All-Polymer Conducting Fibers and 3D Prints via Melt Processing and Templated Polymerization
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2020
Because of their attractive mechanical properties, conducting polymers are widely perceived as materials of choice for wearable electronics and electronic textiles. However, most state-of-the-art conducting polymers contain harmful dopants and are only processable from solution but not in bulk, restricting the design possibilities for applications that require conducting micro-to-millimeter scale structures, such as textile fibers or thermoelectric modules. In this work, we present a strategy based on melt processing that enables the fabrication of nonhazardous, all-polymer conducting bulk structures composed of poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT) polymerized within a Nafion template. Importantly, we employ classical polymer processing techniques including melt extrusion followed by fiber spinning or fused filament 3D printing, which cannot be implemented with the majority of doped polymers. To demonstrate the versatility of our approach, we fabricated melt-spun PEDOT:Nafion fibers, which are highly flexible, retain their conductivity of about 3 S cm(-1) upon stretching to 100% elongation, and can be used to construct organic electrochemical transistors (OECTs). Furthermore, we demonstrate the precise 3D printing of complex conducting structures from OECTs to centimeter-sized PEDOT:Nafion figurines and millimeter-thick 100-leg thermoelectric modules on textile substrates. Thus, our strategy opens up new possibilities for the design of conducting, all-polymer bulk structures and the development of wearable electronics and electronic textiles.
conducting elastic PEDOT:Nafion fibers
organic electrochemical transistors (OECTs)