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Improving the Charge Conductance of Elemental Sulfur via Tandem Inverse Vulcanization and Electropolymerization

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journal contribution
posted on 2015-01-20, 00:00 authored by Philip T. Dirlam, Adam G. Simmonds, R. Clayton Shallcross, Kyle J. Arrington, Woo Jin Chung, Jared J. Griebel, Lawrence J. Hill, Richard S. Glass, Kookheon Char, Jeffrey Pyun
The synthesis of polymeric materials using elemental sulfur (S8) as the chemical feedstock has recently been developed using a process termed inverse vulcanization. The preparation of chemically stable sulfur copolymers was previously prepared by the inverse vulcanization of S8 and 1,3-diisopropenylbenzene (DIB); however, the development of synthetic methods to introduce new chemical functionality into this novel class of polymers remains an important challenge. In this report the introduction of polythiophene segments into poly­(sulfur-random-1,3-diisopropenylbenzene) is achieved by the inverse vulcanization of S8 with a styrenic functional 3,4-propylenedioxythiophene (ProDOT-Sty) and DIB, followed by electropolymerization of ProDOT side chains. This methodology demonstrates for the first time a facile approach to introduce new functionality into sulfur and high sulfur content polymers, while specifically enhancing the charge conductivity of these intrinsically highly resistive materials.