A high-conductivity n-type polymeric ink for printed electronics

Chi Yuan Yang, Marc Antoine Stoeckel, Tero Petri Ruoko, Han Yan Wu, Xianjie Liu, Nagesh B. Kolhe, Ziang Wu, Yuttapoom Puttisong, Chiara Musumeci, Matteo Massetti, Hengda Sun, Kai Xu, Deyu Tu, Weimin M. Chen, Han Young Woo, Mats Fahlman, Samson A. Jenekhe, Magnus Berggren, Simone Fabiano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

106 Citations (Scopus)


Conducting polymers, such as the p-doped poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):poly(styrene sulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS), have enabled the development of an array of opto- and bio-electronics devices. However, to make these technologies truly pervasive, stable and easily processable, n-doped conducting polymers are also needed. Despite major efforts, no n-type equivalents to the benchmark PEDOT:PSS exist to date. Here, we report on the development of poly(benzimidazobenzophenanthroline):poly(ethyleneimine) (BBL:PEI) as an ethanol-based n-type conductive ink. BBL:PEI thin films yield an n-type electrical conductivity reaching 8 S cm−1, along with excellent thermal, ambient, and solvent stability. This printable n-type mixed ion-electron conductor has several technological implications for realizing high-performance organic electronic devices, as demonstrated for organic thermoelectric generators with record high power output and n-type organic electrochemical transistors with a unique depletion mode of operation. BBL:PEI inks hold promise for the development of next-generation bioelectronics and wearable devices, in particular targeting novel functionality, efficiency, and power performance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2354
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Dec 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Duyen K. Tran (U. Washington) for helpful discussion and Qilun Zhang (Linköping U.) for assistance with the dynamic light scattering measurements. This work was financially supported by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg foundation, the Swedish Research Council (2016-03979 and 2020-03243), ÅForsk (18-313 and 19-310), Olle Engkvists Stiftelse (204-0256), VINNOVA (2020-05223), and the Swedish Government Strategic Research Area in Materials Science on Functional Materials at Linköping University (Faculty Grant SFO-Mat-LiU 2009-00971). H.Y. Woo acknowledges the financial support from the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF2020M3H4A3081814 and 2019R1A6A1A11044070). Work at the University of Washington was supported by the National Science Foundation (DMR-2003518).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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