Soluble conducting alkyl polypyrrole polymers have been applied by either chemical polymerization of the 3-alkyl monomers or direct application of polymer emulsion to the surface. Solution, vapor and spray polymerization methods of coating poly(3-alkylpyrroles) to the surface of woven wool fabrics are explored. Conductive textile samples have also been prepared by applying emulsions of soluble prepolymerized 3-alkylpyrrole to the fabric surface. Direct applications of a conductive paint to the textile surface eliminate the exposure of the substrate to damaging oxidizing agents which allow the coating of more sensitive and delicate substrates. All textiles produced are tested for abrasion resistance and conductivity. For alkyl polypyrrole coated fabrics, the optimum carbon chain lengths are between n=10 and n=14, which result in optimum values of conductivity and solubility. The darkness of the tone is inversely related to the surface resistivity of the resulting conductive fabric. Therefore, deep black coatings have low resistivity whereas light gray coatings on a white fabric surface have higher surface resistivity. Longer alkyl chains result in higher surface resistivity in fabrics. The conductive coating of poly(3-decanylpyrrole) on the textile surface has a better abrasion resistance compared to that of an unsubstituted polypyrrole coating.
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