Ferroelectric polarization induces electronic nonlinearity in ion-doped conducting polymers

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Science Advances  30 Jun 2017:
Vol. 3, no. 6, e1700345
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1700345


Poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):polystyrene sulfonate (PEDOT:PSS) is an organic mixed ion-electron conducting polymer. The PEDOT phase transports holes and is redox-active, whereas the PSS phase transports ions. When PEDOT is redox-switched between its semiconducting and conducting state, the electronic and optical properties of its bulk are controlled. Therefore, it is appealing to use this transition in electrochemical devices and to integrate those into large-scale circuits, such as display or memory matrices. Addressability and memory functionality of individual devices, within these matrices, are typically achieved by nonlinear current-voltage characteristics and bistability—functions that can potentially be offered by the semiconductor-conductor transition of redox polymers. However, low conductivity of the semiconducting state and poor bistability, due to self-discharge, make fast operation and memory retention impossible. We report that a ferroelectric polymer layer, coated along the counter electrode, can control the redox state of PEDOT. The polarization switching characteristics of the ferroelectric polymer, which take place as the coercive field is overcome, introduce desired nonlinearity and bistability in devices that maintain PEDOT in its highly conducting and fast-operating regime. Memory functionality and addressability are demonstrated in ferro-electrochromic display pixels and ferro-electrochemical transistors.

  • mixed ion-electron conductors
  • electrochemical devices
  • addressability
  • bistability
  • P(VDF-TrFE)
  • ferroelectric polymer

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