Understanding the ionic composition and distribution in organic mixed ionic-electronic conductors (OMIECs) is crucial for understanding their structure-property relationships. Despite this, direct measurements of OMIEC ionic composition and distribution are not common. In this work, we investigated the ionic composition and mesoscopic structure of three typical p-type OMIEC materials: an ethylene glycol-treated crosslinked OMIEC with a large excess fixed anionic charge (EG/GOPS-PEDOT:PSS), an acid-treated OMIEC with a tunable fixed anionic charge (crys-PEDOT:PSS), and a single-component OMIEC without any fixed anionic charge (pg2T-TT). A combination of X-ray fluorescence (XRF) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopies, gravimetry, coulometry, and grazing incidence small-angle X-ray scattering (GISAXS) techniques was employed to characterize these OMIECs following electrolyte exposure and electrochemical cycling. In particular, XRF provided quantitative ion-to-monomer compositions for these OMIECs from passive ion uptake following aqueous electrolyte exposure and potential-driven ion uptake/expulsion following electrochemical doping and dedoping. Single-ion (cation) transport in EG/GOPS-PEDOT:PSS due to Donnan exclusion was directly confirmed, while significant fixed anion concentrations in crys-PEDOT:PSS doping and dedoping were shown to occur through mixed anion and cation transport. Controlling the fixed anionic (PSS-) charge density in crys-PEDOT:PSS mapped the strength of Donnan exclusion in OMIEC systems following a Donnan-Gibbs model. Anion transport dominated pg2T-TT doping and dedoping, but a surprising degree of anionic charge trapping (∼1020 cm-3) was observed. GISAXS revealed minimal ion segregation both between PEDOT- and PSS-rich domains in EG/GOPS-PEDOT:PSS and between amorphous and semicrystalline domains in pg2T-TT but showed significant ion segregation in crys-PEDOT:PSS at length scales of tens of nm, ascribed to inter-nanofibril void space. These results bring new clarity to the ionic composition and distribution of OMIECs which are crucial for accurately connecting the structure and properties of these materials.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)