An ordered, self-assembled nanocomposite with efficient electronic and ionic transport.

Tyler J. Quill, Garrett LeCroy, David M Halat, Rajendar Sheelamanthula, Adam Marks, Lorena S Grundy, Iain McCulloch, Jeffrey A Reimer, Nitash P Balsara, Alexander Giovannitti, Alberto Salleo, Christopher J Takacs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

Mixed conductors-materials that can efficiently conduct both ionic and electronic species-are an important class of functional solids. Here we demonstrate an organic nanocomposite that spontaneously forms when mixing an organic semiconductor with an ionic liquid and exhibits efficient room-temperature mixed conduction. We use a polymer known to form a semicrystalline microstructure to template ion intercalation into the side-chain domains of the crystallites, which leaves electronic transport pathways intact. Thus, the resulting material is ordered, exhibiting alternating layers of rigid semiconducting sheets and soft ion-conducting layers. This unique dual-network microstructure leads to a dynamic ionic/electronic nanocomposite with liquid-like ionic transport and highly mobile electronic charges. Using a combination of operando X-ray scattering and in situ spectroscopy, we confirm the ordered structure of the nanocomposite and uncover the mechanisms that give rise to efficient electron transport. These results provide fundamental insights into charge transport in organic semiconductors, as well as suggesting a pathway towards future improvements in these nanocomposites.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalNature Materials
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 16 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • General Materials Science
  • General Chemistry
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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