Conducting polymers, represented especially by polyaniline and polypyrrole, are organic semiconductors that display electronic and as the case may be ionic conductivity. They compose a class of materials with properties extending beyond the physics of electricity. The recent trends in the research of conducting polymers are oriented into several directions, and some of them are demonstrated by the papers constituting this topical issue.
The first goal is the understanding of polymer synthesis (Falletta et al. 2021; Kurisu et al. 2021) aimed at the enhancement of conductivity (Alesary et al. 2021), improvement of stability (Smirnov et al. 2021) and the control of morphology at nanoscale (Li et al. 2021; Zaghlol et al. 2021). In addition to polyaniline and polypyrrole, conjugated polymers such as polythiophene derivatives (Ichikawa and Goto 2021) and poly(p-phenylene vinylene) (Banerjee and Dutta, 2021) have also become of interest. Conducting polymers serve also as substrates for the preparation of derived materials, such as nitrogen-containing carbons (Milakin et al. 2021).
Conducting polymers are usually obtained in intractable form of insoluble powders. In order to meet the materials properties required by applications, the conducting polymers are deposited on substrates providing the desired structure and mechanical parameters. The preparation of conducting sponges (Stejskal et al. 2021) or surface-modified inorganic oxides (Falletta et al. 2021; Cogal et al. 2021) serves as examples.
Conducting polymers are not just conducting, and many applications do not exploit the conductivity. These include their electrochemistry applied in sensors (Cogal et al. 2021) or battery electrodes (Kondratiev and Holze 2021), pollutant adsorption in environmental issues (Mahmud et al. 2021; Stejskal et al. 2021; Zaghlol et al. 2021) or polarizability in electro-responsive suspensions (Dong et al. 2021). The list can be extended by electrocatalysis and photocatalysis, electromagnetic radiation shielding, antibacterial performance, stimuli responsivity, flame retardation, and other uses. Conducting polymers are thus exciting objects of present and future research.
Alesary HF, Ismail HK, Mohammed MQ, Mohammed HN, Abbas ZK, Barton S (2021) A comparative study of the effect of organic dopant ions on the electrochemical and chemical synthesis of the conducting polymers polyaniline, poly(o-toluidine) and poly(o-methoxyaniline). Chem Pap 75. Early access. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11696-021-01477-8
Banerjee J, Dutta K (2021) A short overview on the synthesis, properties and major applications of poly(p-phenylene vinylene). Chem Pap 75. Early access. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11696-021-01492-9
Cogal S, Celik Cogal G, Uygun Oksuz A (2021) Plasma-assisted synthesis of MnO2–polyaniline composite for electrochemical sensing of dopamine. Chem Pap 75. Early access. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11696-021-01596-w
Dong YZ, Kim HM, Choi, HJ (2021) Conducting polymer-based electro-responsive smart suspensions. Chem Pap 75: Early access. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11696-021-01550-w
Falletta E, Ferretti AM, Mondini S, Evangelisti C, Capetti E, Olivetti ES, Martino L, Beatrice C, Soares G, Pasquale M, Della Pina C, Ponti A. Size-dependent catalytic effect of magnetite nanoparticles in the synthesis of tunable magnetic polyaniline nanocomposites. Chem Pap 75. Early access. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11696-021-01604-z
Ichikawa M, Goto H (2021) A new synthetic route for the production of a thiophene-based methine-bridged type conjugated polymer. Chem Pap 75. Early access. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11696-021-01536-8
Kondratiev VV, Holze R (2021) Intrinsically conducting polymers and their combinations with redox-active molecules for rechargeable battery electrodes: an update. Chem Pap 75. Early access. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11696-021-01529-7
Kurisu M, Kissner R, Imai M, Walde P (2021) Application of an enzymatic cascade reaction for the synthesis of the emeraldine salt form of polyaniline. Chem Pap 75. Early access. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11696-021-01620-z
Li Y, Wang YP, Liu XQ, Wang S, Jing XL (2021) Facilely prepared conductive hydrogels based on polypyrrole nanotubes. Chem Pap 75. Early access. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11696-021-01559-1.
Mahmud HNME, Kamal SJ, Mohamad N, Sharma AK, Saharan P, Santos JH, Zakaria SNA (2021) Nanoconducting polymer: an effective adsorbent for dyes. Chem Pap 75. Early access. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11696-021-01665-0
Milakin KA, Acharya U, Hromadková J, Trchová M, Stejskal J, Bober P (2021) Nitrogen-containing carbon enriched with tungsten atoms prepared by carbonization of polyaniline. Chem Pap 75. Early access. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11696-021-01582-2
Smirnov MA, Vorobiov VK, Kasatkin IA, Vlasova EN, Sokolova MP, Bobrova NV (2021) Long-term electrochemical stability of polyaniline- and polypyrrole-based hydrogels. Chem Pap 75. Early access. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11696-021-01519-9
Stejskal J, Sapurina I, Vilčáková J, Humpolíček P, Truong TH, Shishov MA, Trchová M, Kopecký D, Kolská Z, Prokeš J, Křivka I (2021) Conducting polypyrrole coated macroporous melamine sponges: a simple toy or an advanced material? Chem Pap 75. Early Access. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11696-021-01776-8
Zaghlol S, Ayad M, Stejskal J (2021) Conducting polyaniline nanotubes with silver nanoparticles in the separation of thiocyanate from aqueous media. Chem Pap 75. Early access. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11696-021-01396-8
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Stejskal, J., Bober, P. Progress in research and applications of conducting polymers: topical issue. Chem. Pap. 75, 4979–4980 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11696-021-01792-8