Controlled Chemical Polymerization Method for Processing Conducting Polymers – First Year Progress Report


  1. Freund, M.S.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Atlantic, Dartmouth NS (CAN);Manitoba Univ, Winnipeg MAN (CAN) Dept of Chemistry
It has been over twenty-five years since Heeger, MacDiarmid and Shirakawa found that polyacetylene could be endowed with near-metallic electrical conductivity following oxidation (or doping) with iodine. Since then, there has been a surge in investigation of conducting polymers, most commonly polythiophene, polypyrrole, polyaniline, or their derivatives. Numerous conducting polymer applications have been proposed, ranging from molecular electronics to anti-corrosive agents. The importance and potential impact of the discovery of conducting polymers resulted in Heeger, MacDiarmid and Shirakawa receiving the Nobel Prize in Chemistry (2000). Despite the promise of these new materials, very few viable technologies have emerged from the laboratory proof-of-concept level. It is widely known that one of the most important causes of this failure is the lack of processability of conducting polymers. Bulk polymer can be synthesized in solution by oxidation of the monomer resulting in radical coupling, with the desired product precipitating rapidly as an amorphous powder. Precipitation is driven by π-stacking and Coulombic effects leading to very strong interchain interactions. This in turn precludes conventional thermoplastic or solution processing methods. Several elegant approaches have been developed over the years to reduce π - π interactions in order to generate soluble conducting polymers, however these approaches invariably lead to lower conductivities (due to decreased

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conducting polymer;polypyrrole;polythiophene;processing;solubility
Report Number
DRDC-ATLANTIC-CR-2005-080 — Contractor Report
Date of publication
01 Jul 2005
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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