Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 54, Issue 8, pp 6393–6400 | Cite as

Structural evolution and electrical properties of metal ion-containing polydopamine

  • Haoqi Li
  • Tim Marshall
  • Yaroslav V. Aulin
  • Akila C. Thenuwara
  • Yao Zhao
  • Eric Borguet
  • Daniel R. Strongin
  • Fei RenEmail author
Electronic materials


Polydopamine (PDA) is a biopolymer that can be synthesized under mild conditions. Thermal annealing can convert PDA into a conductive phase, the so-called carbonized PDA (cPDA). This work studied the effect of three metal ions, i.e., Cu2+, Mg2+, and Na+, on the synthesis of PDA and its conversion to cPDA. Both Cu2+ and Mg2+ could interact with PDA, which in turn influenced (1) the growth of PDA thin film, (2) morphology change of PDA particles upon thermal annealing, and (3) the electrical properties of heat-treated thin films. In contrast, the presence of Na+ ion during the synthesis of PDA did not show any effect. In this study, the morphology of PDA thin films and powder particles was examined using SEM and TEM; their chemical compositions were studied by EDS and ICP-MS; the structure was investigated using electron diffraction and Raman spectroscopy; and the properties were evaluated with respect to the electrical conductivity and thermoelectric Seebeck coefficient. The results from this work provide a potential approach to control the structure and properties of PDA and cPDA materials through metal ion doping.



H.L. and F.R. acknowledge the financial support from Temple University faculty start-up fund. The SEM imaging was performed in the CoE-NIC facility at Temple University, which is based on DoD DURIP Award N0014-12-1-0777 from the Office of Naval Research and is sponsored by the College of Engineering. E.B., T.M., and Y.A. acknowledge support as part of the Center for the Computational Design of Functional Layered Materials, an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the US Department of Energy, Office of Science, Basic Energy Sciences under Award #DE-SC0012575.

Authors’ Contribution

H.L. prepared samples and conducted experiments including SEM, AFM, TEM, XRD, TGA, and electrical conductivity and Seebeck coefficient measurements. T.M., Y.V.A., and E.B. conducted the Raman spectroscopy measurements and data analyses. A.T. and D. S. conducted the XPS experiments and provided data analyses. Y.Z. had helped in the experiment on TEM and had intensive discussion with H. L. F.R. designed and guided the project. All authors have contributed to the manuscript revision.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no competing interests.

Supplementary material

10853_2019_3337_MOESM1_ESM.docx (1.3 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 1351 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringTemple UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Department of ChemistryTemple UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA

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