The nano-scale dispersion of ordered/disordered phases in semi-crystalline polymers can strongly influence their performance e.g. in terms of mechanical properties and/or electronic properties. However, to reveal the latter in scanning electron microscopy (SEM) often requires invasive sample preparation (etching of amorphous phase), because SEM usually exploits topographical contrast or yield differences between different materials. However, for pure carbon materials the secondary spectra were shown to differ substantially with increased order/disorder. The aims here is to gain an understanding of the shape of secondary electron spectrum (SES) of a widely used semi-crystalline polymer regioregular poly(3-hexylthiophene-2,5-diyl), commonly known as P3HT, and its links to the underlying secondary electron emission mechanisms so SES can be exploited for the mapping the nano-morphology. The comparison of simulated and experimental SES shows an excellent agreement, revealing a peak (at about 0.8 eV) followed by a broad shoulder (between 2 eV and 4.5 eV) with respective relative intensities reflecting order/disorder.
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||Journal of Electron Spectroscopy and Related Phenomena|
|Early online date||19 Aug 2017|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2018|