Free carriers, polarons (P), in conjugated polymers play a key role in the performance of optoelectronic devices. Here, we present solid evidence that P can be predominantly generated from polaron pairs (PP) in a poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) film under zero electric field. P formation from PP strongly depends on temperature. The temperature dependence of P starts to change around 300 K. P3HT exhibits a thermal molecular motion named the α 1 relaxation process, in which the twisting motion of thiophene rings is released, in this temperature region. Thus, it can be claimed that the twisting motion of P3HT thiophene rings is one of the determining factors of the photodynamics of P in P3HT films. This finding holds true for poly(thiophene)s with different alkyl lengths and should be considered in the design and construction of highly-functionalized organic devices based on poly(thiophene)s.
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