Extraordinary electrochemical stability and extended polaron delocalization of ladder-type polyaniline-analogous polymers†
Electrochemical stability and delocalization of states critically impact the functions and practical applications of electronically active polymers. Incorporation of a ladder-type constitution into these polymers represents a promising strategy to enhance the aforementioned properties from a fundamental structural perspective. A series of ladder-type polyaniline-analogous polymers are designed as models to test this hypothesis and are synthesized through a facile and scalable route. Chemical and electrochemical interconversions between the fully oxidized pernigraniline state and the fully reduced leucoemeraldine state are both achieved in a highly reversible and robust manner. The protonated pernigraniline form of the ladder polymer exhibits unprecedented electrochemical stability under highly acidic and oxidative conditions, enabling the access of a near-infrared light-absorbing material with extended polaron delocalization in the solid-state. An electrochromic device composed of this ladder polymer shows distinct switching between UV- and near-infrared-absorbing states with a remarkable cyclability, meanwhile tolerating a wide operating window of 4 volts. Taken together, these results demonstrate the principle of employing a ladder-type backbone constitution to impart superior electrochemical properties into electronically active polymers.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Celebrating 10 years of Chemical Science