Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 42, 2015
Previous Article Next Article

Photoactive composite films prepared from mixtures of polystyrene microgel dispersions and poly(3-hexylthiophene) solutions

Author affiliations

Abstract

Whilst polystyrene microgels belong to the oldest family of microgel particles, their behaviours when deposited onto substrates or prepared as composites have received little attention. Because polystyrene microgels are solvent-swellable, and inherently colloidally stable, they are well suited to form composites with conjugated polymers. Here, we investigate the morphology and light absorption properties of spin coated composite films prepared from mixed dispersions of polystyrene microgels and poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) for the first time. We compare the morphologies of the composite films to spin coated microgel films. The films were studied using optical microscopy, SEM, AFM, wide-angle X-ray diffraction and UV-visible spectroscopy. The films contained flattened microgel particles with an aspect ratio of ∼10. Microgel islands containing hexagonally close packed particles were evident for both the pure microgel and microgel/P3HT composite films. The latter were electrically conducting. The composite film morphology was dependent on the microgel and P3HT concentration used for film preparation and a morphology phase diagram was constructed. The P3HT phase acted as an electrically conducting cement and increased the robustness of the films to solvent washing. The composite films were photoactive due to the P3HT component. The absorbance for the films was tuneable and increased linearly with both microgel and P3HT concentration. The results of the study should apply to other organic swellable microgel/conjugated polymer combinations and may lead to new colloidal composites for future optoelectronic applications.

Graphical abstract: Photoactive composite films prepared from mixtures of polystyrene microgel dispersions and poly(3-hexylthiophene) solutions

Back to tab navigation

Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
30 Jun 2015
Accepted
01 Sep 2015
First published
01 Sep 2015

This article is Open Access

Soft Matter, 2015,11, 8322-8332
Article type
Paper
Author version available

Photoactive composite films prepared from mixtures of polystyrene microgel dispersions and poly(3-hexylthiophene) solutions

M. Chen, Z. Cui, S. Edmondson, N. Hodson, M. Zhou, J. Yan, P. O'Brien and B. R. Saunders, Soft Matter, 2015, 11, 8322
DOI: 10.1039/C5SM01618E

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Licence. Material from this article can be used in other publications provided that the correct acknowledgement is given with the reproduced material.

Reproduced material should be attributed as follows:

  • For reproduction of material from NJC:
    [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) on behalf of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and the RSC.
  • For reproduction of material from PCCP:
    [Original citation] - Published by the PCCP Owner Societies.
  • For reproduction of material from PPS:
    [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) on behalf of the European Society for Photobiology, the European Photochemistry Association, and RSC.
  • For reproduction of material from all other RSC journals:
    [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Information about reproducing material from RSC articles with different licences is available on our Permission Requests page.


Social activity

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements