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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Calcium vapour deposition on semiconducting polymers studied by adsorption calorimetry and visible light absorption Hon, Sherman Siu-Man


A novel UHV microcalorimeter has been used to study the interaction between calcium and three polymers: MEH-PPV, MEH-PPP and P3HT. All three polymers behave differently in their reaction kinetics with calcium. On MEH-PPV we measure 45 μJ/cm² of heat generated in excess of the heat of bulk metal growth, 120 μJ/cm² for MEH-PPP, and 100 μJ/cm² for P3HT. Comparison of the MEH-PPV and MEHPPP data indicate that the initial reaction of calcium with MEH-PPV occurs at the vinylene group. We propose, based on hypothetical models, that calcium reacts with the vinylene groups of MEH-PPV with a reaction heat of 360 kJ/mol and at a projected surface density of 1.7 sites/nm², while it reacts with the phenylene groups of MEH-PPP in a two-step process with reaction heats of 200 and 360 kJ/mol respectively, at a projected surface density of 3.5 sites/nm². Optical absorption experiments, using either a 1.85 eV diode laser or a xenon lamp coupled to a scanning monochromator, have also been performed using the same calorimeter sensor. In the case of MEH-PPV, using the laser we find an optical absorption cross-section of 3E-¹⁷ cm² per incident calcium atom at low coverages. The change in absorptance at higher coverages correlates perfectly with the population of reacted Ca atoms determined calorimetrically. The size of the absorbance cross-section, and its position just within the band gap of the polymer, are consistent with the reaction being one of polaron formation. Calcium does not appear to dope P3HT, while the photon energy range of 1.5 to 3.75 eV used in these experiments is likely too small for probing polaronic energy states in MEH-PPP.

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