Conjugated Polymers in Redox Active Devices: Electrochromism and Charge Storage as Case Studies

October 26, 2018

Dr. John R. Reynolds, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Georgia Tech University

Photo: Seminar:

Profile:  Dr. Reynolds, a native Californian, obtained his B.S. in Chemistry at San Jose State University (1979) followed by his M.S. (1982) and Ph.D. (1984) in Polymer Science and Engineering at the University of Massachusetts. He became interested in the field of conducting and electroactive polymers through a position with the IBM Research Laboratories in the late 1970s. After developing his own research effort at The University of Texas at Arlington (1984-1991), he moved to the University of Florida where he was a Professor of Chemistry and Associate Director of the Center for Macromolecular Science and Engineering until Spring 2012, when his group moved to Georgia Tech where he is a Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and Materials Science and Engineering. He serves as Director of the Georgia Tech Polymer Network (GTPN) and is a member of the Center for Organic Photonics and Electronics (COPE) management team. John has been married since 1986 and is the father of three children.  


Abstract: Conjugated polymers provide a unique encompassing set of structurally tunable optical, electronic transport, and redox properties that allows their present and potential use in a host of applications which span, field effect transistors, light emitting diodes, solar cells and photodetectors, electrochromism, along with batteries and supercapacitors.  Processing of these materials is carried out using a variety of solution methods including spin-coating, spray-coating, blade-coating, slot die coating and ink jet printing.  In this lecture, we will use the reversible redox switching of electron-rich polymers to demonstrate electrical charge storage, potentially useful in supercapacitor applications.1  The optical absorbance spectra of electron-rich pi-conjugated oligomers and polymers can be tuned to yield electrochromic materials of all colors that can be switched to highly transmissive forms as desired for absorptive/reflective (display type) and absorptive/transmissive (window type) devices.  We will demonstrate how structural design and synthesis of fully conjugated polymers, along with mixing in polymer blends, has been used to complete the color palette of electrochromic polymers (ECPs) needed for subtractive color mixing.2 Colorimetric tuning (using the L*a*b* color space) using a combination of electron rich and poor units, in conjunction with employing subtle changes in steric strain or relaxation, allows for the enhancement of the neutral form color vibrancy, and the transmissivity of the oxidized forms. We have developed a set of fast switching, high contrast black and brown ECP blends.  We use these brown blends to demonstrate the attractiveness of ECPs in window-type electrochromic devices (ECDs) as active materials in color changing eyewear.3 Finally, we combine our ECP and OPV technologies into possibilities for solar powered electrochromic windows.4


1.  Österholm, A.M., Shen, D.E., Dyer, A.L., Reynolds, J.R. ACS Appl. Mater. Inter., 5, 13432-13440 (2013) “Optimization of PEDOT Films in Ionic Liquid Supercapacitors: Demonstration as a Power Source for Polymer Electrochromic Devices”

2.  Dyer, A.L, Thompson, E.J., Reynolds, J.R. ACS Appl. Mater. Inter., 3, 1787-1795 (2011) “Completing the Color Palette with Spray Processable Polymer Electrochromics”

3.  Österholm, A., Shen, D.E.,  Bulloch, R.H.,  Kerszulis, J., Kuepfert, M., Dyer, A., Reynolds, J.R. ACS Appl. Mater. Inter., 7, 1413-1421 (2015), “Four Shades of Brown: Tuning of Electrochromic Polymer Blends Towards High-Contrast Eyewear”

4.  Dyer, A.L., Bulloch, R.H., Zhou, Y., Kippelen, B., Reynolds, J.R., Zhang, F. Adv. Mater., 26, 4895-4900 (2014), “A Vertically Integrated Solar-Powered Electrochromic Window for Energy Efficient Buildings”

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