Solution coating of functional small molecules in polymer films is a convenient approach to fabricating flexible optoelectronic and photo-functional devices. Uniform dispersion of the small molecule in the polymer and inhibition of aggregation are requirements for the robust functioning of the devices. Alternate approaches such as incorporating the functional molecule as part of the polymer chain have been examined, although such methods limit the flexibility in materials choice. While perylene or perylene tetracarboxy diimide (PTCDI) or perylene imide (PI) phase separate into discrete crystals in polymer films, we find that functionalizing the perylene imide with a polymer or oligomer segment that is compatible with the host polymer matrix results in highly uniform dispersion of the small molecule, with the inherent photophysical properties of the perylene segment unaffected. We demonstrate this approach with oligostyrene-PTCDI-oligostyrene dispersed in polystyrene, PDMS-PI and PDMS-PTCDI-PDMS in PDMS in solution cast films and in two-component gels from organic solvents. Fluorescent gels of polystyrene and PDMS (without crosslinks or functionalization) were obtained via this route.

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Keywords Fluorescent gel, Nanostructure, Perylene tetracarboxy diimide, Phase separation, Poly (dimethyl siloxane), Polystyrene
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Journal European Polymer Journal
Dahan, E. (Elianne), & Sundararajan, P. (2015). Polymer compatibilized self-assembling perylene derivatives. European Polymer Journal, 65, 4–14. doi:10.1016/j.eurpolymj.2014.11.022