Two related poly(phenylene-vinylene) (PPV) light-emitting polymers have been investigated by means of polarized optical spectroscopy. The purpose of the investigation was to investigate the nature of the interactions in thin films and to examine what impact the difference in side chain structure and molecular weight in poly(2[prime]-methoxy-5-2-ethyl-hexoxy)-1,4-phenylene vinylene (MEH-PPV) and poly(2-(3[prime],7[prime]-dimethyloctyloxy)-5-methoxy-1,4-phenylene-vinylene) (OC1C10-PPV) has on the electronic and optical properties of the two polymers. Aligning the polymers by dispersing them in anisotropic solvents and stretched films shows that the side chains have an impact on the relative orientations of the transition dipole moments. In anisotropic solvents the linear dichroism is larger for MEH-PPV than for the related polymer OC1C10-PPV, while in stretched films the opposite situation prevails. A lower polarization of the luminescence from OC1C10-PPV, relative to MEH-PPV, was also obtained independent of alignment medium used. The data therefore suggest that while mechanical stretching may align the OC1C10-PPV to a greater degree, the emitting species is distinct from the absorbing species. The circular dichroism (CD) spectra of both polymers undergo dramatic changes when the liquid phase and the solid state (film) are compared. The solution CD spectra shows no evidence of interchain interactions; instead the spectra of both systems indicate a helical conformation of the polymers. The CD spectra of films are dramatically different with the strong Cotton effect being observed. This points to the formation of an aggregate in the film, with an associated ground state interaction, an interchain species such as a physical dimer, or a more complex higher aggregate.
Palsson, L., Vaughan, H., & Monkman, A. (2006). Polarized optical spectroscopy applied to investigate two poly(phenylene-vinylene) polymers with different side chain structures. The Journal of Chemical Physics, 125, 164701-164707. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.2354473