Department of Chemistry and Institute of Materials Science
University of Connecticut
High-Throughput Screening for Color Tuning of Electrochromic Polymers
Electrochromic materials have been gaining in popularity in recent years due to their rapid response speeds, color variability, optical memory, and high contrast. Current commercial applications, such as electrochromic mirrors and smart windows, can be found in cars, airplanes such as the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, and buildings. Further commercialization of electrochromics into applications such as displays requires the ability to reproduce the entire visible spectrum. We envisioned a way to generate any color, similar to the paint industry, where the use of two or three dyes can generate any color for a specific application. By diffusing two 3,4-propylenedioxythiophene (ProDOT) electroactive monomer derivatives which each have single-wavelength absorptions, one low energy and one high energy, through each other in a solid-state gel electrolyte, a continuum of copolymers consisting of single-wavelengths spanning the entire visible spectrum was seen. Using the diffusion coefficient of the monomers, the feed ratio at any point can be determined to reproduce that color for a desired application. This approach is beneficial due to the fact that individual polymers do not have to be synthesized, greatly accelerating the color selection process for electrochromic devices and other color-oriented applications such as eyewear, displays, and organic photovoltaics.
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