Poly[3,4-ethylene dioxythiophene (EDOT)-co-1,3,5-tri[2-(3,4-ethylene dioxythienyl)]-benzene (EPh)] copolymers (PEDOT-co-EPh): optical, electrochemical and mechanical properties
PEDOT-co-EPh copolymers with systematic variations in composition were prepared by electrochemical polymerization from mixed monomer solutions in acetonitrile. The EPh monomer is a trifunctional crosslinking agent with three EDOTs around a central benzene ring. With increasing EPh content, the color of the copolymers changed from blue to yellow to red due to decreased absorption in the near infrared (IR) spectrum and increased absorption in the visible spectrum. The surface morphology changed from rough and nanofibrillar to more smooth with rounded bumps. The electrical transport properties dramatically decreased with increasing EPh content, resulting in coatings that either substantially lowered the impedance of the electrode (at the lowest EPh content), leave the impedance nearly unchanged (near 1% EPh), or significantly increase the impedance (at 1% and above). The mechanical properties of the films were substantially improved with EPh content, with the 0.5% EPh films showing an estimated 5× improvement in modulus measured by AFM nanoindentation. The PEDOT-co-EPh copolymer films were all shown to be non-cytotoxic toward and promote the neurite outgrowth of PC12 cells. Given these results, we expect that the films of most interest for neural interface applications will be those with improved mechanical properties that maintain the improved charge transport performance (with 1% EPh and below).
- This article is part of the themed collection: Bioelectronics