Günter Reiter, Michael Sommer, Daniel Schiefer, Richard Hildner, Dominic Raithel, Tianyu Wu, Fanuel M. Keheze
As-cast and slowly crystallized films of conjugated polymers can contain (partially) ordered and less ordered (amorphous) regions with structural defects. Crystallization allows to generate chains with highly planarized backbones, embedded in structures exhibiting long-range order. In the present study, we used spatially resolved optical spectroscopy to quantify differences in the degree of order of a bulky substituted poly(3-(2,5-dioctylphenyl)thiophene) (PDOPT). In particular, we compared absorption and photoluminescence (PL) measurements from large spherulitic crystals, and the same region rapidly recrystallized after melting, which allowed to identify characteristic features of ordered and less ordered regions. In addition, on the basis of temperature-dependent absorbance and PL measurements, we followed in situ melting and recrystallization processes, i.e., transitions between ordered and disordered phases. A multipeak analysis of absorption and PL spectra based on a modified Franck–Condon progression showed changes in for example the relative intensities of each peak, the excitonic bandwidth, and the vibronic energy as a function of temperature. Most importantly, at the phase transition temperature, a clear change in the positions of the peaks (i.e., their wavelengths, corresponding to the energy of the emitted photons) was detected. In particular, the relative absorption and PL intensities depended sensitively on the extent of order within PDOPT samples. Furthermore, on the basis of a comparison with calorimetric measurements, we have confirmed correlations between changes in the relative absorbance and PL intensities with variations in order/disorder occurring during melting and recrystallization.