Synthesis of an electroconductive membrane using poly(hydroxymethyl-3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene-co-tetramethylene-N-hydroxyethyl adipamide)†
Synthesis of a novel electroconductive membrane (ECM) was studied with the aim of producing an electroconductive membrane (ECM) with low electrical resistance and appropriate mechanical properties. The method was based on copolymerization of a highly electroconductive monomer (hydroxymethyl-3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) with highly mechanical resistant hydrophilized polyamide 46 (polytetramethylene-N-hydroxyethyl adipamide). Due to the lack of hydroxyl groups, polyamide 46 does not have the tendency to take part in any chemical reactions, therefore prior to copolymerization, PA 46 was hydrophilized with acetaldehyde to create reactive sites, which allowed copolymerization to occur. At the final stage, a very thin layer, 566 nm conductive poly(hydroxymethyl-3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) homopolymer was localised using in situ plasma polymerization in order to improve the electrical conductivity of the obtained copolymer. The result was an adherent, highly conductive, semi-hydrophilic and flexible ECM. The presence of hydroxyl groups in the final product led to improved hydrophilicity of the conductive membrane with a surface tension of 41 mJ m−2. The electrical resistance of PA 46 was dramatically reduced after copolymerization, to 202 in dry and 54 kΩ cm−2 in wet conditions; furthermore, after plasma treatment, this reduction continued to 105 in dry and 2 kΩ cm−2 in wet conditions. Other parameters such as flux flow, roughness, pore size, pore distribution, contact angle, surface energy and thermal stability of the ECM were also investigated.