Controlled growth mechanism of poly (3-hexylthiophene) nanowires
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Synthesis of 1D-polymer nanowires by a self-assembly method using marginal solvents is an attractive technique. While the formation mechanism is poorly understood, this method is essential in order to control the growth of nanowires. Here we visualized the time-dependent assembly of poly (3-hexyl-thiophene-2,5-diyl) (P3HT) nanowires by atomic force microscopy and scanning tunneling microscopy. The assembly of P3HT nanowires was carried out at room temperature by mixing cyclohexanone (CHN), as a poor solvent, with polymer solution in 1,2-dichlorobenzene (DCB). Both π-π stacking and planarization, obtained at the mix volume ratio of P3HT (in DCB):CHN (10:7), were considered during the investigation. We find that the length of nanowires was determined by the ordering of polymers in the polymer repetition direction. Additionally, our density functional theory calculations revealed that the presence of DCB and CHN molecules that stabilize the structural distortions due to tail group of polymers was essential for the core-wire formation.