Acta Phys. -Chim. Sin. ›› 2018, Vol. 34 ›› Issue (11): 1211-1220.doi: 10.3866/PKU.WHXB201804095

Special Issue: Special Issue in Honor of Professor Yongfang Li's 70th Birthday

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Recent Advances of Intrinsically Conductive Polymers

Jianyong OUYANG*()   

  • Received:2018-02-22 Published:2018-04-17
  • Contact: Jianyong OUYANG


Intrinsically conductive polymers are a class of exciting materials since they combine the advantages of both metals and plastics. But their application is limited due to the issues related to their electronic properties, stability and processibility. For example, although polyacetylene can have electrical conductivity comparable to metals, it degrades fast in air. Most of the conductive polymers in the conductive state, such as polypyrrole and polythiophene, cannot be dispersed in any solvent and cannot be turned to a melt. It is thus difficult to process them into thin films with good quality, while thin films with good quality are important for many applications. In terms of the materials processing, polyaniline (PANi) and poly(3, 4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT) have gained great attention. PANi doped with some large cations can be dispersed in some toxic organic solvents, and poly(3, 4-ethylenedioxythiophene):polystyrenesulfonate (PEDOT:PSS) can be dispersed in water and some polar organic solvents. But the PANi and PEDOT:PSS films prepared from their solutions are usually low. Recently, great progress was made in improving the properties of intrinsically conductive polymers. The conductivity of PEDOT:PSS can be enhanced from 10-1 S·cm-1 to > 4000 S·cm-1 through the so-called "secondary doping". The high conductivity together with the solution processibility enables the application of conductive polymers in many areas, such as electrodes and thermoelectric conversion. In addition, due to their electrochemical activity, conductive polymers or their composites with inorganic materials can have high capacity of charge storage. Conductive polymers can also be added into the electrodes of batteries, because they can facilitate the charge transport and alleviate the large volume change problem of silicon electrode of batteries. It has been demonstrated that conductive polymers can have important application in many areas, such as transparent electrode, stretchable electrode, neural interfaces, thermoelectric conversion and energy storage system. This article provides a brief review on the enhancement of the electrical conductivity of intrinsically conductive polymers and their application as electrodes and in thermoelectric conversion, supercapacitors and batteries.

Key words: Conductive polymer, Transparent electrode, Neural interface, Thermoelectric, Energy storage


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