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Research of One-dimensional Conducting Polymer Featured in Cover Story of Macromol. Rapid Commun.
Polypyrrole (PPy) is one of the most extensively investigated conductive polymers due to its potential applications in various devices such as batteries, capacitors, actuators, photovoltaic cells and biomedical sensors. However, the synthesis of PPy with highly structural order and excellent conductivity has remained a great challenge because of the existence of non-2, 5 couplings between the five-membered heterocyclic pyrrole units in an unsubstituted PPy, which results in the unfavorable branched, cross-linked, and the introduction of defects in the hypothetical ideal linear-chain polymer. Ideally, aligning the chains more perfectly in the conducting polymers is an effective way to achieve charge transfer with low fields as in metallic wires. It has been proposed that reducing the dimensional parameters of conductors from the three-dimensional (3-D) cross-linked structure into the one-dimensional (1-D) order structure might significantly enhance the conductivity of PPy.
Recently, Dr. Chun-yang Zhang and Qiang-xin Wang from Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology have demonstrated for the first time the oriented synthesis of 1-D conducting PPy chains using a metal-organic framework as a template. The well-defined pores in metal-organic framework host are used for the precise localization and confinement of guest entities, making the polymer line up better than the branched chains. The conductivity of obtained 1-D PPy has improved by as much as five orders of magnitude in comparison with that of 2-D PPy. The oriented synthesis of such 1-D conjugated molecule chain with highly structural order and excellent conductivity in the metal-organic framework nanometer channels represents a step toward the fabrication of 1-D electronic devices and sensors. The research has been published in Macromol. Rapid Commun. (2011, 32(20), 1610-1614).
This work is supported by the Knowledge Innovation Project of Chinese Academy of Sciences, National Natural Science Foundation of China, and the National Basic Research Program 973.
The front cover of Macromolecular Rapid Communications 2011, 32(20)