Redox-Active Polymeric Ionic Liquids with Pendant N-Substituted Phenothiazine

TitleRedox-Active Polymeric Ionic Liquids with Pendant N-Substituted Phenothiazine
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsOh, Saejin, Andrei Nikolaev, Kan Tagami, Thi Tran, Dongwook Lee, Sanjoy Mukherjee, Rachel A. Segalman, Songi Han, Javier Read de Alaniz, and Michael L. Chabinyc
JournalACS Applied Materials & Interfaces

Polymers that are elastic while supporting charge transport are desirable for flexible and soft electronics. Many polymers with bulky and conjugated redox-active pendant units have high glass transition temperatures (Tg) in their neutral form that will not lead to elasticity at room temperature. Their behavior in charged form in the solid state without an electrolyte has not been extensively studied. Here, the design strategy of polymeric ionic liquid where two weakly interacting ionic groups are used to maintain a low Tg is shown to lead to flexible redox active polymers. The use of a flexible ethylene backbone and redox-active phenothiazine (PTZ)-based pendant group resulted in polymers with relatively low Tg that are electrically conductive. PTZ that was N-substituted with 2-(2-ethoxyethoxy)ethoxy)ethyl was found to promote solubility of the polymer and lower the Tg of the neutral polymer by ∼150 °C relative to that of the Tg of a variant without the N-substituent. Doping with trifluoromethanesulfonimide leads to an electrically conductive polymer without significantly increasing the Tg. Physical characterization by UV–vis–NIR spectroscopy, electron spin resonance spectroscopy, and impedance spectroscopy verified that the molecular design leads to an efficient charge hopping between the PTZ groups.