A couple of totally reversible redox-active molecules, which are different in redox potentials, 2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidin-1-oxyl (TEMPO) and viologen (V2+), were employed to give rise to a rectified redox conduction effect. Single-layer and bilayer devices were fabricated using polymers containing these sites as pendant groups per repeating unit. The devices were obtained by sandwiching the redox polymer layer(s) with indium tin oxide (ITO)/glass and Pt foil electrodes. Electrochemical measurements of the single-layer device composed of polynorbornene-bearing TEMPO (PTNB) exhibited a diffusion-limited current-voltage response based on the TEMPO+/TEMPO exchange reaction, which was almost equivalent to a redox gradient through the PTNB layer depending upon the thickness. The bilayer device gave rise to the current rectification because of the thermodynamically favored cross-reaction between TEMPO+ and V+ at the polymer/polymer interface. A current-voltage response obtained for the bilayer device demonstrated a two-step diffusion-limited current behavior as a result of the concurrent V 2+/V+ and V+/V0 exchange reactions according to the voltage and suggested that the charge transport process through the device was most likely to be rate-determined by a redox gradient in the polymer layer. Current collection experiments revealed a charge transport balance throughout the device, as a result of the electrochemical stability and robustness of the polymers in both redox states.
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