Synthesis and characterization of anionic poly(cyclopentadienylene vinylene) and its use in conductive hydrogels.

The use of π‐conjugated polymers (CPs) in conductive hydrogels remains challenging due to the water‐insoluble nature of most CPs. Conjugated polyelectrolytes (CPEs) are promising alternatives because they have tunable electronic properties and high water‐solubility, but they are often difficult to synthesize and thus have not been widely adopted. Herein, we report the synthesis of an anionic poly(cyclopentadienylene vinylene) (aPCPV) from an insulating precursor under mild conditions and in high yield. Functionalized aPCPV is a highly water‐soluble CPE that exhibits low cytotoxicity, and we found that doping hydrogels with aPCPV imparts conductivity. We also anticipate that this precursor synthetic strategy, due to its ease and high efficiency, will be widely used to create families of not‐yet‐explored π‐conjugated vinylene polymers.

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