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Structural, Optical, and Electronic Properties of a Series of 3,4-Propylenedioxythiophene Oligomers in Neutral and Various Oxidation States

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posted on 27.07.2011, 00:00 by Chuanwen Lin, Takanori Endo, Masayoshi Takase, Masahiko Iyoda, Tohru Nishinaga
A series of 3,4-propylenedioxythiophene (ProDOT) oligomers (nPHex) with dihexyl side chains and methylthio end-capping units was synthesized as a model of poly(3,4-alkylenedioxythiophene)s. The slope of the linear relationship between the energy of the absorption maxima of nPHex in the neutral states and the reciprocal of the number of monomer units (1/n) was found to be comparable to that of 3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene (EDOT) oligomers, suggesting that both the ProDOT and the EDOT oligomers have a similar effective conjugation. In cyclic voltammetry measurements, both the first and second oxidation waves and the third and fourth waves were shown to merge into one peak with increasing chain length. The stepwise chemical oxidations of nPHex with SbCl5 in CH2Cl2 at room temperature gave their stable cationic species in various oxidation states, and it was found that only the radical cations (polarons) have an obvious absorption band in the visible region. Interestingly, when the absorption spectra of tetramer radical cation 4PHex were measured at low temperatures, reversible disproportionation into dication 4PHex2+ and neutral species 4PHex was observed in addition to π-dimer formation. Furthermore, the radical cations of the longer oligomers showed only the disproportionation reaction. From the comparisons of the results of experiments and the theoretical calculations of the dications, 6PHex2+ was found to have a closed-shell nature, and only a weak singlet biradical character appeared even in longer oligomers 10PHex2+ and 12PHex2+. Overall, the electron-donating dioxy substituents are considered to stabilize high p-doping levels with closed-shell dication (bipolaron) structures in poly(3,4-alkylenedioxythiophene)s, which enables the transparency properties of the polymers.