New conductive polymer ink opens up for next-generation printed electronic devices

Apr 21, 2021 07:16 PM ET
  • Scientists at Linköping University, Sweden, have created a stable high-conductivity polymer ink. The advance paves the way for ingenious printed electronics with high energy performance. The results have been published in Nature Communications.
New conductive polymer ink opens up for next-generation printed electronic devices
Image: Thor Balkhed

Electrically conducting polymers have enabled the development of flexible and light-weight digital parts such as natural biosensors, solar cells, light-emitting diodes, transistors, as well as batteries.

The electric properties of the conducting polymers can be tuned utilizing an approach referred to as "doping." In this technique, various dopant molecules are included in the polymer to change its homes. Depending on the dopant, the doped polymer can perform electrical energy by the motion of either negatively billed electrons (an "n-type" conductor), or favorably billed openings (a "p-type" conductor). Today, the most generally utilized carrying out polymer is the p-type conductor PEDOT: PSS. PEDOT: PSS has a number of engaging attributes, such as high electric conductivity, superb ambient stability, and most notably, business availability as a liquid diffusion. Nevertheless, many electronic gadgets call for a combination of p-types as well as n-types to operate. Right now, there is no n-type equivalent to PEDOT: PSS.

Scientists at Linköping University, along with colleagues in the UNITED STATE and South Korea, have now created a conductive n-type polymer ink, steady in air and also at high temperatures. This brand-new polymer formulation is called BBL: PEI.

" This is a major advancement that makes the next generation of printed digital gadgets feasible. The absence of a suitable n-type polymer has actually resembled strolling on one leg when making functional digital gadgets. We can currently offer the 2nd leg," claims Simone Fabiano, elderly lecturer in the Department of Science and also Technology at Linköping University.

Chi-Yuan Yang is a postdoc at Linköping University and also among the principal authors of the post published in Nature Communications. He adds:

"Whatever feasible with PEDOT: PSS is also possible with our new polymer. The mix of PEDOT: PSS and BBL: PEI opens brand-new possibilities for the advancement of stable and effective electronic circuits," claims Chi-Yuan Yang.

The brand-new n-type material is available in the kind of ink with ethanol as the solvent. The ink can be transferred by merely splashing the remedy onto a surface, making organic electronic devices less complicated and also less expensive to manufacture. Also, the ink is much more environment-friendly than numerous other n-type natural conductors presently under development, which instead include unsafe solvents. Simone Fabiano believes that the technology awaits routine use.

"Large-scale production is currently practical, and also we are enjoyed have come up until now in a relatively short time. We anticipate BBL: PEI to have the very same effect as PEDOT: PSS. At the same time, much continues to be to be done to adapt the ink to numerous technologies, and we require for more information concerning the product," states Simone Fabiano.

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