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Influence of PEG-ran-PPG Surfactant on Vapour Phase Polymerised PEDOT Thin Films

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Abstract

The oxidant, Fe(III) tosylate, was used in the vapour phase polymerisation (VPP) of PEDOT. The amphiphilic co-polymer poly(ethylene glycol-ran-propylene glycol) was added and its influence examined. Both the PEDOT conductivity and optical contrast range increased with the inclusion of the co-polymer, with the maximum being recorded at 4 wt.-%. Loadings higher than this resulted in a systematic decrease in both conductivity and optical contrast. Evidence indicates that in addition to the beneficial anti-crystallisation effect to the oxidant layer, the co-polymer also reduces the effective reactivity of the oxidant, as demonstrated by slower polymerisation rates. Confirmation of the change in polymerisation rate was obtained using a quartz crystal microbalance (QCM). The slower polymerisation rate results in higher conductivity and optical contrast; however, XPS data confirmed that the co-polymer remained within the PEDOT film post-washing and this result explains why the performance decreases at high surfactant loadings.

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