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Three-Dimensional Flexible All-Organic Conductors for Multifunctional Wearable Applications

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posted on 25.10.2017, 00:00 by In Kyu Moon, Seonno Yoon, Hee Uk Lee, Seung Wook Kim, Jungwoo Oh
Wearable textile electrodes based on π-conjugated polymers are appealing alternatives to carbon fabrics, conductive yarns, or metal wires because of their design flexibility, low cost, flexibility, and high throughput. This provides the benefits of both electronics and textiles. Herein, a general and new method has been developed to produce tailorable, wearable energy devices that are based on three-dimensional (3D) poly­(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT)-coated textile conductors. To obtain the desired electrode materials, both facile solution-dropping polymerization methods are used to fabricate a 3D flexible PEDOT conductor on a cotton textile (PEDOT/textile). PEDOT/textile shows a very low sheet resistance of 4.6–4.9 Ω·sq–1. Here, we employ the example of this 3D network-like structure and the excellent electrical conductivities under the large deformation of PEDOT/textiles to show that wearable and portable heaters have immense potential. A flexible textile heater with a large area (8 × 7.8 cm2) reached a saturation temperature of ∼83.9 °C when a bias of 7 V was applied for ∼70 s due to the good electrical conductivity of PEDOT. To demonstrate the performance of all-solid-state supercapacitors, nano-ascidian-like PEDOT (PEDOT-NA) arrays were prepared via a simple vapor-phase polymerization of 3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene on PEDOT/textile to increase both the surface area and the number of ion diffusion paths. The PEDOT-NA arrays on PEDOT/textile showed outstanding performance with an areal capacitance of 563.3 mF·cm–2 at 0.4 mA·cm–2 and extraordinary mechanical flexibility. The maximum volumetric power density and energy density of the nanostructured PEDOT on the textile were 1.75 W·cm–3 and 0.0812 Wh·cm–3, respectively. It is expected that the wearable nanostructured conducting polymers will have advantages when used as structures for smart textronics and energy conversion/storage.

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