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Narrow Band Gap Conjugated Polyelectrolytes

Two essential structural elements define a class of materials called conjugated polyelectrolytes (CPEs). The first is a polymer framework with an electronically delocalized, π-conjugated structure. This component allows one to adjust desirable optical and electronic properties, for example the range of wavelengths absorbed, emission quantum yields, electron affinity, and ionization potential. The second defining feature is the presence of ionic functionalities, which are usually linked via tethers that can modulate the distance of the charged groups relative to the backbone. These ionic groups render CPEs distinct relative to their neutral conjugated polymer counterparts. Solubility in polar solvents, including aqueous media, is an immediately obvious difference. This feature has enabled the development of optically amplified biosensor protocols and the fabrication of multilayer organic semiconductor devices through deposition techniques using solvents with orthogonal properties. Important but less obvious potential advantages must also be considered. For example, CPE layers have been used to introduce interfacial dipoles and thus modify the effective work function of adjacent electrodes. One can thereby modulate the barriers for charge injection into semiconductor layers and improve the device efficiencies of organic light-emitting diodes and solar cells. With a hydrophobic backbone and hydrophilic ionic sites, CPEs can also be used as dispersants for insoluble materials.

Narrow band gap CPEs (NBGCPEs) have been studied only recently. They contain backbones that comprise electron-rich and electron-poor fragments, a combination that leads to intramolecular charge transfer excited states and enables facile oxidation and reduction. One particularly interesting combination is NBGCPEs with anionic sulfonate side groups, for which spontaneous self-doping in aqueous media is observed. That no such doping is observed with cationic NBGCPEs indicates that the interplay between electrostatic forces and the redox chemistry of the organic semiconducting chain is essential for stabilizing the polaronic states and increasing the conductivity of the bulk. Capitalizing upon the properties of NBGCPEs has resulted in a range of new applications. When doped, they can be introduced as interlayers in organic and perovskite solar cells. Single-walled carbon nanotubes can be n- or p-doped with NBGCPEs, depending on whether the same backbone contains attached cationic or anionic side groups, respectively. The resulting dispersions can be used to fabricate flexible thermoelectric devices in which the n- and p-semiconductor legs are nearly identical in terms of chemical composition. Electrostatic interactions with negatively charged cell walls, in combination with the long-wavelength absorption and high photothermal efficiencies, have been used to create effective agents for photothermal killing of bacteria. Additionally, recent results have shown that cationic NBGCPEs can effectively n-dope graphene and that this doping is temperature-dependent. The preferential charge carriers can therefore be chosen to be electrons or holes depending on the applied temperature.

Paper Link:http://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.accounts.7b00501

发布日期:2017/12/18 发布者:网站管理员 点击数:111【打印