Highly Stretchable and Conductive Polymer Material Made from Poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) and Polyurethane Elastomers

Authors


  • The authors would like to thank B. Winther-Jensen for helpful discussions and P. Sommer Larsen for assistance with the strain measurements. This work has been supported by the Graduate School of Polymer Science, Risø National Laboratory, and The Technical University of Denmark. Supporting Information is available online from Wiley InterScience or from the authors.

Abstract

A highly elastic and stretchable conductive polymer material resulted from blending the conductive polymer poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):p-tosylate and an aliphatic polyurethane elastomer. The blend inherited advantageous properties from its constituents, namely high conductivity of 120 S cm–1 from its conductive polymer component, and elastomeric mechanical properties resembling those of the polyurethane, including good adhesion to various substrates. Stretching of the blend material by up to 50 % resulted in increased conductivity, while subsequent relaxation to the unstretched state caused a decrease of conductivity compared to the pristine blend. These initial changes in conductivity were reproducible on further cycling between 50 % stretching and the unstretched state for at least 10 cycles. Stretching beyond 50 % resulted in decreasing conductivity of the blend but with substantial conductivity remaining even when stretched by 200 %. Optical, mechanical, and thermal properties of the blend, as well as high resolution electron microscopy of bulk cross-sections, suggest that the system is a single phase and not two separate phases. Ageing experiments indicate that the material retains substantial conductivity for at least a few years at room temperature.

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