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Issue 30, 2018
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Isomeric cationic ionenes as n-dopant agents of poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) for in situ gelation

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Abstract

Three isomeric ionene polymers containing 1,4-diazabicyclo[2.2.2]octane (DABCO) and N,N′-(x-phenylene)dibenzamide (x = ortho-/meta-/para-) linkages have been used as dopant agents to produce n-doped poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT) electrodes by reducing already dedoped conducting polymer (CP) films. This work focuses on the influence of the ionene topology on both the properties of n-doped PEDOT:ionene electrodes and the success of the in situ thermal gelation of the ionene inside the CP matrix. The highest doping level is reached for the para-isomeric ionene-containing electrode, even though the content of ortho- and meta-topomers in the corresponding n-doped PEDOT:ionene electrodes is greater. Thus, many of the incorporated ionene units are not directly interacting with CP chains and, therefore, they do not play an active role as n-dopant agents but they are crucial for the in situ formation of the ionene hydrogels. The effect of the ionene topology is practically non-existent on properties such as the specific capacitance and wettability of PEDOT:ionene films, and it is small but non-negligible on the electrochemical and thermal stability. In contrast, the surface morphology, topography, and distribution of dopant molecules significantly depend on the ionene topology. In situ thermal gelation was successful in PEDOT films n-doped with the ortho- and para-topomers, even though this assembly process was much faster for the former than for the latter. The gelation considerably improved the mechanical response of the electropolymerized PEDOT film, which was practically non-existent before it. Molecular dynamics simulations prove that the strength and abundance of PEDOT⋯ionene specific interactions (i.e. π–π stacking, N–H⋯S hydrogen bonds and both N+⋯O and N+⋯S interactions) are higher for the meta-isomeric ionene, for which the in situ gelation was not achieved, than for the ortho- and para-ones.

Graphical abstract: Isomeric cationic ionenes as n-dopant agents of poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) for in situ gelation

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Publication details

The article was received on 11 May 2018, accepted on 11 Jul 2018 and first published on 12 Jul 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8SM00969D
Citation: Soft Matter, 2018,14, 6374-6385
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    Isomeric cationic ionenes as n-dopant agents of poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) for in situ gelation

    M. G. Saborío, O. Bertran, S. Lanzalaco, M. Häring, L. Franco, J. Puiggalí, D. D. Díaz, F. Estrany and C. Alemán, Soft Matter, 2018, 14, 6374
    DOI: 10.1039/C8SM00969D

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