Creating opal-templated continuous conducting polymer films with ultralow percolation thresholds using thermally stable nanoparticles

Dong Jin Kang, Taegyun Kwon, Minsoo P. Kim, Chul Hee Cho, Hyunjung Jung, Joona Bang, Bumjoon J. Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We propose a novel and robust strategy for creating continuous conducting polymer films with ultralow percolation thresholds using polymer-coated gold nanoparticles (Au NPs) as surfactant. Continuous poly(triphenylamine) (PTPA) films of high internal phase polymeric emulsions were fabricated using an assembly of cross-linked polystyrene (PS) colloidal particles as template. Polymer-coated Au NPs were designed to be thermally stable even above 200 °C and neutral to both the PS and PTPA phases. Therefore, the Au NPs localize at the PS/PTPA interface and function as surfactant to efficiently produce a continuous conducting PTPA polymer film with very low percolation thresholds. The volume fraction threshold for percolation of the PTPA phase with insulating PS colloids (as measured by electron microscopy and conductivity measurements) was found to be 0.20. In contrast, with the addition of an extremely low volume fraction (p = 0.35 vol %) of surfactant Au NPs, the volume fraction threshold for percolation of the PTPA phase was dramatically reduced to 0.05. The SEM and TEM measurements clearly demonstrated the formation of a continuous PTPA phase within the polyhedral phase of PS colloids. To elucidate the influence of the nanoparticle surfactant on the blend films, the morphology and conductivity of the blends at different PS colloid/PTPA volume ratios were carefully characterized as a function of the Au NP concentration. Our approach provides a methodology for a variety of applications that require a continuous phase for the transport of molecular species, ions, or electrons at low concentrations and a second phase for mechanical support or the conduction of a separate species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9017-9027
Number of pages11
JournalACS nano
Volume5
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Nov 22

Keywords

  • compatibilizer
  • conducting film
  • conducting polymer
  • polymer-coated nanoparticles
  • self-assembled colloids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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