiophene end groups forms no textured aggregates and the optical spectra in the solid-state are very similar to those recorded in solution, suggesting that the molecules interact only weakly in the solid. The difference in behaviour between the two compounds most probably originates from their different capability to form densely-packed assemblies of interacting pi-systems.