This study was aimed at enhancing the mechanical properties of poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene)/poly(styrene sulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS) using wood microfibers. Ultra fine friction grinding was conducted on wood particles to reduce their size to the micron scale and to induce fibrillation. Oxidative polymerization was performed on 3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene (EDOT) monomer at seven dosages based on the content of microfibers in the formulation. The presence of PEDOT:PSS in the prepared films was verified by infrared spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy. The composite films became stronger and stiffer as the fiber content increased. An EDOT:microfibers ratio of 33 wt % was considered the best among the seven tested levels, judging from their low sheet resistivity (340 Ω/sq.) and favorable tensile properties (38 MPa strength and 4.8 GPa stiffness). The selected films were also tested for their resistance to solvents to obtain information about their potential use in different environments. Among the tested solvents, sodium hydroxide greatly decreased the film conductivity. It also had the harshest effect on reducing the weight of the film. Findings from this study demonstrate the successful use of wood microfibers alternative to synthetic substrates and cellulose nanofiber as a supportive and reinforcing material for electrically conductive polymers.
- cellulose and other wood products
- conducting polymers
- mechanical properties
- solvent resistance