Paul Baek1, Lenny Voorhaar1, Min Wang1, Andrew Nelson2, David Barker1, Jadranka Travas-Sejdic*1


1Polymer Electronics Research Centre
The University of Auckland
Auckland, New Zealand
2Australian Nuclear Science and Technology
NSW, Australia


Electrically conducting polymers (CPs) display unique optoelectronic properties which makes them excellent alternatives to traditional conductors and semiconductors. Despite the many attractive properties of CPs, the poor solubility of CPs makes them difficult to process and has limited their use. These drawbacks can be overcome by functionalization of CPs with various moieties. An extension of that approach is grafting of the CP backbone with polymeric sidechains which enables modification of optoelectronic, chemophysical, and mechanical properties of the CPs, as well as the possibility for further functionalisation.1

We have previously demonstrated the synthesis and characterization of variously functionalized conducting polymers with a range of grafted polymeric sidechains for biological applications; for example, grafting of poly(ethylene glycol methyl methacrylate), poly(acrylic acid) and poly(n-butyl acrylate) from either a conducting polymer film’s surface or the CP macroinitiators in solution.2-4 These materials have shown promise as smart biointerfaces as they are responsive to various stimuli, such as electrochemical, pH, thermal, and salt concentration. In this presentation, we will discuss recent developments in that class of materials, where we extend the principle of grafting CPs to realize intrinsically stretchable and self-healing grafted conducting polymers. The physical, mechanical, and electrochemical properties of these new materials will be presented, and their potential uses in stretchable electronics will be discussed.



  1. Strover, Lisa T., Jenny Malmström, and Jadranka Travas‐Sejdic. The Chemical Record 2016, 16.1, 393-418. Graft Copolymers with Conducting Polymer Backbones: A Versatile Route to Functional Materials.
  2. Hackett, Alissa J., et al. Journal of Materials Chemistry B 2015, 3.48, 9285-9294. Conductive surfaces with dynamic switching in response to temperature and salt.
  3. Baek, Paul, et al. European Polymer Journal 2016, 84, 355-365. Highly processable, rubbery poly(n-butyl acrylate) grafted poly(phenylene vinylene)s
  4. Chan, Eddie Wai Chi, et al. Polymer Chemistry 2015, 6.43, 7618-7629. Highly functionalisable polythiophene phenylenes.


Biographic Details

Professor Jadranka Travas-Sejdic

Polymer Electronics Research Centre (PERC), University of Auckland, New Zealand