Well-defined multi-armed P3HT star polymers with a gold nanoparticle (NP) core were synthesized by an arm-first method based on a ligand exchange reaction between linear end-functionalized P3HT (P3HT-SH) and gold NPs. A high loading amount of gold NPs to P3HT-SH with a relatively lower molecular weight gave a higher yield of star polymers (∼70%) with a high molecular weight (Mw = 2867k, PDI = 2.1), and the number of P3HT arm chains on one gold NP was 119. The P3HT star polymer with a gold NP core was well-dispersed both in solution and in solid, which was interestingly not crystalline because of the unique 3-dimenstional structure. In addition, surface plasmon resonance (SPR) absorption from the gold NP, as the core of the star polymer, was more enhanced both in solution and in solid, in comparison to those with non end-functionalized P3HT arm chains (P3HT-allyl); however, PL emission was more diminished because of the molecularly contacted P3HT arm chain and gold NP core. This was then introduced in an active layer consisting of P3HT:PCBM in an organic solar cell to increase optical absorption by the SPR effect from the gold NP, however, the device efficiency was rather decreased compared to that of the reference device without gold NPs, which was probably due to direct electron transfer between the gold NP and P3HT.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Chemical Engineering(all)