Drastic Improvement of Air Stability in an n-Type Doped Naphthalene-Diimide Polymer by Thionation

Diego Nava, Younghun Shin, Matteo Massetti, Xuechen Jiao, Till Biskup, Madan S. Jagadeesh, Alberto Calloni, Lamberto Duò, Guglielmo Lanzani, Christopher R. McNeill, Michael Sommer, Mario Caironi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Organic thermoelectrics are attractive for the fabrication of flexible and cost-effective thermoelectric generators (TEGs) for waste heat recovery, in particular by exploiting large-area printing of polymer conductors. Efficient TEGs require both p- and n-type conductors: so far, the air instability of polymer n-type conductors, which typically lose orders of magnitude in electrical conductivity (σ) even for short exposure time to air, has impeded processing under ambient conditions. Here we tackle this problem in a relevant class of electron transporting, naphthalene-diimide copolymers, by substituting the imide oxygen with sulfur. n-type doping of the thionated copolymer gives rise to a higher σ with respect to the non-thionated one, and most importantly, owing to a reduced energy level of the lowest-unoccupied molecular orbital, σ is substantially stable over 16 h of air exposure. This result highlights the effectiveness of chemical tuning to improve air stability of n-type solution-processable polymer conductors and shows a path toward ambient large-area manufacturing of efficient polymer TEGs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4626-4634
Number of pages9
JournalACS Applied Energy Materials
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sep 2018


  • air stability
  • conjugated polymers
  • n-type doping
  • organic thermoelectrics
  • polymer conductors

Cite this