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Microscopic understanding of the anisotropic conductivity of PEDOT:PSS thin films

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Author: Nardes, A.M. · Kemerink, M. · Janssen, R.A.J. · Bastiaansen, J.J.A.M. · Kiggen, N.M.M. · Langeveld, B.M.W. · Breemen, A.J.J.M. van · Kok, M.M. de
Institution: TNO Industrie en Techniek
Source:Advanced Materials, 9, 19, 1196-1200
Identifier: 239977
Keywords: Atomic force microscopy · Electric conductivity · Magnetic anisotropy · Scanning tunneling microscopy · Spin coating · Anisotropic conductivity · Polystyrenesulfonate · Thin films


The anisotropic conductivity of spin-coated poly(3,4- ethylenedioxythiophene):poly(styrenesulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS) thin films by temperature-dependent conductivity measurements, has been analyzed. A detailed 3D morphological model was derived from topographic scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) and cross-sectional atomic force microscopy (AFM) images, which correlated the anisotropy, both in conductivity magnitude and in the conduction mechanism. Spin coated films of PEDOT:PSS formed a reasonably homogenous material in terms of electrical conductivity. It was observed that the vertical conductivity that is perpendicular to the substrate, can be up to three orders of magnitude lower than the lateral conductivity in the plane of the film. The macroscopic in-plane conductivity was found to be completely isotropic, and the ordering was found to be confined to randomly oriented micrometer-size domains.