Thermally Activated Aromatic Ionic Dopants (TA-AIDs) Enabling Stable Doping, Orthogonal Processing and Direct Patterning

Zhifan Ke, Mustafa H. Ahmed, Ashkan Abtahi, Shih Hsin Hsu, Wenting Wu, Michael F. Espenship, Kyle N. Baustert, Kenneth R. Graham, Julia Laskin, Liang Pan, Jianguo Mei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Doping plays a critical role in organic electronics, and dopant design has been central in the development of functional and stable doping. In this study, there is departure from conventional molecular dopants and a new class of dopants are reported – aromatic ionic dopants (AIDs). AIDs consist of a pair of aromatic cation and anion that are responsible for molecular doping reaction and charge balancing separately. It is shown that the first AID made from cycloheptatrienyl (tropylium) cation and pentacyanocyclopentadienide anion (PCCp), abbreviated as T-PCCp, can function as an effective p-type dopant to dope polydioxythiophenes. Here, tropylium cation induces the doping reaction while the PCCp anion stabilizes the generated polarons and bipolarons. With T-PCCp, a highly doped (≈120 S/cm) and stable system is achieved up to 150 °C, an orthogonal (sequential)solution processing resulting from the immiscibility of the dopant and the polymer host, and a high-resolution direct micropatterning with laser writing resulted from a thermally activated doping process.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2211522
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number8
StatePublished - Feb 16 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors are grateful for the financial support from ONR N00014‐19‐1‐2027. K.N.B. and K.R.G. gratefully acknowledge support from the National Science Foundation (DMR‐1905734). The authors would like to thank A.K. in Prof. Ying Diao's group at University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (UIUC) for obtaining the GIXD data, L.G. in Prof. Xiaodan Gu's group at University of Southern Mississippi for obtaining the TGA data, and D.M. in Prof. Chengde Mao's group at Purdue University for AFM measurement. The authors are thankful to D.T.T., K.P., I.S. and W.J.L. for their valuable contributions and insights. This work was performed in part at the Research Instrument Center (RIC) at the Department of Chemistry, Purdue University.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors. Advanced Functional Materials published by Wiley-VCH GmbH.


  • aromatic ionic dopants
  • conjugated polymers
  • doping
  • organic electronics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Chemistry (all)
  • Materials Science (all)
  • Electrochemistry
  • Biomaterials


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