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A high-conductivity n-type polymeric ink for printed electronics

Updated: Feb 5

Conducting polymers, such as the p-doped poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):poly(styrene sulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS), have enabled the development of an array of opto- and bio-electronics devices. However, to make these technologies truly pervasive, stable and easily processable, n-doped conducting polymers are also needed. Despite major efforts, no n-type equivalents to the benchmark PEDOT:PSS exist to date. Here, we report on the development of poly(benzimidazobenzophenanthroline):poly(ethyleneimine) (BBL:PEI) as an ethanol-based n-type conductive ink. BBL:PEI thin films yield an n-type electrical conductivity reaching 8 S cm−1, along with excellent thermal, ambient, and solvent stability. This printable n-type mixed ion-electron conductor has several technological implications for realizing high-performance organic electronic devices, as demonstrated for organic thermoelectric generators with record high power output and n-type organic electrochemical transistors with a unique depletion mode of operation. BBL:PEI inks hold promise for the development of next-generation bioelectronics and wearable devices, in particular targeting novel functionality, efficiency, and power performance.






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