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Low-Temperature Cross-Linking of PEDOT:PSS Films Using Divinylsulfone

Mantione, Daniele, del Agua, Isabel, Schaafsma, Wandert, ElMahmoudy, Mohammed, Uguz, Ilke, Sanchez-Sanchez, Ana, Sardon, Haritz, Castro, Begoña, Malliaras, George G., Mecerreyes, David
ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 2017 v.9 no.21 pp. 18254-18262
ambient temperature, cell culture, crosslinking, delamination, electrical conductivity, electrochemistry, films (materials), heat treatment, models, polymers
Recent interest in bioelectronics has prompted the exploration of properties of conducting polymer films at the interface with biological milieus. Poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) doped with poly(styrenesulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS) from a commercially available source has been used as a model system for these studies. Different cross-linking schemes have been used to stabilize films of this material against delamination and redispersion, but the cost is a decrease in the electrical conductivity and/or additional heat treatment. Here we introduce divinylsulfone (DVS) as a new cross-linker for PEDOT:PSS. Thanks to the higher reactiveness of the vinyl groups of DVS, the cross-linking can be performed at room temperature. In addition, DVS does not reduce electronic conductivity of PEDOT:PSS but rather increases it by acting as a secondary dopant. Cell culture studies show that PEDOT:PSS:DVS films are cytocompatible and support neuroregeneration. As an example, we showed that this material improved the transconductance value and stability of an organic electrochemical transistor (OECT) device. These results open the way for the utilization of DVS as an effective cross-linker for PEDOT:PSS in bioelectronics applications.