Remarkable Order of a High-Performance Polymer

We directly image the rich nanoscale organization of the high performance, <i>n</i>-type polymer poly­{[<i>N</i>,<i>N</i>′-bis­(2-octyldodecyl)-naphthalene-1,4,5,8-bis­(dicarboximide)-2,6-diyl]-alt-5,5′-(2,2′-bithiophene)} (P­(NDI2OD-T2)) using a combination of high-resolution transmission electron microscopy and scanning transmission electron microscopy. We demonstrate that it is possible to spatially resolve “face-on” lamella through the 2.4 nm alkyl stacking distance corresponding to the (100) reflection. The lamella locally transition between ordered and disordered states over a length scale on the order of 10 nm; however, the polymer backbones retain long-range correlations over length-scales approaching a micrometer. Moreover, we frequently observe overlapping structure implying a number of layers may exist throughout the thickness of the film (∼20 nm). The results provide a simple picture, a highly ordered lamella nanostructure over nearly the entire film and ordered domains with overlapping layers providing additional interconnectivity, which unifies prior seemingly contradictory conclusions surrounding this remarkable, high-mobility material.