Chemical vapor deposition synthesis of tunable unsubstituted polythiophene

Siamak Nejati, Kenneth K.S. Lau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Despite having exceptional electroactive properties, applications of unsubstituted polythiophene (PTh) have been limited due to its insolubility. To overcome this challenge, we have employed oxidative chemical vapor deposition (oCVD) as a unique liquid-free technique to enable the oxidative polymerization of PTh using thiophene as the starting monomer and vanadium oxytrichloride as an effective vaporizable oxidant initiator. Vibrational and phototelectron spectroscopy indicated the formation of unsubstituted polythiophene. Cyclic voltammetry revealed its electrochromic behavior in solution. Significantly, polymer conjugation length and electrical conductivity can be tuned by controlling oCVD process variables. Polymerization is found to be adsorption-limited, so by providing sufficient monomer and limiting the amount of initiator at the growth surface, PTh is believed to be formed through α-α thiophene linkages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15223-15229
Number of pages7
Issue number24
StatePublished - Dec 20 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry


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