Organic charge transfer cocrystals as additives for dissipation of contact charges on polymers

Date
2022-12-06
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Source Title
ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Print ISSN
19448244
Electronic ISSN
1944-8252
Publisher
American Chemical Society
Volume
14
Issue
50
Pages
56018 - 56026
Language
English
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Abstract

Common polymers can accumulate surface charges through contact, a phenomenon known since ancient times. This charge accumulation can have detrimental consequences in industry. It causes accidents and yields enormous economic losses. Many empirical methods have been developed to prevent the problems caused by charge accumulation. However, a general chemical approach is still missing in the literature since the charge accumulation and discharging mechanisms have not been completely clarified. The current practice to achieve charge mitigation is to increase materials conductivity by high doping of conductive additives. A recent study showed that using photoexcitation of some organic dyes, charge decay can be started remotely, and the minute amount of additive does not change the material's conductivity. Here, we show the contact charging and charge decay behavior of polydimethylsiloxane doped with a series of organic charge transfer cocrystals (CTC) of TCNQ acceptor and substituted pyrene donors (CTC-PDMS). The results show that the CTC-PDMS are antistatic, and the discharging propensity of the composites follows the calculated charge transfer degree of the complexes. On the other hand, the CTC-PDMS are still insulators, as shown by their high surface resistivities. Kelvin probe force microscopy images of the contact-charged and discharged samples show a quick potential decay in CTC domains upon illumination. Combined with the fast overall decay observed, the antistatic behavior in these insulators can be attributed to an electron transfer between the mechanoions in the polymer and the CTC frontier orbitals. We believe our results will help with the general understanding of the molecular mechanism of contact charging and discharging and help develop insulator antistatics.

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