Three-Dimensional Printing of PolyIsoprene-block-Polystyrene-block-Poly(3-hexylthiophene)
Niermann, Crystal Nicole
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The goal of my thesis is to explore the limitations of three-dimensional printing on elastomeric block copolymers containing poly(3-hexylthiophene) by studying the extrusion of polyisoprene-b-polystyrene-b-poly(3-hexylthiophene). The triblock copolymer was synthesized through an anionic coupling mechanism from an allyl-terminated poly(3-hexylthiophene) and polyisoprene-b-polystyrenyl anion. The triblock copolymer was characterized with 1H NMR, size exclusion chromatography (SEC), and bottom-gate bottom-contact organic field effect transistors (OFET). The material was successfully synthesized and purified and contained 9 mole% poly(3-hexylthiophene), 68 mole% polyisoprene, and 23 mole% polystyrene. Although the material exhibited relatively low mobility, it was readily extruded with a custom pneumatic extruder at room temperature. The results legitimize the potential use of this material for three-dimensional printing applied in flexible electronics.