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Conductive, Monodisperse Polyaniline Nanofibers of Controlled Length Using Well-Defined Cylindrical Block Copolymer Micelles as Templates

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Scott Watson, Dr Ben Horrocks, Professor Andrew HoultonORCiD


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Stable colloidal dispersions of polyaniline (PAni) nanofibers with controlled lengths from about 200nm-1.1m and narrow length distributions (L-w/L-n<1.04; L-w=weight average micelle length, L-n=number average micelle length) were prepared through the template-directed synthesis of PAni using monodisperse, solution-self-assembled, cylindrical, block copolymer micelles as nanoscale templates. These micelles were prepared through a crystallization-driven living self-assembly method from a poly(ferrocenyldimethylsilane)-b-poly(2-vinylpyridine) block copolymer (PFS25-b-P2VP(425)). This material was initially self-assembled in iPrOH to form cylindrical micelles with a crystalline PFS core and a P2VP corona and lengths of up to several micrometers. Sonication of this sample then yielded short cylinders with average lengths of 90nm and a broad length distribution (L-w/L-n=1.32). Cylindrical micelles of PFS25-b-P2VP(425) with controlled lengths and narrow length distributions (L-w/L-n<1.04) were subsequently prepared using thermal treatment at specific temperatures between 83.5 and 92.0 degrees C using a 1D self-seeding process. These samples were then employed in the template-directed synthesis of PAni nanofibers through a two-step procedure, where the micellar template was initially stabilised by deposition of an oligoaniline coating followed by addition of a polymeric acid dopant, resulting in PAni nanofibers in the emeraldine salt (ES) state. The ES-PAni nanofibers were shown to be conductive by scanning conductance microscopy, whereas the precursor PFS25-b-P2VP(425) micelle templates were found to be dielectric in character.

Publication metadata

Author(s): McGrath N, Patil AJ, Watson SMD, Horrocks BR, Faul CFJ, Houlton A, Winnik MA, Mann S, Manners I

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Chemistry - A European Journal

Year: 2013

Volume: 19

Issue: 39

Pages: 13030-13039

Print publication date: 23/09/2013

Online publication date: 09/08/2013

Acceptance date: 14/02/2013

ISSN (print): 0947-6539

ISSN (electronic): 1521-3765

Publisher: Wiley - VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA


DOI: 10.1002/chem.201300589


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Funder referenceFunder name
University of Bristol