NSTI Nanotech 2009

Synthesis and characterization of polypyrrole nanowires using alternating amphiphilic copolymer nanotubes as templates

A.S.W. Chan, M. Groves, C. Malardier-Jugroot
Royal Military College of Canada, CA

Keywords: polypyrrole, IMA, polymerization, nanowire, nanotube, self-assembled, characterization

Abstract:

It has been reported that poly(styrene-alt-maleic anhydride) (SMA) chains would self-assembled into a nanotube in aqueous solution at pH7 by associating through a linear conformation which favours the association of the chains by decreasing the entropic cost due to H-bonding and pi-cation interactions. The combined theoretical and experimental characterization of the nanotube revealed that the interior of the tube is hydrophobic while the exterior is hydrophilic. With this property in mind, we developed a method for fabricating intrinsically conducting nanowires. The nanowires are synthesized inside the hydrophobic cavity of the polymeric nanotubes. However, the solubilization of small organic molecules containing benzene groups disrupts the pi-pi interactions within the tubes and therefore breaks the tubular structure. In order to generalize our method to small organic molecules containing benzene group, we choose a new alternating copolymer poly(isobutylene-alt-maleic anhydride) (IMA). We will present the characterization of the solubilization and polymerization of pyrrole with the nanotube template by a combination of experimental (DLS, SANS, UV-Vis, HR-TEM and IR) and theoretical methods. The careful and precise characterization of the synthesis of well-defined, high density conducting nanowires can have a major impact for applications in nanoelectronics and development of sensors.
 
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