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ORGANIC ELECTROCHROMIC MATERIALS AND DEVICES: OPTICAL CONTRAST AND STABILITY CONSIDERATIONS
In an era of advancing printed electronics, solution-processable organic semiconductors continue to make significant strides in electronic and optoelectronic applications. Electrochromic (EC) technology, which encompass reversible optical modulation under electrochemical biasing, has progressed rapidly over the past half-century and developed into niche commercial-scale devices for auto-tinting glasses as well as low-power, non-emissive displays. To utilize the advantages of organic electrochromic materials in next-generation devices, it is imperative to understand their fundamental material properties, interactions with other device components, and the underlying electrochemistry that governs the overall optical and electrochemical response of the complete electrochromic device. This dissertation presents a discussion on the synergistic role of organic electrochromes, charge-balancing layers and electrolytes in determining two key performance metrics, namely the optical contrast and operational stability, of an electrochromic device (ECD). The absorption features of colored-to-transmissive switching conjugated polymers have been investigated by exploring material design strategies in conjunction with analytical approaches to optimize and enhance the optical contrast. In parallel, transmissive redox-active radical polymer counter electrodes have been developed as compatible charge-balancing layers and integrated into devices by pairing with electrochromic polymers (ECPs) to achieve stable and high-contrast optical modulation. Electrochemical activity of both conjugated and radical polymer electrodes in different ionic and solvent environments have been further examined to understand material-electrolyte interactions governing mixed ionic-electronic conduction. Finally, a small molecular approach to realizing transparent-to-colored electrochromism is discussed, where distinct substituent-induced degradation pathways of conjugated radical cations were revealed. Overall, this research aims to assist future development of robust, ultra-high contrast organic electrochromic platforms.
- Doctor of Philosophy
- West Lafayette