The effect of chain length on the dielectric and optical properties of oligothiophenes

W. M. Sears, C. D. MacKinnon, T. M. Kraft

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


The oligothiophene compounds T3-T7 inclusive have been synthesized by standard chemical procedures in order to measure the complex admittance versus frequency of their micro-crystalline powders as compressed into a co-axial tube capacitor. The results are compared to that obtained from commercially available polythiophene powder. Optical measurements of the UV-visible absorption and luminescence (fluorescence) spectra were also obtained for these compounds suspended in solutions of dimethylsulfoxide and dichloromethane as well as for compressed solid powders. The impedance spectra show a typical Jonscher model variation with a large jump in conductivity between T4 and T5 followed by more gradual increases. A semi-log plot of conductivity or susceptibility versus chain length at fixed frequency shows that polythiophene fits in at T9 or T10. The photoluminescence peaks expressed in energy units (eV) show a linear increase with inverse chain length and in this case polythiophene fits in at T6. The uniform increase of the absorption maximum or a photoluminescence peak with the inverse chain length of successive oligothiophenes can also be used to calculate the effective "chain length" or conjugation of the end substitution of various radical groups to these same oligothiophenes. This has been done using results from previous work.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1566-1574
Number of pages9
JournalSynthetic Metals
Issue number15-16
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2011
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Conductivity
  • Fluorescence
  • Oligothiophene
  • Photoluminescence
  • Polythiophene
  • Susceptibility


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