We investigated the enhanced vapor responses and altered response ratios of a series of thiophene (co)polymers with oxygenated side chains (CH2OH, linear polyethylene glycol, and crown ether), including the novel poly(3-hydroxymethylthiophene) (PTOH) and other newly synthesized polymers. Hydroxymethyl-containing copolymers had higher mobility compared to poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT). The larger crown ether moiety promotes transistor characteristics of P3HT while the smaller one impairs them. Incorporating different oxygen bearing functionalities increased responses of thiophene polymers to NO2, NH3, and acetone. For example a polyether side chain increases the NO2 response sensitivity of copolymers of both P3HT and PTOH, but sensitivity towards gas analytes was more prominent for glycol-based functionalities rather than the crown ethers. PTOH is very sensitive to NO2 and the response likely includes a contribution from conductive protons on the OH group. The lack of correlation among the rank-ordered gas sensitivities imparted by each functional group was found to be useful for designing a selective sensor array. We specifically showed high classification accuracy for all the polymer responses to NO2 and acetone vapors, both of which gave increased device currents but with response ratios different enough to allow highly classifying discriminant functions to be derived.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Chemistry