Vapour phase polymerisation of pyrrole induced by iron(III) alkylbenzenesulfonate salt oxidising agents

Priya Subramanian, Noel B. Clark, Leone Spiccia*, Douglas R. MacFarlane, Bjorn Winther Jensen, Craig Forsyth

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


A series of iron(III) alkylbenzenesulfonate (ABS) salts were prepared by the reaction of ferric hydroxide, Fe(OH)3·xH2O, with a variety of aromatic sulfonic acids. The products were characterised by microanalysis and FTIR spectroscopy. The microanalysis data generated indicated that three of the salts were not mononuclear iron(III) compounds and were of the formula [(OH2)5Fe-O-Fe(OH2)5][C2H5C6H4SO3]4, [(OH2)5Fe-O-Fe(OH2)5][CH3C6H4SO3]4·2H2O and [(OH2)5Fe-O-Fe(OH2)5][CH3C6H4SO3]4. Some degree of condensation or cross-linking of Fe(III) centres into hydrolytic oligomers had occurred. The X-ray crystal structure of the Fe(III) toluenesulfonate salt established the formula of an oxo-centred, binuclear complex [(H2O)5Fe(μ-O)Fe(OH2)5]4+. Vapour phase polymerisation (VPP) of pyrrole monomer was carried out using iron(III) benzenesulfonate, p-ethylbenzenesulfonate, dodecylbenzenesulfonate and p-toluenesulfonate. As the chain length of the Fe(III) alkylbenzenesulfonates increased it was found that the film forming ability of the polypyrrole was enhanced, probably as a result of a decrease in polymer chain interaction resulting from increased free volume between polymer chains. Variations in the conductivity of the polypyrrole films was observed when Fe(III) p-toluenesulfonate salts obtained from different sources (two commercial samples and one synthesised in our laboratories) were used as the oxidant. Films deposited using these oxidants generally exhibited higher conductivity than those formed using the Fe(III) p-ethylbenzenesulfonate and Fe(III) p-dodecylbenzenesulfonate salts. Crown

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)704-711
Number of pages8
JournalSynthetic Metals
Issue number17-18
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Oct
Externally publishedYes


  • Bulk polymerisation
  • Conducting polymers
  • Iron(III) alkylbenzenesulfonates
  • Polypyrrole
  • Vapour phase polymerisation
  • X-ray crystallography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics


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