Characteristics of P3HT Modified with Lithium Aluminum Hydride

Manuel Alexander Mangual, Ezio Fasoli, Josee Vedrine-Pauleus


Our research is focused on the modification of poly (3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) with lithium aluminum hydride (LAH) to understand polymer absorption and stability characteristics.   LAH is used as a reducing agent to modify P3HT and to give it more flexibility with improves durability as a result of reduced polymer oxidation. P3HT is an organic polymer and modification with LAH partially reduces its double bonds in thiophene rings.  In this work, we chemically modify and functionalize P3HT with LAH.  We prepared thin films of P3HT and functionalized polymer P3HT_LAH, and we measured the absorption and basic crystalline properties of the reduced polymer by ultra violet-visible spectroscopy (UV-VIS) and X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) techniques. The UV-VIS spectroscopy showed that films composed P3HT modified with LAH depicted a lower overall absorption than the unmodified P3HT.   Both P3HT and P3HT_LAH exhibited the three inherent peaks at 520 nm, 550 nm, and 620 nm, but the P3HT_LAH showed peaks with a broadening of the shoulder at 620 nm. The XRD analysis revealed peaks at 5° (2) for both P3HT and P3HT_LAH films. The peaks of the P3HT_LAH were less pronounced than peaks of the P3HT confirming a decrease in the degree of crystallinity when this modification occurs.  P3HT_LAH increases its flexibility in the polymer chain reducing the overall crystallinity of the polymer. This is because LAH modification reduces the double bonds linked to carbon and carbon into a single bond in the physical structure of P3HT.


organic polymer, P3HT, LAH, solar cells

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