Highly stable doping of a polar polythiophene through co-processing with sulfonic acids and bistriflimide
Journal article, 2018
Doping of organic semiconductors is currently an intensely studied field, since it is a powerful tool to optimize the performance of various organic electronic devices, ranging from organic solar cells, to thermoelectric modules, and bio-medical sensors. Despite recent advances, there is still a need for the development of highly conducting polymer: dopant systems with excellent long term stability and a high resistance to elevated temperatures. In this work we study the doping of the polar polythiophene derivative p(g(4)2T-T) by various sulfonic acids and bistriflimide via different processing techniques. We demonstrate that simple co-processing of p(g(4)2T-T) with an acid dopant yields conductivities of up to 120 S cm(-1), which remain stable for more than six months under ambient conditions. Notably, a high conductivity is only achieved if the doping is carried out in air, which can be explained with a doping process that involves an acid mediated oxidation of the polymer through O-2. P(g(4)2T-T) doped with the non-toxic and inexpensive 1,3-propanedisulfonic acid was found to retain its electrical conductivity for at least 20 hours upon annealing at 120 degrees C, which allowed the bulk processing of the doped polymer into conducting, free-standing and flexible films and renders the di-acid a promising alternative to commonly used redox dopants.