Realizing the full potential of conjugated polymers: innovation in polymer synthesis†
Plastic electronics is closely linked to advances in polymer synthesis. Based on conjugated polymers, this technology aims to exploit the features of metals and inorganic semi-conductors while preserving mechanical properties unique to polymers. In the first part of this review, we present a retrospective study of the development of different polymerization protocols with their respective key polymers. We report different methods, starting with Ziegler–Natta followed by electro-polymerization, metathesis, Kumada, Negishi, GRIM, Stille, and Suzuki. In the second part of this review, we outline the recent advances made in direct (hetero)arylation polymerization (DHAP) which is particularly promising for the future development of efficient, greener and low-cost electronic devices.