Ion exchange discovered in solid-state semiconducting polymers: Dr. Yu Yamashita, Prof. Jun Takeya, Project Associate Professor Shun Watanabe, and other researchers -Department of Advanced Materials Science
The research team demonstrated a new strategy for chemical doping of polymeric semiconductors that allows the fabrication of highly doped conductive polymers having an extraordinarily high doping level. Chemical doping of polymeric semiconductors has involved the transfer of an integer number of electrons between the host conjugated polymer and the guest dopant, representing a host-guest binary system. In contrast, the present work demonstrates the successful introduction of an additional salt into the process. This modification improves the doping level and thermal stability of the resulting conducting polymer as the result of an ion exchange with almost 100 percent efficiency. This ion exchange in the solid state conducting polymers has not been obtained during the previous 50 years of research regarding organic electronics. Our discovery represents a distinct paradigm shift with respect to the production of doped conducting polymers and also advances the field of solid-state iontronics.