Research Article

Use of Ionic Liquids for π-Conjugated Polymer Electrochemical Devices

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Science  09 Aug 2002:
Vol. 297, Issue 5583, pp. 983-987
DOI: 10.1126/science.1072651

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π-Conjugated polymers that are electrochemically cycled in ionic liquids have enhanced lifetimes without failure (up to 1 million cycles) and fast cycle switching speeds (100 ms). We report results for electrochemical mechanical actuators, electrochromic windows, and numeric displays made from three types of π-conjugated polymers: polyaniline, polypyrrole, and polythiophene. Experiments were performed under ambient conditions, yet the polymers showed negligible loss in electroactivity. These performance advantages were obtained by using environmentally stable, room-temperature ionic liquids composed of 1-butyl-3-methyl imidazolium cations together with anions such as tetrafluoroborate or hexafluorophosphate.

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