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  Chris DiFranco
  Chemical and electrical resistance of conducting polymers

Advisor:Qinguo Fan


Among conducting polymers, PEDOT is significantly important due to its small band gap, high conductivity and high stability. In particular, the small band gap structure enables it to be utilized in several applications such as organic light emitting diodes, photovoltaic’s, electroluminescent devices, antistatic coatings and capacitors1.

The chemical resistance of Poly-3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene (PEDOT) was tested in both organic and inorganic solvents including sodium hydroxide, cyclohexanone, tetrahydrofuran (THF), 91% Isopropyl alcohol and dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO). PEDOT was synthesized via the vapor-phase polymerization process and coated on PET/cotton, cotton and polyester textile substrates. Electrical resistance of the PEDOT was measured both before and after chemical treatments. The morphological changes after 72hr treatments were studied by scanning electron microscope (SEM). The PEDOT coated fabrics demonstrated excellent chemical resistant properties since its electrical resistance maintained on the order of magnitude of 100 ohm after treatment in almost all of the solvents except for 10% NaOH and THF which had a large increase of electrical resistance which occurred due to the disappearing PEDOT coating from the substrate indicating its potential to be a good solvent for PEDOT.

The future directions of this project could be to find reasons for the electrical resistance loss and PEDOT removal from the textile substrates.