Quasi-one dimensional in-plane conductivity in filamentary films of PEDOT:PSS

Kevin Van De Ruit, Racheli Itzhak Cohen, Dirk Bollen, Ton Van Mol, Rachel Yerushalmi-Rozen, René A.J. Janssen, Martijn Kemerink

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The mechanism and magnitude of the in-plane conductivity of poly(3,4-ethy-lenedioxythiophene):poly(styrenesulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS) thin films is determined using temperature dependent conductivity measurements for various PEDOT:PSS weight ratios with and without a high boiling solvent (HBS). Without the HBS the in-plane conductivity of PEDOT:PSS is lower and for all studied weight ratios well described by the relation σ = σexp-(T0T) 0.5] with T0 a characteristic temperature. The exponent 0.5 indicates quasi-one dimensional (quasi-1D) variable range hopping (VRH). The conductivity prefactor σ0 varies over three orders of magnitudes and follows a power law σ0a∝c 3.5PEDOT with cPEDOT the weight fraction of PEDOT in PEDOT:PSS. The field dependent conductivity is consistent with quasi-1D VRH. Combined, these observations suggest that conductance takes place via a percolating network of quasi-1D filaments. Using transmission electron microscopy (TEM) filamentary structures are observed in vitrified dispersions and dried films. For PEDOT:PSS films with HBS, the conductivity also exhibits quasi-1D VRH behavior when the temperature is less than 200 K. The low characteristic temperature T0 indicates that HBS-treated films are close to the critical regime between a metal and an insulator. In this case, the conductivity prefactor scales linearly with cPEDOT, indicating the conduction is no longer limited by a percolation of filaments. The lack of observable changes in TEM upon processing with the HBS suggests that the changes in conductivity are due to a smaller spread in the conductivities of individual filaments, or a higher probability for neighboring filaments to be connected rather than being caused by major morphological modification of the material. In-plane conductivity in PEDOT:PSS takes place via filaments. This conclusion is based on charge transport measurements that indicate quasi-one dimensional variable range hopping and is supported by transmission electron microscopy. At higher PEDOT to PSS ratios the number of connected filaments drastically increases, causing an orders of magnitude increase in conductivity, in good agreement with percolation theory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5778-5786
Number of pages9
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number46
StatePublished - 10 Dec 2013


  • charge transport
  • conducting polymers
  • organic electronics

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Electrochemistry
  • Biomaterials


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