Doping of 2-Cl-PANI/PVC films by exposure to UV, γ-rays and e-beams
2-Chloro-polyaniline (2-Cl-PANI) is chemically prepared in its non-conducting (Emeraldine Base, EB) form and dissolved together with polyvinylchloride (PVC) in THF for casting into thin (10-50 μm) composite films. The electrical conductivity of these films increases by more than four orders of magnitude (from 10-6 to 10-2 S/cm) when they are exposed to UV, γ-rays and e-beams. This is attributed to the dehydrochlorination (loss of HCl) of PVC by exposure to energetic particles and subsequent doping of the 2-Cl-PANI (i.e., conversion to Emeraldine Salt, ES) by the in-situ-created HCl. The doped films can also be returned to their undoped form by further exposure to NH3 vapours. The UV (or other particles)-induced doping/NH3 undoping cycles can be repeated several times until almost total dehydrochlorination of the PVC matrix. UV-Vis-NIR, Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopic (XPS) techniques are employed to follow the changes in the composite films upon doping by exposure to these energetic particles.