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Issue 48, 2017
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Dimensionally controlled water-dispersible amplifying fluorescent polymer nanoparticles for selective detection of charge-neutral analytes

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Abstract

Controlled nanoscale assemblies of conjugated polymers are of considerable interest due to their potential for optimised energy transport properties. Recent progress in the development of conjugated block copolymers (BCPs) and their self-assembly have yielded controlled nanostructures unattainable using conventional synthesis via step-growth polymerisation. The self-assembly procedures, however, often require tedious and complicated manipulations during and/or after the polymerisation, and simple, efficient methods for the preparation of such conjugated block copolymer nanostructures have remained a formidable challenge. Herein, we report the preparation of fluorescent poly(p-phenylenevinylene) (PPV) BCP nanostructures in a dimensionally controlled manner through a simple, one-shot ring-opening metathesis polymerisation wherein the BCP formation and self-assembly occur simultaneously. The driving force of the in situ self-assembly is ascribed to the insolubility and the strong interchain π–π interactions of the core-forming block, making it possible to use a fluorescent block with low crystallinity. The introduction of an appropriate non-conjugated solubilizing block renders the nanostructures water-dispersible, and they exhibit a morphology-dependent fluorescence quenching response in the presence of trace amounts of nitroaromatics, including 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT). The quenching response shows remarkable discrimination against paraquat, a widely used electron-acceptor and a strong quencher, in favor of neutral analytes.

Graphical abstract: Dimensionally controlled water-dispersible amplifying fluorescent polymer nanoparticles for selective detection of charge-neutral analytes

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Publication details

The article was received on 14 Sep 2017, accepted on 16 Nov 2017 and first published on 29 Nov 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7PY01582H
Citation: Polym. Chem., 2017,8, 7507-7514
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    Dimensionally controlled water-dispersible amplifying fluorescent polymer nanoparticles for selective detection of charge-neutral analytes

    S. Shin, J. Lim, M. Gu, C. Yu, M. Hong, K. Char and T. Choi, Polym. Chem., 2017, 8, 7507
    DOI: 10.1039/C7PY01582H

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