Ordered and disordered microstructures of nanoconfined conducting polymers

S Das and P Venkatesh and S Ghosh and KS Narayan, SOFT MATTER, 19, 5641-5650 (2023).

DOI: 10.1039/d3sm00379e

We probe the microstructural differences of conducting polymer poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT) derivatives under geometrical nanoconfinement using a high-resolution electron microscopy (HRTEM) technique. Highly ordered domains of poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):tosylate PEDOT:Tos, which is polymerized within alumina nanochannels, are observed. These features are in contrast to those of the polymer blend poly(3,4-ethylene dioxythiophene):poly(styrenesulfonate) PEDOT:PSS inserted into the nanopores. The extent of the order-disorder parameter in terms of surface crystallization and the number of ordered domains of the long- chain polymers strongly depends on the dopant environment, processing conditions and structural confinement. Atomic force spectroscopy of individual PEDOT nanochannels highlights counterion-dependent surface adhesive factors. The molecular dynamics (MD) simulation of these systems reveals similar polymer chain configurations and the resulting morphology.

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