Semi-metallic, strong and stretchable wet-spun conjugated polymer microfibers

Jian Zhou, Er Qiang Li, Ruipeng Li, Xuezhu Xu, Isaac Aguilar Ventura, Ali Moussawi, Dalaver H. Anjum, Mohamed Nejib Hedhili, Detlef M. Smilgies, Gilles Lubineau, Sigurdur T. Thoroddsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

129 Scopus citations

Abstract

A dramatic improvement in electrical conductivity is necessary to make conductive polymer fibers viable candidates in applications such as flexible electrodes, conductive textiles, and fast-response sensors and actuators. In this study, high-performance poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene)/poly(styrenesulfonate) (PEDOT/PSS) conjugated polymer microfibers were fabricated via wet-spinning followed by hot-drawing. Due to the combined effects of the vertical hot-drawing process and doping/de-doping the microfibers with ethylene glycol (EG), we achieved a record electrical conductivity of 2804 S cm-1. This is, to the best of our knowledge, a six-fold improvement over the best previously reported value for PEDOT/PSS fibers (467 S cm-1) and a two-fold improvement over the best values for conductive polymer films treated by EG de-doping (1418 S cm-1). Moreover, we found that these highly conductive fibers experience a semiconductor-metal transition at 313 K. They also have superior mechanical properties with a Young's modulus up to 8.3 GPa, a tensile strength reaching 409.8 MPa and a large elongation before failure (21%). The most conductive fiber also demonstrates an extraordinary electrical performance during stretching/unstretching: the conductivity increased by 25% before the fiber rupture point with a maximum strain up to 21%. Simple fabrication of the semi-metallic, strong and stretchable wet-spun PEDOT/PSS microfibers described here could make them available for conductive smart electronics.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)2528-2538
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Materials Chemistry C
Volume3
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2015

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