Free-standing conductive ultra-thin films based on poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene)/poly(styrenesulfonate) (PEDOT/PSS) are realized. A fabrication process based on a modified Supporting Layer technique is proposed that provides for the easy production of conductive nanofilms having a very large surface area with typical thickness of tens of nanometres. The proposed free-standing nanofilms can be manipulated, folded and unfolded in water many times without suffering from cracks, disaggregation or from loss of conductive properties. After collecting them onto rigid or soft substrates, they retain their functionality. Structural and functional properties of the nanofilms are described by means of their thickness, topography, conductivity and Young's modulus. Strong dependences of these properties on residual water, post-deposition treatments and environmental moisture are clearly evidenced. Possible applications are foreseen in the field of sensing and actuation, as well as in the biomedical field, e.g. as smart substrates for cell culturing and stimulation.
This article is Open Access
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