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Redox doping behaviour of poly(3,4-ethylenedithiothiophene) - the counterion effect

Domagala, Wojciech and Palutkiewicz, Dawid and Cortizo-Lacalle, Diego and Kanibolotsky, Alexander L. and Skabara, Peter J. (2011) Redox doping behaviour of poly(3,4-ethylenedithiothiophene) - the counterion effect. Optical Materials, 33 (9). pp. 1405-1409.

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Poly(3,4-ethylenedithiothiophene) – PEDTT, an alkylene sulphur derivative of PEDOT, presents itself as an interesting polymer with a number of disparate redox and chromic properties compared to its close analogue – PEDOT. In this study we present the results of an investigation into the electrochemical doping process of PEDTT, using four different electrolyte solutions, differing in anion content of the chosen salt. The results show that the anion identity plays a key role in the redox reactions accompanying these processes in what could be interpreted as anion ionochromism. In situ UV–Vis spectroelectrochemical experiments reveal an intriguing double electrochromic transition of PEDTT films during their oxidative doping, going from golden-yellow through green to pomegranate – a quality not so common within the family of electroactive conjugated polymers. The evolution of each UV–Vis spectrum over a potential range indicates that different redox states of the polymer are responsible for the chromatic changes. In the reduction half-cycle, the dedoping process of PEDTT appears to follow a path dissimilar to the p-doping one, featuring only one, direct electrochromic transition of the film’s colour, bypassing the green state, and a distinct two-step bleaching process of doping-induced charge carrier bands. The observed electrochemical and spectral phenomena have been accredited to the specific redox behaviour of doping-induced radical cation and cationic defect states interacting with the dithioalkylene sulphur atom.