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Influence of the film thickness and morphology on the colorimetric properties of spray-coated electrochromic disubstituted 3,4-propylenedioxythiophene polymers
journal contributionposted on 11.01.2013, 10:16 by Roger J. Mortimer, Kenneth R. Graham, Christophe R.G. Grenier, John R. Reynolds
Variation of the colorimetric properties as a function of the film thickness and morphology has been investigated for two spray-coated electrochromic disubstituted 3,4-propylenedioxythiophene polymers. Changes in the luminance, hue, and saturation have been tracked using CIE 1931 Lxy chromaticity coordinates, with CIELAB 1976 color space coordinates, L*, a*, and b*, being used to quantify the colors. For (precycled) neutral PProDOT-(Hx)2 films, with an increase in the thickness, L* is seen to decrease, with a* and b* coordinates moving in positive and negative directions, respectively, with quantification of the pink/purple (magenta) color as the summation of red and blue. For all thicknesses, L* is comparable, pre- and postcycling, with a* decreasing (less red) and b* becoming more negative (more blue) and the film now appearing as purple in the neutral state. Color coordinates for the reverse (reduction) direction exhibited hysteresis in comparison with the initial oxidation, with the specific choice of perceived color values depending not only on the film thickness but also on both the potential applied and from which direction the potential is changed. Neutral PProDOT-(2-MeBu)2 films appear blue/purple to the eye both as-deposited and after potential cycling to the transparent oxidized state. For the neutral, colored state, with an increase in the thickness, L* is seen to decrease, with a* and b* coordinates moving in positive and negative directions, respectively. For PProDOT-(2-MeBu)2 films, the a* coordinates are lower positive values and the b* coordinates are higher negative values, thus quantifying the high dominance of the blue color in the blue/purple films compared to the pink/purple PProDOT-(Hx)2 films. As for the PProDOT-(Hx)2 films, the tracks of the color coordinates show that the specific choice of perceived color values depends on the film thickness. Unlike the PProDOT-(Hx)2 films, hysteresis is absent in the oxidation/reduction track of the x−y coordinates for the PProDOT-(2-MeBu)2 films, although slight hysteresis is present in the luminance. Characterization of the film morphologies through atomic force microscopy reveals a much rougher, higher surface area morphology for the PProDOT-(2-MeBu)2 films versus the PProDOT-(Hx)2 films. The branched repeat unit in the PProDOT-(2-MeBu)2 films provides a structure that allows ions to ingress/egress more effectively, thus removing hysteresis from the optical response.