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New poly(fluorene-thiophene) alternating copolymers are described in which either the dioctylfluorene or bithiophene units in poly(9,9-dioctylfluorene-alt-bithiophene) (F8T2) are replaced by other fluorene or thiophene-based groups, respectively. Improvements in solubility are realized when the bithiophene unit of F8T2 is replaced by dihexylterthiophene or dihexylpentathiophene units. Melting temperatures are also lowered by 50 – 100°C in these polymers when compared to F8T2. Replacement of the bithiophene unit of F8T2 with a dihexylpentathiophene unit also results in a significant improvement in hysteresis (< 2 V vs. 3.5 – 5 V for F8T2). Initial results are also reported on the thermal cleavage of the C8 side groups of F8T2, which yields an insoluble polymeric semiconductor film that continues to exhibit transistor switching characteristics as part of a bottom gate device.
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