ConspectusSince the discovery of high conductivity in iodine-doped polyacetylene, many interesting conducting polymers have been developed. Of these, polythiophenes have been most studied as electronic materials, with poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT) and the water-soluble PEDOT-PSS being the most successful commercially used conducting polymers.The polyselenophene family together with poly(3,4-ethylenedioxyselenophene) (PEDOS) and its derivatives have been shown to have slightly different properties compared to these of polythiophene and PEDOT because of their different electron donating characters, aromaticities (selenophene vs thiophene), oxidation potentials, electronegativities, and polarizabilities (Se vs S). As a result, the polyselenophenes, especially PEDOS and its derivatives, show a lower band gap and higher-lying highest occupied molecular orbital (HOMO) levels compared with those of thiophene and the PEDOT family.In an organic materials context, the PEDOS family offers some advantages over PEDOT derivatives. This Account draws on computational studies, synthetic methods, electrochemical polymerizations, chemical polymerizations, and the materials properties of PEDOS and its derivatives to demonstrate the importance of these novel materials, which lie at the frontier of conducting polymer research. In particular, we show that (i) PEDOS derivatives have a lower band gap (about 0.2 eV) than the corresponding PEDOT derivatives. Consequently, PEDOS derivatives can absorb the solar spectrum more efficiently compared to PEDOT derivatives and the properties of optoelectronic devices based on neutral and doped PEDOS should be somewhat different from these of PEDOT. (ii) EDOS derivatives have a greater tendency to undergo electrochemical polymerization compared to EDOT derivatives and offer stable and smooth polymer films. (iii) The PEDOS backbone is more rigid than the PEDOT backbone. (iv) PEDOS derivatives are excellent electrochromic materials with high transparency, and have higher contrast ratio and coloration efficiency. (v) The PEDOS/C electrode offers better control over the formation and size of nanoparticles through Se···Pt interactions compared with the PEDOT/C electrode.In addition to this, we summarize the synthesis, electrochemical polymerization, materials properties, and computational studies of fused polyselenophene analogues, namely, poly(cyclopenta[c]selenophene), and a series of low band gap thieno- or selenolo-fused polyselenophenes and selenolo-fused polythiophene. Additionally, we discuss oxidative and solid state polymerization to obtain conducting PEDOS, and its derivatives, and made throughout comparison with S-analogue where applicable. We found that EDOS-based derivatives have a greater tendency toward solid state polymerization and working at a temperature about 20 °C lower than that required for EDOT-based compounds.Our results demonstrate the utility of EDOS unit for generating promising materials PEDOS and its derivatives for electronic devices. Consequently, EDOS structure is the basis for many functionalized polymers and copolymers with tunable optoelectronic and redox properties. These interesting properties, which include high conductivity, lower band gap, rigidity, multicolor electrochromism, and rapid redox switching, allow them to be used in a variety of electronic applications.
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