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Issue 20, 2013
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Hybrid inorganic–organic composite nanoparticles from crosslinkable polyfluorenes

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Abstract

Polyfluorenes with pendant alkoxysilyl groups have been used to prepare inorganic–organic composite nanoparticles (diameter = 80–220 nm) in which the conjugated polymer is dispersed within a silica matrix. Preparation of these nanoparticles is achieved by simultaneous nanoprecipitation of the conjugated polymer and hydrolysis/crosslinking of the alkoxysilyl groups under basic conditions. The composition of the nanocomposites is controlled by addition of an alkoxysilane monomer, tetramethylorthosilicate. The hybrid nanoparticles form highly stable dispersions in water and buffer (pH 9.2). The size of the nanoparticles can be tuned by varying the amount of the alkoxysilane monomer added during the nanoprecipitation process. Increasing the relative amount of alkoxysilane monomer also increases the proportion of polyfluorene chains that adopt the higher energy β-phase conformation within the resultant nanoparticles. Nanoparticles with the highest silica content were found to have increased photoluminescence quantum yields. This work provides a controllable method for optimisation of the photophysical properties of light-emitting conjugated polymer nanoparticles via a simple aqueous processing technique.

Graphical abstract: Hybrid inorganic–organic composite nanoparticles from crosslinkable polyfluorenes

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Article information


Submitted
08 Feb 2013
Accepted
04 Apr 2013
First published
04 Apr 2013

J. Mater. Chem. C, 2013,1, 3297-3304
Article type
Paper

Hybrid inorganic–organic composite nanoparticles from crosslinkable polyfluorenes

J. M. Behrendt, A. B. Foster, M. C. McCairn, H. Willcock, R. K. O'Reilly and M. L. Turner, J. Mater. Chem. C, 2013, 1, 3297
DOI: 10.1039/C3TC30266K

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